Now that Elvis has officially entered the building (I only have one more day left to use that catchphrase), the fun begins for defensive coordinator Dean Pees. He’ll have to figure out which players to rotate in and out of his lineup, especially when the defense is in its sub packages.
Dumervil is yet another addition to the front line along with defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears. This is arguably the deepest front that Baltimore has had since the 2006 team. In that year, the Ravens fielded Trevor Pryce, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Kelly Gregg, Adalius Thomas, Jarret Johnson and Justin Bannan.
The net effect of having a deeper rotation of players means lesser, and potentially more productive snaps for Suggs and Ngata.
The two pillars are facing major turning points in their careers. Both of these players are coming off of injury-riddled seasons. In the case of Ngata, this is now the second season in a row in which he’s battled leg injuries. And both have monster cap figures in 2013 and 2014.
Keeping these two dynamos fresh will enable the organization to prolong their careers. In fact, it’s pretty evident that both franchise players have logged more snaps than they should have because the coaches needed them on the field. Now, the Ravens have a plethora of capable options to spell their stars in given situations or series.
In the case of Ngata, he may be on the field a lot less in obvious passing situations given the inside rushers the team has at its disposal. Pees could opt to use different variations of rush packages featuring Suggs, Dumervil, Canty, McPhee, Jones and Upshaw as the centerpieces.
Suggs has always been an every-down player. However, last season, he was spelled quite often by Upshaw and Paul Kruger and the rotation was seamless. It would make sense to continue scaling back his snaps as needed. And with Dumervil on the field, Suggs can be used more in space as a zone blitzer as opposed to always having his hand in the dirt and taking punishment at the line.
It’s no wonder that Suggs and Ngata were two of the biggest lobbyists for Dumervil. His presence could make the dynamic defensive duo even more dangerous…
The move for Dumervil should also quell some of the angst that Ravens fans felt at the beginning of the month.
Here is a fact worth chewing on.
With the money that the Ravens could have spent on Kruger, the team was able to add Dumervil, Canty and Spears. And given that Kruger was lost as an unrestricted free agent, the Ravens are likely to receive – at minimum – a fourth-round compensatory pick in the 2014 draft.
Four players for the price of one part-time pass rusher?
Now that’s a deal any GM would make in a nanosecond.