How Good Can Ravens Defense Be?
The Baltimore Ravens finished 12th in total defense in 2013. This was somehow miraculous considering the insanely long list of Ravens problems last season. With Training Camp under way, the Ravens defense looks a bit different than last season. How much better will it be?
The Ravens front seven has got to intimidate any offensive line. When you have veteran linemen like Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty there will be great leadership up front. Throw in Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan, Kapperon Lewis Moore, Brent Urban and DeAngelo Tyson and you might have the best defensive line in the AFC. The defensive line will stay furiously fresh with quality depth at each position.
The linebacking core is as athletic as any linebacking group can be. The veteran Darryl Smith is the leader of inside linebackers. The veteran linebacker is a consistent playmaker. Next to Smith a rotation of CJ Mosley and Arthur Brown. That has to be the quickest group of inside linebackers I have ever seen. With Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil screaming off the edge like heat seeking missiles this linebacking group is a dream. Add Courtney Upshaw on run downs and man its really good.
The defense is wonderfully constructed. At all times the Ravens will have 3 (sometimes 4) mammoth defensive linemen dominating up front. The athletic linebackers will have free reign to terrorize offenses. On paper it sounds to good to be true, in reality it has to be at least good.
Jimmy Smith and Ladarius Webb are one of the best duos in terms of starting corners. The question marks however are in the secondary. The nickel back spot could go to one of four players. Terrence Brooks projects to be the starting free safety but he will compete with Darian Stewart for the job.
On paper there is no doubting Baltimore’s defense. We will have to wait and see what happens. I predict a dominant defense that stops the run and sacks quarterbacks.