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  1. #1

    The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.



    While many stand firm in their argument that the Baltimore Ravens will still be a playoff team without Terrell Suggs, they are having a bit more trouble coming to terms with an answer, as to how his production will be supplemented. I think that we all understand, that other players on the defense will have to play better.

    The good thing about this defense is that there is now a continuous flow of talent. So, the players are there and in position to improve their game, en route to helping the Ravens supplement said production from Suggs.

    Lardarius Webb is coming off of his best professional season, even though he is still young and learning the NFL game. Pernell McPhee and Arthur Jones are both ready to compete for the position vacated by Cory Redding. Paul Kruger seems to be prepared to become a full time starter and Courtney Upshaw is stepping into a defense similar to what was run at Alabama.

    However, I believe that that Terrance Cody's development is key in keeping this defense strong. Last season, Terrance Cody wore down, toward the end of the season. Likely, from improper conditioning for the amount of snaps he received. I believe that played a role in what some would view as 'Less than normal-dominant' performances from Haloti Ngata, late in the season.

    If Terrance Cody can become the force inside that he is capable of, that could free up Haloti Ngata to take his domination to an even higher level. We could be talking, Streets of Rage type *ss kicking.

    The combination of Cody and Ngata inside, if the improvement from Cody is there, would make it extremely difficult to use extra bodies on the edge rushers. Upshaw and Kruger could both see a lot of single match-ups. Said combination would also make the transition easier for McPhee, Jones or both, because they will both see an increased amount of snaps whether one is deemed a starter or not.

    This is why I am excited to hear about Terrance Cody's improved physical conditioning. There are some things that I hear during the off-season that may not convince me, but this is something that I truly believe will make a difference this season.

    If you take a look at this division, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are both trying to run the ball more. Cleveland is certainly going to run the ball a lot. If Terrance Cody continues to improve, none of them will run on Baltimore. Which means that they will be left to deal with a secondary, including Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams and Ed Reed, all with experience together now.

    The main question mark, defensively, will still be placed with the pass rush. However, the jobs of the younger players that we expect to step up, will be easier with such a force in the middle as what we could see this season in Terrance Cody. This isn't a situation where you have Ngata at the NT position with a pure run stopper at NG. Ngata has shown that he can rush the passer (Better than most defensive tackles) and even drop into coverage.

    Things could get messy.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  2. #2
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Good thread.

    I agree that Terrence Cody is going to be key for us in 2012. He seems to have put on some muscle and looks a lot more powerful and solid built than he was in 2011 when he lost all that weight. It seems that our strength on defense could be swinging in the opposite direction, where our passing defense has been seen as our main weakness over the years is now probably going to be our main strength in 2012, where as our run defense is going to suffer with the loss of Jarrett Johnson, Cory Redding, and Terrell Suggs for a big portion of the 2012 regular season. I DO think teams are going to exploit the fact that we have lost two of our starting OLB's from 2011 who are among the leagues best edge setters, and will run Paul Krugers way and Upshaw, although Upshaw's main strength in college was being a run stuffer and an edge setter, not so special as a pass rusher.

    This may sound crazy but even with the loss of Suggs, I actually kind of expect our pass rush to be better than what it was over the last few years. JJ and Redding where both run stoppers and didn't offer much as pass rushers (did get the odd coverage sack here and there). But with McPhee and Kruger now likely to be starting, with Upshaw offering more as a pass rusher than JJ, and Sergio may be there to help as a 3rd down rusher too, it would not surprise me if pass rush became one of our strengths once more. Suggs could come back and offer us an Osi type role in the play offs (assuming we make it there).

    Ultimately I wouldn't worry too much about how our team will do. I do expect us to make the play offs, our offense despite all it's inconsistencies, are going to keep us in games, we still have Ray Rice, we still have Joe Flacco making the throws and constantly developing. We also still have Haloti Ngata, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Webby. You are never going to not be in the mix with players like that on your team. I think the better question is, whether we are going to be going in as a division winner or a wild card team. We where easily the favourites to win the North before Suggs went down, and probably still are slight favourites.




  3. #3
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    3 or 4 years ago this would have been true. In the pass happy NFL it can't be. This is why you are seeing Defensive Tackles who were almost Nose Tackles in the past like Ngata and Wilfork moved to the outside. The Packers supposedly are doing the same with Raji this year. Why? It's because these guys who are so good at eating up runners now need to focus on collapsing the pocket and getting pressure.

    The new generation of Nose Tackles are much like the ones we saw in the 80's. They are immovable lumps who just have to take up space and make it tougher to double team the Ngatas, Wilforks and Rajis. No matter how good or strong Cody can become he will never have the impact of these other extremely athletic DTs. The game has changed too much.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  4. #4
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Yes, Cody lost too much weight and I recall reading in an earlier column that he admitted as much.
    And Ngata had that thigh problem, whether it was a contusion or deep thigh bruise, whatever it was, it definitely hampered him through the second half of the season.
    You are both right...I really like our secondary.
    So...I will turn it a little since I think Cody and the team knows what the problems with the interior of our defense were...
    I think it all hinges on our rookie Upshaw.
    And I will take the Texans as an example.

    When their best rusher, Williams went down for the count, their rookies stepped it up.
    That is why their defense rose up and became the 2nd best in the NFL last season.

