Late For Work 1/19: “Painfully Obvious” Offseason Needs

Plus Kelly Gregg and Jarret Johnson to have surgery and Sandra Bullock wins Golden Globe.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 at 8:49 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

“Painfully Obvious” Offseason Needs

After finishing with a 9-7 regular season record and getting knocked out of the divisional playoff round, speculation has begun surrounding the Ravens’ most pressing offseason needs.

Experts are clear and unified in their analysis. Baltimore should aim towards getting quarterback Joe Flacco more playmaking weapons for his third season.

Sporting News characterized the lack of big-play receivers as “painfully obvious.” And ESPN pointed out that NFL teams typically find ways to assist their young starting quarterbacks.

“The Atlanta Falcons acquired future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez last offseason for quarterback Matt Ryan,” James Walker said. “The New York Jets made an in-season trade with the Cleveland Browns to acquire No. 1 receiver Braylon Edwards for rookie Mark Sanchez. The Ravens haven’t done anything close to that for Flacco since he entered the league two years ago. ”

So where should the Ravens start?

Michael Lombardi of NFL.com said if he were with the Ravens, he would kick things off by making phone calls to the Denver Broncos to check the availability of Brandon Marshall.

Sporting News’ Mike Preston implied the Ravens will do just that, while also exploring options for a few other impactful wide receiver free agents.

“The Ravens had offseason talks a year ago about obtaining disgruntled Broncos WR Brandon Marshall and will pursue Marshall again in the spring,” Preston said.

“Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron likes tall receivers, and he’ll take a look at San Diego’s Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd, both 6-5 and unrestricted free agents if there is a new CBA by March or restricted free agents if not. Cameron is familiar with both, having worked with them when he was the Chargers’ offensive coordinator. The Ravens might take a look at Dallas WR Miles Austin if he does not re-sign.”

This year could be tough with all the free agency rules during an uncapped year, so the Ravens’ No. 25 draft pick could also provide solutions.

Whether the needs are met in free agency or the draft, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King sums it all up by saying, “If Ozzie Newsome doesn’t restock the receiver position, and Joe Flacco doesn’t stay healthy, 2010 will be Groundhog Day for the Ravens.”

Gregg and Johnson To Have Surgery

Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Kelly Gregg and outside linebacker Jarret Johnson will both undergo shoulder surgery during the offseason, according to Aaron Wilson of National Football Post.  Both are expected to recover well in advance of next season.

Sandra Bullock Wins Award at Golden Globes for “The Blind Side”

In Sunday night’s Annual Golden Globe Awards, Sandra Bullock won the award for outstanding performance by an actress in a dramatic motion picture for her role in “The Blind Side.”

Fun fact of day. Not only did Julia Roberts pass on the opportunity to play Michael Oher’s adoptive mother in the film, but Bullock also rejected the role the first time it was offered to her.  She explains why she eventually accepted the invitation in this red carpet interview.

On Monday, Oher had little reaction to Bullock’s achievement, saying via the Baltimore Sun, “I didn’t see it. Somebody told me.”

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