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 looks like one of the huge coups of the offseason, especially since Baltimore can pair him with a healthy Terrell Suggs. The big question mark here is up the middle, where Jameel McClain and rookie Arthur Brown will have to replace Dannell Ellerbe (who signed with the Dolphins) and the legendary Ray Lewis.
Lots of good points here all the way around. In the end, the Dumervil signing is one that may be one of the team’s best in recent years– even if it took an odd break to get him here.
The combination of Dumervil and Suggs (as long as he’s back to 100 percent) could keep opposing quarterbacks up at night wondering and worrying. The Ravens needed to get better in that area– and they did.
And they nailed it upon saying the big question mark involves the middle. You don’t replace someone like Lewis, even though he had slowed towards the end. He meant so much to this group on and off the field. The same with Ed Reed, although he wasn’t mentioned in this section.
The bottom line is that the defense lost some key folks, but they replaced them and should have a good season in 2013 as the Ravens defend their title.