If you're like most Baltimoreans, you felt your gridiron heroes would be on the building side of things and had prepared yourself for a long year. The draft went well with the pick up of a highly touted Joe Flacco and some good players on both sides of the ball. Training camp emerges with the normal excitement to see our favorite players up close and get an autograph or two. Preseason begins and all the sudden the season looks in jeopardy! Illnesses and injuries plague us to opening day. The season looked all but finished before it was to begin, a rookie behind center, a rookie head coach, some grumbling among the veterans, and a injury prone running back lead us to believe we would be lucky to finish at .500 for the year.
Along comes, an OFFENSE?! Joe Flacco's cool demenor and aggressive play not only revved up the fans, but brought a team unity that has not been seen since the Ravens were Superbowl Champions. For once the dominating defense we've all come to love had a productive counter-part in the offense. Plays downfield, spectacular catches by the wideouts, hard-nosed running by the backs and of course devasting defense put the Baltimore Ravens back into the playoffs! The offense line was superb. Most felt with the loss of future Hall of Famer Jon Ogden, Baltimore's line would be too inexperienced to handle the AFC North. They proved everyone wrong, their strong pass protection and run blocking kept producing first downs and more importantly rested our defense. With this new found respect between the offense and defensive players a strong team was built and it showed. From the locker room to the field, players and fans alike seemed to have not only higher expectations, but more fun!
This off-season has a lot of work to be done. Contracts to be re-negotiated, injuries to be addressed and coaching vacancies to be filled. As long as that respect remains and the business side of the NFL doesn't effect our new found pride, The Baltimore Ravens, will not only be the team to watch in the AFC North, but the entire National Football League.
It is to you, Baltimore Ravens, that we thank you. Not only for your exciting season, but for the passion you brought back to us. We look forward to another great year upcoming and Ravenstown Pride is back because of you!
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