Jeremy Zuttah was 2014’s best UFA signing.
This started out as my essay pick for this week’s Cheddar Bay and graduated into a short post. That’s because the Ravens are a story that no one is talking about yet and I love bringing the news first. I noticed this when I re-did the 603POWER rankings today. The Ravens are on top and on top by a lot. In the four categories of LOS domination (pass block, run block, run defense, and pass rush) that are the primary determinants in the 603POWER grades, the Ravens are a sigma to the right in bell curve in all four.
Even Flacco looks good.
Anyways,,, how my Cheddar essay read.1
5. ***Ravens +1 at Bengals
I gave Ozzie Newsome a healthy ration of shit after winning the Super Bowl.
Look at your fucked up salary cap! How’d that ‘make Joe Flacco earn his contract’ strategy work out? Good luck replacing nine unsigned starters!! Har, har, har… repeat.
I even wrote up a post pretty much ridiculing him and the Ravens for losing Ellerbe and Boldin. I mean he lost nine starters off the 2012 team — it wasn’t great planning — but he was getting total ball-washed by the punditry. I didn’t publish it, though, both because I got bored talking about Cary Williams and I think the Ravens were winning. They were 8-8 last year, not horrible, and fuck an A: 2012 Super Bowl win. But no really, the post was pretty baked.
Welp. He’s good.
While Joe Banner stockpiled 4th round picks in the 2013 draft, Newsome was using his fifth rounder to draft a 6-6/310 Wisconsin o-lineman.
But the position that burned Ozzie in 2013 was at center. He did not get away with Gino Gradkowski and after this year’s draft, I thought he’d been burned again. I thought sure he wanted Richburg in the second when the Giants snagged him four slots before him.
Who knew Jeremy Zuttah would turn out to be this season’s best FA signing? Now Zuttah might not be a top five center, but when you consider the Ravens’ center was dead last last year and now Zuttah is playing in the Ryan Kalil zone… and is doing so for 6.5M gtd… just,, well fuck me.
Guy gives away Anquan Boldin and Elvis Dumervil drops in his lap. Better lucky than good, I guess but I’m starting to think that the old Hogan saying applies (The more I practice, the luckier I get.)
Meanwhile in Cincinnati AJ Green’s toe is still bugging him and Andy Dalton showed he’s still Andy Dalton when playing playoff caliber teams. Three sacks, 126 yds in the Colts shutout last week, but no gif-able moments to add to the collection so maybe that’s a win for Dalton, hard to say. Yeah, Cincy won at Baltimore in the opener. All the more reason to expect a multiple TD victory Sunday. Damn, I wish I had my POTY back.
Anyway yeah sure, I love the Ravens over the Bengals. But when I look at an o-line that won a Super Bowl with Oher-Reid-Birk-Yanda-Osemele lost three of those five, and inside of two years you can say the line of Monroe-Osemele- Zuttah-Yanda-Wagner and is improved over 2012?
It’s worth a mention.
And we haven’t even gotten to the linebacker upgrades from 2012 to 2014. Suffice it to say: first round pick CJ Mosley is a major contributor.
Jump on the Ravens now before everyone else does. Browns better have their act straight if that last game in Baltimore is for a playoff spot.
- This is not my official Cheddar essay for this week. I want to hold off designating it until Saturday. [back]