Late for Work 5/11: Despite Youth, Bisciotti Ranked 6th-Best Owner

Plus chances of Ochocinco in Baltimore and will T. Smith supplant Donte’ right away?

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 9:36 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Despite Youth, Bisciotti Ranked 6th-Best Owner

ESPN continued its series of power rankings, this time looking at NFL franchise owners.

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti nabbed the sixth spot out of all 32 head honchos, despite his youth as an owner and the Ravens’ short 15-year history in a league where many teams have been around for decades.

Bisciotti received votes from all eight voters (7 divisional bloggers and senior writer John Clayton) who compile the rankings. NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert gave Bisciotti his highest ranking at No. 5, while Tim Graham and AFC North Blogger James Walker each gave him his lowest ranking at No. 10.

“I like what the Baltimore Ravens are doing,” wrote James Walker. “Owner Steve Bisciotti, who is No. 6 in our Power Rankings, is helping build a winning culture similar to Pittsburgh’s. But the Ravens simply don’t have the history or the rings to match the Steelers.

“It takes time.”

Walker’s right. What would the argument be to put Biscotti on par with the top vote-getting Rooney family of the Pittsburgh Steelers? As Walker pointed out, the Rooneys and the Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins (six) with the fewest head coaches (three) since 1969. In addition to their success, they have shown they have powerful influence in the league.

“The Rooney family is the perfect combination of tradition, consistency and success,” Walker wrote. “They also set trends off the field with things like the Rooney Rule. They’re very well respected, and there’s a special sense of pride about the Steelers from players and fans that you don’t see in many places. It starts at the top.”

Still, let’s not overlook the fact that despite his youth, Bisciotti beat out other long-time respected owners, such as the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, the Broncos’ Pat Bowlen, the Colts’ Jim Irsay and the Bears’ McCaskeys.

Pretty impressive for a guy that joined the league in 2000.

Below are ESPN’s top-10 ownership power rankings:

1. Rooney family, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots
3. Packers board, Green Bay Packers
4. John Mara/Steve Tisch, New York Giants
5. Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles
6. Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens
7. Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts
8. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
9. Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons
10. Woody Johnson, New York Jets

Q&A: Ochocinco in B-more? T. Smith Supplanting Donte’? Wilson or Carr To Return?

Yesterday, CSNBaltimore.com’s John Eisenberg was a guest on ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio and Walker conducted a fan Q&A on ESPN.

Here are a few nuggets from each interview that I thought were on many of your minds:

If Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco gets released or traded, what do you think the chances of Baltimore taking him are?
JW: “I don’t see that. Baltimore has a good mix of veteran receivers and young draft picks to develop. It’s not a good fit.”

Do you think Torrey Smith supplants Donte’ Stallworth right out of the gate?
JE: “I think he does. They weren’t very happy with Stallworth. That was definitely the left hand and the right hand operating differently there. They brought in Stallworth, he got hurt, but then they barely used him when he was healthy.”

“Here they’ve drafted [T. Smith] and they’re gonna have invested [a lot] in him and you would think they would want to put him on the field. … Whether he becomes an integral guy [right away], personally, I think they should give it every shot that they have. Whatever reason they didn’t use the speed guy they had last year, they ought to try a little harder and use the guy this year. Certainly give him every chance because they really, really need that receiver who can stretch the field and open it up for the guys underneath.”

Josh Wilson or Chris Carr: who stays on the Ravens?
JW: “There is a chance that neither returns, but I would lean now towards Chris Carr, because he could be cheaper.”

What did the Ravens do in the scouting process to feel comfortable with Jimmy Smith?
JE: “Their area scouts, they do it on their own, they don’t belong to the [scouting] services. Eric DeCosta said [J. Smith] was one of the first players that he went to see personally back in the fall. They sent in, I think they said, at least three area scouts to talk to him and then they talked to him at the combine and they had him in for a visit [at the team facility]. They talked to his high school coaches, his college coaches, people around him. …They had a level of comfort with him that was more than satisfactory.”

Is the door open for Jared Gaither to stick around?
JE: “I don’t really buy [Gaither returning]. I think they have had kind of enough with him. I’ve heard that he’s moved, he doesn’t live in the area anymore and they were exasperated with him and they’ve just sort of run out of patience with him. That being said, he’s a talented guy, but he’s coming off a bad injury as well. He’s a wild card at best.”

Will Ray Rice be more involved in the Ravens’ offense in 2011?
JW: “Yes, the Ravens really want to improve their running game. Rice rushed for 1,200 yards, but there were too many weeks he was ignored in the offense. I think Baltimore was confused all year of whether it was a pass-first or run-first team.”

Do you think a healthy Jarret Johnson is the answer to Baltimore’s pass rushing issue?
JW:  “Johnson is solid, always has been. At times he is their best pass rusher. But I still think Baltimore needed more. Johnson is not a guy who’s going to give you 15 sacks. He will do his job against the run, won’t make a lot of mistakes, and give you maybe six or seven sacks along the way. The Ravens need another double-digit threat opposite Terrell Suggs.”

Can Michael Oher fill the role at left tackle?
JE: “I think [the Ravens] were sort of committing to Oher on the left side when they drafted Jah Reid in the third round. That night they said, ‘[Reid] is a right tackle and he might compete to start right away and he’s a run blocker so in a lot of ways he fills what we need.’ That’s what they said, so that led me to believe that Oher is on the left side.”

Quick Hits

  • BJack50 (Ravens Super Bowl Champ Brad Jackson): Great night Ravens celebrity serving at Mortons Steakhouse Bmore 4 Matt Birk HIKE charity! @RayRice27 @Foxworth24 QBoldin,@nakabomb43 &BJack [Twitter]
  • Right out of the gate, many analysts believe all four AFC North teams drafted rather well. Only time will tell, but here are the grades given by Jamie Dukes and  Daryl Johnston, respectively: Browns (A, A) Ravens (A, B-),  Bengals (B, B) and Steelers (B, C+). [NFL.com]
  • Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo talks about his public support of same-sex marriage. [ESPN]


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