Ravens' owner emphasizes continuity

The Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti doesn't think wholesale changes are needed after enduring one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.

Furthermore, Bisciotti is a firm proponent of continuity and he is confident the Ravens have the coaches and players in place to bounce back from their 5-11 record.

Baltimore placed 20 players on injured reserve throughout the season, including starting quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Steve Smith.

Despite the depleted roster, the Ravens were competitive_nine of their losses were decided by eight points or fewer.

"The close losses piled up," Bisciotti said at the team's season-ending news conference on Thursday.

"We had a bunch of heartbreaking losses this year. I don't think a whole lot has to be done. The one thing I'm proud of is that we all view continuity as a strength.

"Continuity doesn't stem from laziness. It comes from confidence. I have a lot of faith we will get it all straightened out. I hope we don't have as many injuries."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed that almost all of his coaching staff will return, including offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

The one exception is linebackers coach Ted Monachino, who was hired as the Colts new defensive coordinator.

"We'll certainly change how we do things, how we approach things and things like that," Harbaugh said. "The same guys will be in place and I'm excited to work with them."

Because of the poor finish, Baltimore will have the No. 6 pick in the draft. It will be the first time since 2003 that the Ravens have a top 10 selection.

However, the higher pick was no consolation for general manager Ozzie Newsome.

"I think the toughest part of picking this high is having to suffer through the season we just suffered through," Newsome said.

"A lot of times when we are looking at players and we're picking in the 20s to (30s) like we've been picking, we just say there's no way that player is going to have a chance to make it down to us. That's not the case this year. We'll be prepared."

The Ravens will also look at free agency to add a playmaker. Newsome would prefer to add at least one dynamic wide receiver.

"When you lose close games, sometimes a real good player could be the difference," Newsome said. "We need to augment our team. (Harbaugh) and his staff do a very good job of developing players.

"But you need to have some players, that when the game is on the line, they have the ability to make a play. We will be trying to add some of that to our team, but a lot of that can be done through development."

The Ravens, however, won't stray too far away from what has made them so successful in the past. The franchise has won two Super Bowls since 2000 and made the playoffs in six of the past eight years.

Bisciotti attributes a lot of that success to the lack of turnover within the organization. It was a lesson he learned from former Ravens owner Art Modell, who died in 2012.

"It's absolutely a sound business philosophy," Bisciotti said. "If you go through the league, the winning teams are the ones that have the least turnover in their front office and coaching staffs. You can't just turn things over based on your record. That sends you down.

"You might have a blip up. But we want the blip down to be the abnormality in our growth and our development as an organization. This is one of those times."

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, left, listens to a reporter's question as he sits next to head coach John Harbaugh during a news conference at the team's practice facility in Owings Mills, Maryland, on Thursday.