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  1. #1
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    Question Do you miss having an elite defense?



    I find it fascinating that, in a year where our defense finally took a large step backwards (except in the red zone), the Ravens win a Super Bowl.

    Despite that, I would like to see our team regain the mantle of having a stout defense again, particularly against the run.

    I feel our offense is not a 'light up the scoreboard' offense. It explodes at a moment's notice with deep throws, but it's not a touchdown factory like we'll see in DEN, NE or GB. I don't think we need, nor do I really want, Joe Flacco to put up "Pro Bowl" stats.

    I really like Ozzie's comments about fortifying the "middle" of the defense. It hurt me to watch backs and linemen rape our defense like never before throughout the season. I would like to have that confidence in our front 7 again.




  2. #2

    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    Injuries injuries injuries.

    It wasn't until the playoffs that Suggs, Lewis, etc. even shared the field. We lost Webb. Ngata perpetually banged up. Luckily guys like Graham and the rookies stepped up.

    It just shows how much more important Joe was, to get us back to the playoffs with such a banged up D.

    I think we can get that swarming D back. So long as the injury bug stays away.




  3. #3
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    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    It seems like a more complicated issue than only injuries though. The run defense wasn't all that great in the Super Bowl either.

    Does anyone here break down film who could explain why there was such a marked drop-off in the run defense?




  4. #4
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    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    The defense needs to return to being stout against the run. It's so frustrating watching RB after RB run right through the middle of the defense. That plus continuing to be great in the red zone will be enough IMO.
    "I got this." - Justin Tucker




  5. #5
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    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    I think it's fairly easy to explain the run D dropoff in the last couple of years:
    Ngata+K. Gregg + Redding + Younger R. Lewis > Ngata + Cody/Kemo +Jones/McPhee + Older R. Lewis
    "CARPE LOMBARDI"




  6. #6

    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    Basically what was said above in a way - injuries did drag this D down, but from 10-15 D or even 15-20 D to a 20-25. The schedule was also full of pro bowl QBs. It made it worse, it certainly didn't help but the Ravens have issues on D outside of that.

    Just look at the draft needs - aside from OT, it's all on D. Cornerback is the only area where we don't readily need anyone.

    As for actually missing an elite D, not exactly. It's a game of numbers, if you have the elite D, you can't afford to pay the O where it needs to be paid. Yes, I'd like the D to be better than it is, sure, but it's also about realistic expectations.




  7. #7

    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    I'll take a Lombardi trophy over an elite defense any day.




  8. #8
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    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by FadeToBlack View Post
    It seems like a more complicated issue than only injuries though. The run defense wasn't all that great in the Super Bowl either.

    Does anyone here break down film who could explain why there was such a marked drop-off in the run defense?
    I don't break down film, but I can throw a couple big reasons out there...

    1. Cory Redding and JJ - These guys were STALWART veterans, GREAT in the run game. We wanted to get younger and cheaper, so we turned it over to Art Jones/Pernell McPhee and Paul Kruger/Courtney Upshaw/Albert McClellan. All those guys are great players, but inexperienced in setting the edges. Some of them started to come around towards the end of the year, but again, you replaced some near Pro Bowl level run defenders with young guys, many of whom excel more against the pass

    2. Nose Tackle - If this isn't a priority in the draft, I have to assume that either Kelly Gregg has been drinking at the fountain of youth and is about to be Comeback Player of the Year, or we're switching to a 4-3 defense. I've been waiting for Mt Cody to become The Thing from Fantastic Four, but instead he's just been The Blob. Slow, gellatinous, very easy to move. Kemo outplayed him, and Kemo wouldn't have started for ANY other team this year. I can't think of any personell loss there, as the only guy I know of was Brandon McKinney, and he was more a backup who rarely got snaps. But the NT spot REALLY dropped off in production.

    3. LB shuffling? - This is more of a guess, but with the injuries in the LBs through the year, I think a lot of guys had to shift positions. You had Kruger out for the Philly game, Ray Lewis out after Week 6, Suggs not in until Week 7.
    .
    .
    “When I think of a Baltimore Raven - we go in there, we take your lunch box, we take your sandwich, we take your juice box, we take your applesauce, and we take your spork and we break it. And we leave you with an empty lunch. That’s the Baltimore Raven way.” - Steve Smith Sr.


    Call me a Special Teams coach again. I dare you! I double dare you, MFer!




  9. #9

    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    I don't think it was injuries.

    I said before the season that the defense would struggle...I didn't anticipate them being a bottom 20 defense for much of the season and allowing teams to rush for 200 yards, but I saw some serious holes. And when they started replacing Cody in the preseason with an old guy who was out of football all together the previous year (Kemo), it was a SERIOUS red flag to me...no matter how many posters tried to brush it off as a motivation ploy.

    Before the season, we could see that we couldn't consistently cover the middle of the field...Ray and McClain were 2 of the worst LB's in coverage and coverage isn't Pollards strongsuit either. I also saw some cracks in the run defense towards the end of the 2011 season...the second half and in the playoffs, while it wasn't 200 yards bad, we struggled down the stretch.

    I said before the season that we could win, but more would fall on the offense since probably the 96-97 seasons...the defense would likely fall from always top 3, to the 10-15 range. I just saw a serious lack of speed in the middle of our defense. It's why this draft (and any signed UFA's for that matter) has to be a big influx of speed. You can't play defense at a high level in this league with slow defenders.
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.




  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah W View Post
    SF and the Ravens have been right there 2 years in a row with teams built and heavily invested in the defense. The teams that have won the SB recently or got there either had a good defense, or played a lot of good defense in the playoffs. The Cards coming up with a lot of turnovers or Indy getting Bob Sanders back or just playing above the talent against us.

    The Ravens, Steelers in 06 and Tampa were the only teams recently that were suspect on O but strong enough on D to get the job done. So it mostly takes balance, not dominance in one area, but defense is still a big factor in who wins the championship. Our D played lights out in the second alf in NE and 1st half of the SB, and all along the way in the playoffs, or we would not have this championship.
    Yep. Just ask the Pats.
    “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

    –Eleanor Roosevelt




  11. #11

    Re: Do you miss having an elite defense?

    I miss not having an elite run defense anymore. It has been frustrating to watch. I hope we can fortify that over the offseason.




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