Ozzie Newsome has a well-earned reputation as one the NFL's best general managers.
Still, it's hard to deny the Baltimore Ravens went through their 2013 title defense season low on offensive firepower. The decision to trade Anquan Boldin over salary issues was justly criticized. When Dennis Pitta went down with a hip injury early in training camp, Joe Flacco was suddenly targeting late-period Dallas Clark in games that mattered.
"It was tough for the offense, much more than we anticipated," Newsome told the Ravens' team site. "The lack of weapons really hurt at times."
"We'll be better on offense. I really like (offensive coordinator) Gary's (Kubiak) schemes," he added. "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."
Newsome believes the offensive line will be improved. The team also imported wide receiver Steve Smith and tight end Owen Daniels, two veterans with a history of production. The key to the offense might be Ray Rice: The Ravens need him to bounce back from a miserable season.
Of course, the league office will have a say in how much Rice will be able to help his team in 2014.