Just 13 seasons ago, in the year of 1996, the Baltimore Ravens were formed. Originally the Cleveland Browns, the team decided it was in it's best interest to move to Baltimore.

It was time for a new, fresh beginning, and bring the winning culture of football back to Baltimore like it did in the old days.

The Ravens have followed with that culture, winning the teams first Super Bowl in just it's 4th year of a new image. This early Super Bowl Victory sent a message to the rest of the NFL, that the Ravens build the team around the defense, and follow the motto of "defense wins championships".

In this span of time, the Ravens have a time of issues with the salary cap, thus forcing to let players leave to enter free agency.They have also dealt with losing coaches over the years, which does include Marvin Lewis and other members within the front office.

Due to the trend of losing key members, Baltimore has faced disappointing seasons, where they fail to make the playoffs by a game, or drop to the bottom of the AFC North.
Since the 2000 Super Bowl victory over the New York Giants, the Ravens have failed to reach the Super Bowl.

The team has made it to the playoffs most of the time, however, has not been able to take the one extra step.

A common theme has been the defense showing up, however, the offense hasn't been able to contribute enough points on the board.

In last years draft, the Ravens selected Joe Flacco in the 1st round, hoping he can be the true franchise quarterback that Baltimore has waited for.

Last year, the team dismissed head coach Brian Billick, who does have the super bowl ring, but could not contribute much success after that.

Instead, they brought in John Harbough, formely the special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles.

During their stint in the NFL, the Ravens have struggled to get respect as a pure dominant team.

You have the Steelers fans, who either experienced a loss to the Ravens, and give them respect.

You have the normal NFL fan who says the Ravens are good because of the top defense.
But when turn of events happen in the mind of a normal fan, everybody is quick to judge.
Just a few seasons ago, the Ravens lost Adalius Thomas, a line backer who had his breakout season with the team.

The Ravens know when to spend their money, and let Thomas walk to free agency.

People questioned that this is the beginning of the end to the franchise. The defense is beginning to fail, Ray Lewis is getting old.

Well, once again, the team put those thoughts to rest after the top perofrmance in 08.

As normally so, with a new rookie quarterback, and a rookie head coach, the Ravens were thought to be rebuilding and toward the bottom of the league by some.

However, they became one of the bigger " surprises", when finishing with an 11-5 and making it to the post season.

Many spectators felt that this would be a short stint for the Ravens within the playoffs.

However, with the defense playing at top form, along with Joe Flacco making the clutch plays, the Ravens won two playoff games, both on the road.
After failing to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a hard fought came, silence came within the Ravens locker room.

The following day, Rex Ryan moved on to become the head coach of the New York Jets.
The offseason came quick for the Ravens, where they were active, but open to change at the same time.Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard, two contributers in the playoffs, moved on with Ryan to the Jets.

Even with these departures, the team had one of the more underrated activities in free agency.

They signed pro-bowl center Matt Birk, playmaking tight end LJ Smith, including Domonique Foxworth to improve the corners.

As the team nears training camp, however, the Ravens are still used to the same treatment the team normally gets.

With Ryan, Scott, and Leonhard leaving, the team is pronounced as not a top ten contender, not even a playoff team by some!

These normally come from fans who don't know much about the team, and are spectators who are just basing an opinion based on the losses.

The loss to Scott will not be a huge issue, as another player will step their game up in his role to fill the void.

Many people also believe the sky is falling because the team lost Rex Ryan as the defensive coordinator. The team lost Marvin Lewis after their dominant Super Bowl run, didn't they? The defense turned out just fine.

The Ravens, frankly, are used to this. Ray Lewis still leads the defense, and doesn't let these predictions suddle into their minds, but only to motivate them.

Barring the 10 year anniversary of their title run, the Ravens look to unleash their dominance once again as a dominant franchise in the NFL.

Matt Miselis is a writer for bleacherreport.com and sportschatplace.com He is also a contributer to footbasket.blogspot.com


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