Ngata, Jones, McPhee, McBean, Canty, Spears, Tyson, Cody, McAdoo…..and then there’s Suggs and Doom off of the edges!!!
That’s how it’s shaping up – so far! That’s before free agency ends, that’s before the NFL draft, and that’s before players are released to make room for the rookies that make the roster!
It looks like Ozzie has faith in the offense to put up a lot of points, and is banking on the Ravens defense playing with the lead. Bill Polian did the same for years as GM of the Colts, when he knew Peyton Manning and Co. would put up plenty of points. He went out and got Freeney and Mathis, as well as a host of fast linebackers, and applied pressure to the opposing QB. Of course when Manning and company had a two to three touchdown lead, the other team had to throw to come back, so the Colts defense could pin their ears back, ignore the run, and get after the QB.
At this early stage of the pre-season, this seems to be the plan for our defense. It also looks like Ngata will be playing NT, right over the center in one of the many schemes that Dean Pees will be putting together. That will further create gaps in the o-line, for our backers and safeties to squeeze through.
For this reason I expect the Ravens to take linebackers and safeties on the speedy vs. the stout side. The game is rapidly changing, with a premium on technique vs. brute strength and the big hits of the past. As usual, Ozzie Newsome and company are ahead of the curve!