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Baltimore Ravens Perspective

It’s been several years since the Baltimore Ravens brought home the Super Bowl XXXV Championship, and for Baltimore fans, that’s too long. The team had a breakout year in 2006 with a 13-3 record, but floundered in 2007 with a 5-11 season record and one playoff miss. In season 13, the Ravens hope to improve their scoring and represent the AFC North. This season they will face strong competition from the AFC South Division and NFC East Division, as well as the AFC West Division Oakland Raiders and AFC East Division Miami Dolphins. According to game analysts, the Ravens already have the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL based on their opponents’ win-loss ratio. Keep in mind that every time the Ravens do the unthinkable and don’t win, they are up against some of the highest ranked teams in the NFL!

Are there any major changes to the Ravens’ roster that will affect how they perform this year? As always, of course! In the coaching department, head coach Brian Billick was fired after last year’s dismal performance and was replaced by John Harbaugh. He will be the third head coach in this team’s relatively young history. (The Ravens were first established in 1996) John Harbaugh’s previous experience was defensive assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be in charge of the Ravens until at least the end of the 2012 season, since he has signed a four-year contract.

In the previous season, the team did not actually have an offensive coordinator, as Coach Billick took over those duties after firing Jim Fassel. John Harbaugh hasn’t dropped the ball yet: he went out and hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Malcolm ‘Cam’ Cameron. Rex Ryan was released from his position as the team’s defensive coordinator, but was later rehired on January 28, 2008, and later promoted to assistant head coach. Now that’s an apology!

What about the season in terms of players? The team acquired linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo from the Chicago Bears, as well as cornerback Frank Walker from the Green Bay Packers. On the other hand, the team lost center Mike Flynn after he failed his annual physical. Unfortunately, Flynn was one of the few original players to see the Ravens’ Super Bowl championship season in the year 2000. The team also lost veteran quarterback Steve McNair. After suffering various injuries and spending most of last season on injured reserve, McNair announced his retirement from the NFL after 13 great seasons. The only thing left to consider is the 2008 NFL Draft. The most notable pick in the draft was cornerback Fabian Washington.

Will the Baltimore Ravens be successful in 2008? A 2009 Super Bowl is not out of the question for this team. After all, the team won its first championship victory in just the fifth year of playing football! The team will face one of the toughest schedules in the entire league and certainly has a lot of work ahead of it. However, Coach Harbaugh has confidence in Baltimore’s spirit.

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