Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti won't give any ultimatums

After missing the playoffs for the third time in four years, general manager Ozzie Newsome, coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco still have the staunch support of owner Steve Bisciotti.

That was the overriding theme of Tuesday's "State of the Ravens" address, which officially wrapped up the team's disappointing 8-8 season.


"I didn't get where I was by just firing people," said Bisciotti. "I think it's a bad model, especially in this business."

Bisciotti, along with Newsome, Harbaugh and team president Dick Cass, fielded questions for 70 minutes and the team's owner clearly stood behind the organization's top decision makers.


The closest thing to a criticism is when Bisciotti said, "I think John can coach better. I think Ozzie and [assistant general manager Eric DeCosta] can draft better."

There is a prevailing belief that Harbaugh, who is signed through 2018, will be coaching for his job next season, but Bisciotti said there are too many variables to label it a win-or-else year.

"All I can tell you is I trust my partners," Bisciotti said.

Much of the news conference was about the perceived regression of Flacco. Bisciotti made it clear that the Ravens need the veteran quarterback to play better, and team officials believe he will now that he has another offseason to get healthier.

"We need to get more out of Joe," Bisciotti said. "I think Joe agrees with that."

Harbaugh said Flacco is accepting all the blame for the offensive struggles this past season, but the head coach said it's on "all of us."

Other highlights:

>>Bisciotti's one-word reaction to this past season: "Bewilderment." He said he struggled to understand how the Ravens never could get the offense and defense playing well at the same time.

>>Newsome said the team's three biggest needs are the secondary, improved offensive line play and finding a complementary wide receiver. He later acknowledged the team also needs to upgrade its pass rush, but said the focus is on improved play from young outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith and Matthew Judon.

>>Newsome said the team wants rush linebacker Terrell Suggs to return and expects him to be back. Bisciotti was noncommital about the return of strong-side linebacker Elvis Dumervil.

>>Cass acknowledged that the team hasn't yet finalized its ticket pricing plans for 2017, but his comments indicated that a price increase is likely.

>>Harbaugh said he is currently interviewing for the quarterbacks coach job and the candidates include one internal option and external college and pro coaches.


>>Bisciotti defended Newsome's drafting record and said more attention is put on recent draft misses, which he agreed were "significant," because of Newsome's good track record. Newsome indicated a willingness to take a chance on players with character questions, but both he and Bisciotti reiterated that they won't be adding players with domestic violence in their background.

>>Despite his frustration, which is often at its peak after losses, Bisciotti said he has no plans to sell the team.

>>Asked for his reaction on fan discontent following the announcement offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will return, Bisciotti said, "My quarterback seems happy with it."

>>Bisciotti said he hasn't given up hope that wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., who has already notified the league that he will retire, will return to the team.

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