Ozzie Newsome expects to get the congratulatory pats on the back throughout his final season as Baltimore Ravens general manager.
Internally, Newsome acknowledged he and others in the organization need to feel added weight on their shoulders due to the team's postseason drought.
The Ravens haven't reached the playoffs the past three seasons. The Ravens' only longer absence was their first four years in Baltimore, when the franchise was in rebuilding mode following the relocation from Cleveland.
For a team that had become a playoff mainstay, continually coming up short isn't going to cut it. That's why Newsome didn't sidestep a question as to whether the team is feeling the heat.
"I don't like not playing in January," Newsome said at the NFL combine. "That's something we talk about all the time. We have to find a way to get to 11 wins because we've proven that once we get into the playoffs, then we can do some damage while we're there. I feel like we should all feel that burden on us."
The Ravens haven't won 11 or more games in a season since 2011. The last time Baltimore did any damage in the postseason -- winning multiple multiple playoff games -- was the 2012 Super Bowl season.
At the end of this past season, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti considered firing coach John Harbaugh. Bisciotti also wants to add more experience to the scouting staff.
These are the types of changes that can occur when a team fails to contend for a Super Bowl and the number of empty seats increase at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Not only does Steve [Bisciotti] see that, I see that," Newsome said. "I’m there at every home game and I look around our stands and I see that it’s not the same as it was. I get the product better on the field, I think our fans are going to show up."
Newsome has his work cut out for him. The Ravens need to add playmakers on offense, which means multiple wide receivers and a pass-catching tight end. Baltimore might have to address center if Ryan Jensen isn't retained, and could bring in a running back if he is an upgrade over Alex Collins. Defensively, the Ravens would like to find an answer at the inside-linebacker spot next to C.J. Mosley.
Baltimore is looking to get out of this three-year playoff rut in which the Ravens have gone 22-26 (.458). Only 10 teams have a worse record over that span.
"That’s part of the reason why John and I, the other coaches and the personnel staff, that’s why we get up and go to work every day," Newsome said. "We want to be like Philadelphia. We went to be the Super Bowl champs."