Published: January 15th, 2011 | Tags: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Anquan Boldin, Antonio Brown, David Reed, Derrick Mason, Donte' Stallworth, Emmanuel Sanders, Haloti Ngata, Jared Gaither, Marshal Yanda, Michael Oher, Mike Wallace
Ravens WRs Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh wanted more targets this season, but both suffered huge drops in the team’s loss to the Steelers. Boldin dropped a touchdown late in the fourth quarter and Houshmandzadeh dropped a game-preserving pass.
Even with these big-name acquisitions, the Ravens still need help at receiver and especially one who can stretch the field.
The Steelers big plays were the result of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders stretching the field, even when Baltimore’s defense targeted Mike Wallace and forced the Steelers to beat them with the youngsters. They did, especially Brown on a huge third-and-19 play.
The Ravens need a receiver who can do the same.
Donte’ Stallworth was supposed to be the guy to stretch the defense for the Ravens, but he was unable to catch on and never gained the team’s trust, relegated to running reverses down the stretch.
The Ravens will likely commit a high draft pick on a wideout who can stretch the field — and Stallworth and Houshmandzadeh likely won’t be back.
The Ravens also need their young tight ends to step up and David Reed, a rookie who was inactive today with a concussion, is somebody they are high on. Reed can absorb the routes now run by Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason. They believe he will be a player.
Some other things the Ravens need to do in the coming offseason:
The Ravens will extend the contract of DT Haloti Ngata, a top personnel priority for them. The Ravens also will extend the contract of coach John Harbaugh, the highest organizational priority.
The new collective bargaining agreement will have a lot to say if T Jared Gaither stays. Michael Oher had an up-and-down season at left tackle, and Gaither’s absence forced them to use Marshal Yanda, an excellent guard, at tackle all season.
The team also wants to add another pass rusher and corner.