It’s no secret that last season the Baltimore Ravens’ passing attack at times looked like a little brother wildly swinging at air while his older brother holds his forehead. There is plenty of blame to be passed around for the Ravens’ struggling passing offense. General Manager Eric DeCosta gave an answer about it that did not sit right with wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
DeCosta was asked by the media about evaluating wide receivers. During his response, he admitted that the group is not as strong as the organization would like.
“If I had an answer, that means I would probably have some better receivers, I guess,” DeCosta said.
A member of the media who was there —Sarah Ellison, cohost of the Ravens Vault podcast — tweeted out that sentence and another in which DeCosta said that while the organization has drafted productive players they still haven’t hit on an “All-Pro type of a guy.”
Bateman saw the tweet and it clearly got him in his feelings. He tweeted out a response calling out the Ravens for the rash of injuries the team has suffered over the last two seasons and the organization as a whole.
Bateman later deleted the tweet and sent out an apology.
Before Bateman went down with an injury in 2022, he appeared to be on his way to a breakout season. The Ravens’ 2021 first-round pick averaged better than 25 yards per reception in each of the first three games of 2022. He suffered a foot injury in Week 4. Bateman returned to the lineup in Week 7, but by Week 9 he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury.
This is the second significant injury that Bateman has suffered in his two seasons with the Ravens. He missed the first four weeks of the 2021 season after needing surgery on an injured groin during training camp.
Twitter was probably not the best place for Bateman to vent his frustrations, but he does make a point about accountability. It’s the Ravens who decided to promote Greg Roman from within after Lamar Jackson’s rookie season.
All the progress that Jackson made as a passer in his two seasons at Louisville has been stunted since he has been with the Ravens. Roman’s offenses have primarily revolved around the running game when he was the coordinator for John Harbaugh’s brother Jim, and Rex Ryan. It was no different with the Ravens, and after Jackson’s spectacular 2019 season, the offense has struggled.
The Ravens offense also might be better if the players could stay healthy. Bateman isn’t the only player who has missed significant time. There was a reason that the Ravens looked so good against the Bengals in their wild-card matchup this past season. Outside of Jackson and Bateman the team was largely healthy. Injuries blew up their 2021 season, and in 2022 they played in a playoff game without their best quarterback and wide receiver after a season in which their offense started hot and eventually damn near froze solid.
NFLPA player report card results
In the NFLPA player report card that was recently released, the Ravens players gave the organization’s strength coaches an F-minus. And, it just so happens, the Ravens fired their strength and conditioning coordinator less than two weeks ago.
In reading DeCosta’s entire response to the question about wide receiver evaluation, he takes little accountability in why the group has struggled. He kept harping on that he believes in their scouting system and that they are going to keep trying. Why didn’t they try to get in the receiver free agent bonanza last offseason. And if their scouting system is so strong how did they not select a single one of the many productive wide receivers in last year’s draft?
Of course Bateman should not have made his frustrations public, but I do understand why it bubbled over. DeCosta talked a lot about the Ravens’ shortcomings but didn’t take enough accountability as to why.