It has been 15 years since the Ravens won their first Super Bowl. They won another in 2012, which is remarkable for a franchise that has been in existence for only 20 years. Often there are questions about which team is better, but maybe they can be tied into one. Can Ray Lewis of the 2000 team beat Ray Lewis of the 2012 squad?
The Ravens have done a good job overall in their selections to the Ring of Honor, which includes Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and several of the old Baltimore Colts. But there is someone missing. Where is cornerback Chris McAlister?
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti used Thursday's "State of the Ravens" address to preach about the importance of staying the course. Speaking just four days after the conclusion of a bitterly disappointing 5-11 season, Bisciotti, seated alongside team president Dick Cass, general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh, dismissed talk of significant changes following one of the worst years in franchise history.
Arguably the most disappointing season in franchise history ends Sunday with the Ravens (5-10) playing the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. But to his players, John Harbaugh has been a pillar of strength and leadership during a year when so many parts of the team have broken down.
Heading into Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens have started two quarterbacks, Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen, in the past three weeks, and a third, Ryan Mallett, could get an opportunity before season's end.
The Ravens have added some eventual Hall of Fame players like Rod Woodson and Shannon Sharpe over their 20-year history in Baltimore, but their most important free agent acquisition arrived on March 27, 2000. That was the day the NFL announced Steve Bisciotti had purchased a 49 percent stake in the franchise.
Joe Flacco has had little trouble despite having four offensive coordinators in as many seasons, the revolving door of play callers creating a situation one prominent former NFL quarterback described as "dysfunctional." It's because he has an open mind.
Former Ravens coach Brian Billick, in town for a day of live coverage on the NFL Network, assumed a familiar role Wednesday when he stood in the middle of the huddle in Owings Mills and addressed the team.
Traded to the Detroit Lions last week in exchange for fourth-round and fifth-round draft picks, former Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata took out a full-page advertisement in the Sunday paper of The Baltimore Sun.
The Ravens moved quickly to fill their offensive coordinator vacancy, replacing Gary Kubiak with Marc Trestman, another former NFL head coach with a reputation for getting the most out of quarterbacks.
Ray Rice is eligible to return to NFL play after an arbitrator decreed Friday that league commissioner Roger Goodell had improperly punished the former Ravens running back twice for the same domestic violence offense.
Though Ray Rice is now cleared to return to the NFL, there remains lingering doubt about whether any team will be interested in a 27-year-old running back who hasn't played in a game of any significance since last December.
By nearly every measure, the Ravens' offense has improved dramatically from last season. Through 10 games, the Ravens are averaging more than five points, 56 total yards and 41 rushing yards per game than they were at this point last year. They've gone from ranking 30th in the NFL in total offense to 12th.
First, the Ravens started losing the football. Then, they lost their lead and all their momentum. And finally, they seemed to lose their composure. They now need to act fast to prevent their season from slipping away, too.
Every time the University of Michigan football job is vacant or the coach becomes embattled, NFL coaches and brothers John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh are quickly linked to the Wolverines' head-coaching position.
The Ravens once again were dealt a schedule that stacks three divisional opponents in the first three games, the third time that AFC North teams occupy the first three spots on their schedule in 10 years, and the team recognizes the stakes.
However, those who have observed the Ravens' running back for the past several months see it differently. From the first day of training camp, his teammates and coaches have noticed his increased focus and intensity. Matt Rhule, one of Pierce's former coaches at Temple, saw how hard the running back attacked the offseason rehab on his surgically-repaired right shoulder.
Over the past six months, Harbaugh has stoically moved on from the least successful year of his head-coaching career. He overhauled his coaching staff, executed a review of the organization's ways and while privately fuming, he served as a public supporter to several of his troubled players.