According to a story in the National Football Post by Aaron Wilson, the Baltimore Ravens will be exploring finding a pass rusher through free agency, to help increase their dismal sack numbers in 2010. He lists a couple of guys that the team might be looking at, guys whose experience, success and fit into their defensive scheme seems to make the most sense. On Baltimore Beatdown, we have looked at a bunch of guys that may or may not fit, and Wilson looks at three specific guys who could step right in and contribute to what is already a very good defense, just not one that has sacked the quarterback often enough.
Sacks can sometimes be over-rated, as long as the defense gets pressure on the opposing quarterback and forces himn to hurry his throws. Pass pressure can lead to interceptions, which the Ravens usually turn into great field position if not scores, but the sacks would make life easier for the Ravens secondary, which was forced to cover the opposing wide receivers way too long, leading to teams picking the coverage apart and coming back from big deficits all to often in 2010.
Adding a new pass rusher, be it a defensive end or hybrid linebacker, would only improve the secondary, which has already taken a step forward by drafting one of the top cornerbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft in Colorado's Jimmy Smith. The combination of Smith plus an improved pass rush, much less the offensive downfield threat in wide receiver Torry Smith (Maryland) could be the difference between a playoff contender and Super Bowl Champion in 2011 and beyond.