From this recent series, the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive line is what remains to look at on the defensive side.
There are currently 11 defensive linemen on the roster as the Ravens are on their break before training camp begins.
Like previously, I will take three players to show what I am expecting them to start when going into training camp in July.
Chris Canty recently was noted by the Baltimore Ravens to be very blunt in his analysis of the defense last season. Paraphrasing his overall analysis, the Ravens’ defense stank.
Though he did remember to make account for his less than stellar season, if Canty wants to see the Ravens’ defense improve, I expect to see him using his veteran presence to make that happen starting in training camp, if not already.
The first player who should be trying to make a change in the defense is the new guy who complains about the defense. That guy is Chris Canty.
This is going to be his second year with the Ravens, and he accumulated 30 combined tackles over 15 games, 13 games started last season. Over those games played, he sacked the opposing quarterbacks only two times.
With eight years of experience with winning franchises of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, there is no excuse for Canty not to try to shape this defense to lead them back to the top.
Timmy Jernigan is only a rookie and realistically is not going to be a starter. However, he is one of the new faces of a younger Ravens defense.
Just like any player, he should go into training camp with the focus to win a starting job. He needs to focus on the veterans around him because he may not start this year, but it is certainly in his future if he can prove his worth.
I would like to see him focus on this heading into training camp. As a rookie on the Ravens’ defense, it is not just about the present, but also about the future.
Then there is the Ravens’ veteran presence in Haloti Ngata.
Ngata did not produce well when it came to rushing the passer last season. He recorded only one and a half sacks with three pass deflections.
He needs to become the devastating presence on the defensive line he has been in the past. He had more assisted tackles than solos, and from just looking at the stats and watching him play, he was always having to try to catch up to plays.
He was often getting to the ball carrier too late, so he recorded an assisted tackle. He is often double-teamed, but last season, he was taken completely out of the plays.
Ngata needs to get back onto the track where he beats double-teams and forces the quarterback to step up or to step out of the pocket to force plays.
I believe he is already on this track, but he can prove it by coming back after the summer break going into training camp.
The defensive line has a lot to improve upon after last season. It all starts at training camp.