    If the Ravens are going to get there this year, it will be because our defense got after people and the pass rush exceeds expectations. Upshaw in my opinion is a bigger playmaker than Johnson (yes, I really liked Johnson, lunchpail guy) and that is the unknown factor.
    If he turns into a rookie surprise, everyone will look at this defense differently and have to account for him.




  5. #5

    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    As a poster mentioned earlier the AFC north will become a more run dominated divison and the improve play and conditioning of Cody and Ngata will go a long way towards determining how we perform without Suggs. I heard Ngata was going to put back on some of the weight he lost last year and I think this is a good thing. He was playing great with that weight loss until he injured his thigh. He wasn't the same for the rest of the year. So I think Ngata reverting back to his optimal weight is huge.




  6. #6

    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    3 or 4 years ago this would have been true. In the pass happy NFL it can't be. This is why you are seeing Defensive Tackles who were almost Nose Tackles in the past like Ngata and Wilfork moved to the outside. The Packers supposedly are doing the same with Raji this year. Why? It's because these guys who are so good at eating up runners now need to focus on collapsing the pocket and getting pressure.

    The new generation of Nose Tackles are much like the ones we saw in the 80's. They are immovable lumps who just have to take up space and make it tougher to double team the Ngatas, Wilforks and Rajis. No matter how good or strong Cody can become he will never have the impact of these other extremely athletic DTs. The game has changed too much.
    Before you get to the rest of the league, you have to take care of this division and this division is different. As for Cody, I am not expecting him to become a 'force' as a pass rusher. My point was that if he can improve at doing his job, it will give Ngata more opportunities to rush the passer. Last year, Cody wore down and teams focused on Ngata.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  7. #7
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Excellector View Post
    Before you get to the rest of the league, you have to take care of this division and this division is different. As for Cody, I am not expecting him to become a 'force' as a pass rusher. My point was that if he can improve at doing his job, it will give Ngata more opportunities to rush the passer. Last year, Cody wore down and teams focused on Ngata.
    How is this division different? The Steelers are a passing team. The Bengals got rid of their ground and pound RB to try and become a passing team. The Browns are Browns and are not worth worrying about. The only difference between the AFC North and the rest of the divisions is that we tend to have better defenses. Offensively they are all trying to do what most of the rest of league is doing and pass more.

    The problem last year was the leg injury that Ngata got late in the season. It wasn't because Cody wore down. It was because Ngata broke down. Cody isn't the key to anything but Ngata sure is.
    He Who Dares.....Wins




  8. #8

    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Pittsburgh's ownership has now put emphasis on running the ball more. That is why Ben Roethlisberger is not at his happiest right now. Then, if you look at their defense, the difference was that they weren't able to stop the run in some big games last year, compared to what they usually do. Ray Rice and Arian Foster both took it to them.

    Cincinnati could decide to throw more, but they could also steer the other way.

    This division is different, because the level of defense is going to make it difficult to win with a one-dimensional offense.
    "When questioned, the Elders explained that they were in search of magical powers. However, they're actually searching for the whereabouts of a certain ring. This ring is a legendary treasure that long ago was known to exist"




  9. #9

    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    This past year we got a decent number of sacks (48). But in previous seasons (under Mattison) we were more of a "coverage" defense. We got fewer sacks (27!), but we were still top 3 in fewest points allowed. I think we are probably not going to see Suggs' production "replaced". We may not get as many sacks.

    But we can offset Suggs' absence. We should be able to cover really, really well, with Webb and Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams. I can see us being more of a coverage D like 2009-10; and still being successful with that approach.

    And the other thing we can do to remain a playoff team, is SCORE MORE. 30+ TD passes from Flacco would go a long way to offsetting Suggs' absence.




  10. #10
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    How is this division different? The Steelers are a passing team. The Bengals got rid of their ground and pound RB to try and become a passing team. The Browns are Browns and are not worth worrying about. The only difference between the AFC North and the rest of the divisions is that we tend to have better defenses. Offensively they are all trying to do what most of the rest of league is doing and pass more.

    The problem last year was the leg injury that Ngata got late in the season. It wasn't because Cody wore down. It was because Ngata broke down. Cody isn't the key to anything but Ngata sure is.
    That's not entirely true. The Steelers ownership has expressed their interest in going back to the old Steelers way, where they'd pound the ball a lot more than they do now. Who won the division last year? Yeah we won it by running the ball, and I think that's the way teams see things in the AFC North this year, it's a unique division. The Browns drafted Trent Richardson 3rd overall (even traded up to get him), and are going to run the ball a ton in 2012. The Bengals are probably going to be the most pass happy team in the division, but I don't expect them to get away from the run game much either. It wouldn't surprise me if BGJE had his first 1k+ rushing season in 2012. A lot of other teams are also going to be run first teams, the Texans success has came from Arian Foster and it's defense, and the Jets want to get back to pounding the ball which is what got them to the AFC championship games. Even the Giants drafted a RB in the first round, and I think they are going to want to run the ball a lot more in 2012.




  11. #11
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    The Steelers are a passing team?
    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.




  12. #12
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    Re: The Ripple Effect of the Defense Starts with Terrance Cody.

    I don't want to single out Cody, although I do see him as a major contributor. Add in the development of McPhee, Art Jones, Kruger, Jimmy Smith, McClellan, and Kindle (yes, IMO this is really his rookie season)... and I can see the Ravens defense absorbing the unfortunate loss of Suggs... Bc




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