Ravens Must Prove Themselves Again

ExtremeRavens .comCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2009

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 13:  Ed Reed #20 and Ray Lewis #53 of the Baltimore Ravens during warm ups of a NFL preseason football game against the Washington Redskins on August 13, 2009 at M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.   (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

[Apologies for the long break… they don’t call it the off-season for nothing.]

As the 2009 regular season approaches, Ravens fans have high hopes for what will follow the team’s impressive and surprising 2008 campaign. While a level of confidence and a few fantasies may be warranted, perhaps even needed, there comes a time when the bigger picture has to be brought into focus.

As national polls and predictions begin to surface, Ravens fans are likely to feel disrespected with a bit more frequency.

But what constitutes success following the unexpected glory of last season? Is it even possible for this team to duplicate last season’s success?

Position by position, set by set, the Ravens have plenty of questions to answer this season. There is no single area on this team where an objective eye can say plainly and with certainty that, “this will work better than it did last season.”

Rather, every change the front office made this season was aimed at filling voids, and the success of those moves can only be judged on the field.

Fear not, however. The need to prove something is perhaps an athlete’s greatest motivation. A fan should worry much more about the team that is comfortable with its stature than the team still trying to silence its critics.