Can Ravens Defense Still Dominate?
Posted on: September 13, 2009 7:35 am
Last season at about this time peoples expectations of the Baltimore Ravens success was tempered a little bit.The reason for that was they had just drafted a 1st Rd.pick on a QB,a 2nd Rd.pick on a RB who both came out of east coast colleges with relatively small football programs.One other concern on the minds of Raven fans was leading their team would be a 1st year Head Coach.When all was said and done the Ravens had proved all doubters wrong by going 11-5 and making it to the AFC Championship Game where they faced the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers.Including the playoffs,they lost a total of 6 games last year;half of those games were to the Steelers.Obviously,being that that was where last year ended,it should also be where this year begins.With that said;the rookie quarterback,his name is Joe Flacco & he answered the bell for every single game last season.The RB that was drafted a round later out of Rutgers is Ray Rice.I personally expected him to be featured more.He played his role,along with 2 other RB's,one being a 6th year veteran out of The U,a.k.a. Miami,Willis McGahee & a 3rd year 260lb Le'Ron McClain who can play RB or FB but will fill the fullback role this year.Speaking of which,can the Ravens make it past their nemisis,the Steelers?The Ravens have had an upsetting trend as of late.They won 11 games in '08,5 in '07,13 in '06,6 in '05.If that continues this won't be a good year in Baltimore.Although I thought it was more,they only lost 3 starters from last season,C Matt Birk will replace Jason Brown who also started all 16 games last year.On the defensive side of the ball,they'll be replacing Chris McAlister with Domonique Foxworth who started 10 games in Atlanta last year.Kelly Gregg is coming off knee surgery that caused him to miss all of last year.Trevor Price is also slated to start,he's an 13 year veteran,Ray Lewis is a 14 year veteran,Samari Rolle who gives them depth & experience in the secondary is also a 12 year vet.They still have the usual suspects like ball-hawking Ed Reed,Dawan Landry is slated to start at the other safety position despite suffering a neck injury in week 2 & ending up the season on I.R.Fabian Washington also provides veteran depth in the secondary.The LBs are considered by most to be the strength of this team,and I agree,which is why I believe the LB coach,Greg Mattison was promoted to Defensive Coordinator & not someone else.Ray Lewis also serves as an on the field coach but the point of this story is he & several others are not getting any younger.They lost who I think is going to be a fantastic addition in S Jim Leonhard along with LB Bart Scott,not to mention last seasons Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan who brings his defensive minded self to New York & new territory.I'm very curious to see how the Raven 'D' & also the Jet 'D' adapt to their current situations.Answers will begin to take shape in several hours.Are you ready for some football!?