Inside the Ravens' decision-making process

I am really starting to wonder how the decision making procedure works with this coaching staff, Ozzie and the rest of the management team. Is the coaching staff headed by John Harbaugh making all decisions or does Ozzie then have complete veto rights whether to cut a player, add a player or is Harbaugh's staff given total control over roster moves?

How much control over theses decisions should a rookie head coach have anyway? The question is, are the Ravens making cuts that should be made and should some of these moves been made a month ago?

We know from past history that Rex Ryan has a problem cutting veterans, even players that have only been there 2 years. He is very loyal to players that have been around for awhile and sometimes it appeared a few veterans should have been let go and replaced before training camp this year by free agents.

This is the week that players should have been cut because after this week the salaries are guaranteed all year even if you do not play a game and their salaries count against the cap. If some of these players are finally put on injured reserve then an injury settlement agreement could be reached later in the year and save some money but not give cap relief.

But I would think now or really before now, moves should have been made about certain players and since they have not they will not be made.

The first thing that must be determined is how bad these injuries according to the doctors are and how good are these players to begin with and can they help win games this year? If they are not projected as players to bring back next year and there are better free agent players available now shouldn't roster moves be made?

Let's examine the injured players and keep in mind even if cutting them is something we as fans are considering we must remember, there may be salary cap issues( bonus money) and other players in their positions may not be available to take their place. By this time in the season even though it's early it may be too late to make changes and roster moves that make sense to management.

Sometimes management must consider if these injured players can recover from their injuries in the next month. The question then becomes, are the Ravens better off waiting this injury out or starting over with a player who does not know the system and may not play that much this year anyway?

Here is the list of injured Ravens:

Fabian Washington- Neck injury- a player of the future with this team and considered to be an important part of the team this year but may not play Sunday.

Kelly Gregg-knee surgery rehabbing- Doubtful again this week but is a valuable player for later this year but Ravens should consider signing another tackle to long term contract and allowing Kelly to be released next year if it fits into salary cap correctly.

Derrick Martin-Shoulder injury- most likely will not play this week and who knows how long this injury will not allow him to suit up for games. With his off season arrest and suspension this would have seemed a player at the end of camp they should have cut but Rex Ryan liked him better than all the other defensive backs he brought to training camp. Now would be the time to place him on the PUP list for 6 weeks. But the Ravens must feel no players are better in the free agent market at this time. The Patriots sign 2 defensive backs after training camp and one is now starting for them.

Troy Smith-Tonsils- This is one of the greatest mysteries this year in the injury area. Some real bad luck for Troy and the Ravens this season. John Harbaugh said that they are expecting Troy Smith to be back when healthy later this year. Back in August after he was losing weight and very sick the PUP list seemed the correct move and with Kyle Boller already being placed on injured reserve two qbs should have been signed at that time. The Ravens instead sign one older qb that has not played since 2006. When Troy smith is healthy again is the big question today. We are now two weeks into the season and if Troy starts practicing soon, he will not be ready to play in any games until late October.

Yamon Figurs-Hamstring-How serious is the question that must be asked here? We see if he plays this week and how serious it might be. This could be a blow to special teams if his injury is serious.

Demetrius Williams-Hamstring- Also how serious? Is listed as questionable so hopefully not bad but he must be considered a player that should not be counted on next year if he continues to not be healthy enough to play and contribute in at least 12-14 games this season. With other teams' wide receivers getting injured this early, Ravens should consider who on their practice squad they might want to move onto the 53 man roster before other teams try to sign them.

Corey Ivy-Sprained right ankle- another player who has not played in game as a starter very well and is always injured.

Chris McAlister-Knee- It was swollen again last Monday after Ravens first game and if he has trouble playing against the quality receivers and Ivy is hurt and Washington and Martin can't play, this secondary is in deep trouble this year.

Brendon Ayanbadejo-Bone bruise Hopefully with extra week off may play this week because he is really needed on special teams this year.

Jared Gaither- Ankle- It was not disclosed if this is lingering from training camp or he re-injured it by playing on in the last Sunday game the Ravens played. Time will tell if he is able to continue to play with the injury or if Adam Terry needs to be moved over to left tackle with new addition Willie Anderson playing at right tackle as the year goes on.

Willis McGahee is supposed to play some and we will see how he performs after his knee rehab. All teams have injury issues all year, it depends how management handles what players should be kept on the 53 man roster , who should be put on the PUP list and when and what players are available in free agency to sign and replaced the injured players on this roster.

As the season moves on and we watch the progress of John Harbaugh's rookie year along with his rookie quarterback and the roster moves, let's be patience and not get to high or to low as this team begins this era in Raven football.


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