PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
There’s a lot made of what a team’s Super Bowl window may be.
But for the really good organizations, NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora doesn’t think the term applies.
And in his opinion, the Ravens are one of those few franchises.
“I think with the smart organizations, the name on the back of the jerseys change, but not the level of play,” La Canfora said.
La Canfora named the Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots as teams that have propped open the Super Bowl window.
He narrowed down long-term success to five main factors:
A good, young quarterback
Continuity in the organization and front office
Enough young stars entering their prime
Traditionally strong draft that address needs one or two years in advance
Patience in free agency and not blowing your budget out
The Ravens have 26-year-old quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm. They have a stable front office led by Owner Steve Bisciotti, President Dick Cass and General Manager Ozzie Newsome. Head Coach John Harbaugh is entering his fourth year and received a contract extension this offseason.
Baltimore has a gluttony of young cogs, including running back Ray Rice, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, linebacker Terrell Suggs and tackle Michael Oher, to name a few.
The Ravens’ draft record is widely-regarded as among the elite in the NFL and Baltimore has traditionally shown a steady, calculated hand in free agency.
As a result, Baltimore has reached the playoffs for three straight years, the most in franchise history. Only two other teams have a current streak that long: the Eagles (three years) and Indianapolis Colts (nine years).
“Is there a window of opportunity for the Ravens to win with the Ed Reed/Ray Lewis Ravens? Sure, it’s the next two years before one, if not both, of those guys are gone. But they constantly refuel,” La Canfora said.
“The Ravens led by Haloti Ngata, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, I don’t know that there’s a window on them unless someone has a serious injury. They should be in their peak form the next three to five years, if not longer.”