Most team executives feel pretty good about themselves following an eventful offseason, and Raven general manager Ozzie Newsome is certainly included in that bunch. The Hall of Fame tight end talked to Kevin Byrne, the team’s Senior Vice President of Public and Community Relations, about some of his transactions. Here are a few of the notable tidbits…
His assessment of the current roster and where it’s most improved:
“We feel pretty good right now. We could tweak the roster a little between now and the start of the regular season, but, overall, we accomplished a lot since the end of last season.
We’ll be better on offense. I really like Gary (Kubiak’s) schemes. It’s very precise. It’s physical. I think we’ll run the ball better, we’ll keep the ball more and we’ll have big plays. You can tell the players, especially guys like Joe (Flacco), like it – and they can see that we have a good chance to be a lot better.”
“We wanted two things from these contracts. The first is to create some cap room and the other is to try and make sure these two players remained Ravens forever. We got ‘Sizzle’ done and we’re still hopeful with Haloti.”
“We lost Corey when we thought we could get him, but (the Bills) paid a premium. We knew we couldn’t sign Arthur Jones. He earned a huge salary and the Colts gave it to him. We couldn’t go there and sign other players we needed. The $10 million increase in the salary cap helped us get the others done.”
Thoughts on team’s additions at wide receiver and offensive line:
“We landed Steve Smith, who is not your typical aging player. He’s a special competitor, driven to show everyone he can play at a high level. You saw him during the camps. He’s going to help.
“Getting Jeremy Zuttah was a bonus. He wasn’t on the front burner at the beginning of the offseason. But, like Steve Smith, he was on a list we’ve developed of guys who are late in their contracts and might be available. We asked the question and they (the Buccaneers) were willing to move him. He’s a good player.”