Failed ‘O’ line led to fir­ing of Trest­man

Ro­tat­ing play­ers on left side are banged up and un­able to pro­tect Flacco or open holes

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS & NFL - By Peter Schmuck peter.schmuck@balt­­muck­S­top

Let’s be hon­est: There was no great in­jus­tice in the de­ci­sion to fire Ravens of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marc Trest­man. The of­fen­sive scheme was drab and ob­vi­ously in­ef­fec­tive. The play-call­ing was unimag­i­na­tive. The run­ning game and the pass­ing game are sup­posed to dove­tail and in­stead seemed to can­cel each other out.

So a new guy hold­ing the play chart is go­ing to be a good thing, but it’s still fair to point out the ob­vi­ous.

Trest­man still would be the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor if the Ravens didn’t have a re­volv­ing door on the left side of the of­fen­sive line.

They had hoped rook­ies Ron­nie Stan­ley and Alex Lewis would step right in to pro­tect quar­ter­back Joe Flacco, and in­stead have been banged up and un­avail­able for sig­nif­i­cant pe­ri­ods over the first five weeks of the sea­son.

Ev­ery­one knew there was risk in open­ing the sea­son with two rook­ies on the blind side, and the Ravens quickly found them­selves strug­gling to find the right com­bi­na­tion to pro­tect Flacco and open up the run game.

Sun­day’s ugly 10-point per­for­mance was the break­ing point for Trest­man, but there had been whis­pers for at least a cou­ple of weeks that he was in dan­ger of be­ing re­placed.

TheRavens opened up­a­gainst the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins with a solid and pro­duc­tive rush­ing at­tack, though the num­bers were juiced by a cou­ple of break­away runs by Ter­rance West. When Trest­man seemed to aban­don the rush in the sec­ond half, it was easy to look back and sec­ond-guess that ap­proach after the Ravens were shut out for those two quar­ters.

It cer­tainly didn’t re­flect well on him that ev­ery mean­ing­ful yard the Ravens gained in Marc Trest­man the game came in the first quar­ter. They scored their fi­nal points of the game with a field goal by Justin Tucker on the first play of the sec­ond quar­ter, then came out pass­ing in each of their re­main­ing pos­ses­sions of the first half.

Would they have won the game if they had stuck with the run? Who knows?

Would it have made any dif­fer­ence over the long run? Prob­a­bly not.

Ev­ery­one could see that the de­sign of the of­fense in­cluded too many short pass plays that ended drives even when they were com­pleted. That’s a sign that the line wasn’t cut­ting it, and that did not change when Trest­man was fired.

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