Even Sports Illustrated likes the new-look Ravens defense

dum58
Sports Illustrated put out a quick look at AFC North today and gave the Ravens a number of compliments for what their defense might be like in 2013. Under the section entitled “Where They Got Better,” SI said the following: Rather amazingly, on defense. Or at least the potential is there for this defense to be better — particularly in the front seven — despite those massive losses…The defensive line should benefit from the steady, veteran presence of Chris Canty at DE and former Cowboy Marcus Spears. Landing Elvis Dumervil...

Competition fuels Ravens’ progress

Gino Gradkowski
Coaches often believe that competition can make a player perform better. In football, more and more coaches want players to beat out others when it comes to their job — that way it gets the best out of people. The Ravens certainly appear to be big believers in that theory. Take a look at what they’re doing with their centers for the upcoming season. They could have easily handed the job over the Gino Gradkowski after he spent a year under the watch of veteran Matt Birk, who retired after the...

Flacco’s new deal a good thing on many levels

Flacco Smiling
It’s very obvious why the apparently-finished Joe Flacco deal is good for the Ravens. They’ve got their starting quarterback in place for what’s rumored to be about six years after winning a Super Bowl title. But finishing this deal is good in several ways and for everyone. The two sides were on the verge of the Ravens having to slap a franchise tag on Flacco. If they still couldn’t finish the job on this, it would be an issue or question that would hang over everyone’s head until the deal...

Broncos head to Baltimore for aerial assault

The Denver Broncos have the kind of offensive punch that will make any team hope for a bye week. They’re a lot different from last year when it was all about Tim Tebow and a prayer or two. The Broncos kept it on the ground as much as possible and hoped for something to happen. They were fortunate in that it usually did, but it’s a new day in Denver. Bringing in Peyton Manning changed everything. There were those who wondered what he had left after missing 2011 following neck...

Ravens finally get it done with “D”

Richardson
The defense played a key role in helping the Ravens pull out a tough 25-15 victory over the Browns Sunday in Cleveland. This was a game when the offense started great and finished strongly but became very quiet for about two quarters. It was something like what happened with the defense in the past, when they needed to help out a struggling offense to pull out a win. Both the defense and offense worked together on this one, but the defense came up big at the right times. The offense’s...

Will younger Ravens grow into their jobs in second half?

carywilliams
One thing that many people have seemingly missed when talking about the defense this season is the fact that are some pockets of it that are very young and inexperienced. That’s one reason the defense is having problems. Simply put, they’re going through some growing pains. Players like Terrence Cody, Art Jones, Pernell McPhee, Jimmy Smith, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams all have had their bad moments. No question about that. The defensive line isn’t nearly as strong in terms of stopping the run as they’ve been in the past or putting pressure on the passer. That’s...

Defense works to get better

pollardint
The Ravens’ defense is looking to do better. They’ve given up 38 points in the first two games plus lots of yards and haven’t been quite as effective yet as last year. But when talking to the media on Wednesday, tackle Haloti Ngata may have summarized the defense’s situation in the best way “It definitely is a work in progress,” Ngata said. “We have a lot of new faces in our front seven. We’re just trying to get used to each other. Once we continue to jell more, I think...

Torrey Smith looks for big second year

torrey
Many are hoping and even predicting that the Ravens could fare a lot better on offense this season. If so, wide receiver Torrey Smith could be one of the big reasons why. Smith had a strong rookie season in 2011, growing into one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL. He finished with 50 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns, improving and really coming into his own as the season went on. Coach John Harbaugh said there’s nothing fancy about Smith. He just keeps working and trying...

Ravens looking for answers with Courtney Upshaw

upshaw
The Ravens made linebacker Courtney Upshaw their top pick in this year’s draft. They grabbed him early in the second round and hoped for big things from him, especially because of the Terrell Suggs situation. But that hasn’t panned out. He’s battled injury problems and got hurt again in Thursday’s loss to the Rams in the team’s final pre-season game. The situation looks a bit like what happened with Sergio Kindle a few years ago. The team doesn’t get the player till the second round — and he winds up...

Can the defense keep it up?

ed-reed
Can the defense do it against versus the Rams? The defense looked very good in Thursday’s 48-17 rout of Jacksonville. But the big question now is how good they really are at this point. This week’s game against the Rams, the final pre-season test, should give us an idea. The Rams also are not nearly the Lions or Falcons, but the defense played much better than in the first two weeks, especially because the players were kind of looking at this like what they called “a dress rehearsal” for the...