2012 will forever be remembered as the Baltimore Ravens second Super Bowl winning season. The likes of Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed will always be remembered for this season. However, one thing that has been consistently overlooked, because of the fact that the team won it all, is the fact that the defense was the worst it has been in over a decade. they ranked 20th overall against the run and got pushed around all over the field for much of the season. their one saving grace was that they still managed to stay strong in the red zone and were actually the best red zone defense in the league as far as point given up.
It is not hard to see that the Ravens organization was quite unhappy with the performance of last years defensive squad. Even in the Super Bowl the defense almost gave the game away in the second half. Granted they were not helped out by the offense going three and out and fumbling the ball, but still, they looked tired and outmatched frequently.
So, when the season was over it was not a big surprise that the Ravens front office was adamant about reshaping the defense and they started at the most logical spot, the defensive line. Going back to the beginning of football one thing has always held true, games are won and lost primarily in the trenches. Last seasons Ravens got pushed around in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball so the team went out and got younger and bigger on that side of the ball.
The Ravens have brought in 6'7" 317 lb. defensive end Chris Canty from the former World Champion New York Giants. Canty is a massive versatile player that can play inside and outside on a defensive line. They also added 6'4" 315 lb. defensive end Marcus Spears Marcus Spears from the Dallas Cowboys. Spears, a former first round pick, never put up the sack numbers that the Cowboys thought he would in Dallas but he is a beast against the run and will not be pushed around. Match these two behemoths with Haloti Ngata and the Ravens will be a hard team to get to the second level on in 2013.
Now, the Ravens have also added 6'4" 260 lb. former middle linebacker for the Oakland Raiders Rolando McClain to their new defensive front. So if a player is somehow able to get past the Ravens massive defensive line, they will have another giant to deal with. McClain had an excellent rookie campaign but fell short of expectations due to off the field issues that ended up translating into on the field issues in Oakland but here in Baltimore he will be held much more accountable right from the start and hopefully this will be the place he begins his real NFL legacy.
Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL but one thing is certain for the 2013 Baltimore Ravens. This team will be bigger and in better shape on the defensive side of the ball than they have been in a long time. we will see if the team sticks to that game plan in the draft which is just two weeks away now.