John Harbaugh: No secret that Ravens need to add offensive playmakers

From ESPN - January 8, 2018

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Tennessee Titans pulled off one of the biggest road comebacks in playoff history Saturday when Derrick Henry produced a 35-yard touchdown run and Eric Decker caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. A day later, the New Orleans Saints jump-started their postseason victory with a 80-yard touchdown catch by Ted Ginn Jr.

This underscored another reason why the Baltimore Ravens are watching the playoffs instead of playing in them right now. The Ravens did not have the playmakers to deliver big plays.

Baltimore ranked last in the NFL with 37 plays of 20 or more yards and five touchdowns of 20-plus yards last season. Asked if the Ravens need to add more offensive playmakers, coach John Harbaugh said, "Absolutely."

"I do not think it is any secret that we need to add playmakers to the mix," Harbaugh said.

Joe Flacco was not on top of his game for most of the season but received little help from his supporting cast. His top wide receivers in 2017 were Mike Wallace, who has one 1,000-yard season over the past six years; Jeremy Maclin, who was cut in June after one of the worst seasons of his career; and Breshad Perriman, who is looking like the biggest first-round bust in team history.

Flacco's top target at tight end was Benjamin Watson, a 37-year-old coming off an Achilles injury, and his best running back was Alex Collins, who spent training camp and the preseason with the Seattle Seahawks.

"I think if anyone looks at the needs on our team, that's where we are going to be looking to fill our roster," Harbaugh said. "I am not giving away any secret there. Everybody in the league knows that. We have to do that."

The lack of playmakers was never more evident than Baltimore's final drive of the season. With less than a minute remaining, the Ravens needed to drive the length of the field for a winning touchdown and were down to two receivers because of injuries: Wallace and Quincy Adeboyejo, who was promoted that week from the practice squad.

Team officials talked last offseason about strengthening the supporting cast around Flacco. But the only free-agent additions were Maclin and running back Danny Woodhead, both of whom battled injuries and never really found their place in the offense. The Ravens then did not draft an offensive skill position player for the first time in franchise history.


Continue reading at ESPN »