There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Ravens personnel decisions this offseason as the team let a number of key players go from their 2012 Super Bowl championship lineup. Head coach John Harbaugh, however, seems incredibly optimistic about the way his 2013 squad is shaping up.
In an interview with Baltimore's 105.7 "The Fan" Harbaugh spoke about his roster for the upcoming season, "I'm excited about the guys we have. I think they are going to play really well next year and I'm looking forward to seeing who emerges." When asked if he thought his 2013 team would be better than last year's, he said, "That's definitely the idea, our goal is to get better. The proof is in the pudding, we proved that last year. We have a lot of work to do between now and then to prove it again this year, but we have a chance, i like our young players."
Obviously, as the head coach, Harbaugh isn't going to come out and say that his team won't be as good as they were last year. However, I believe that Harbaugh may actually be telling the truth. While the losses of Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Ray Lewis and a number of other contributors will surely be felt, the Ravens did a great job of reloading this offseason. I think the defense will be significantly better against the run this season with the additions of Chris Canty and Marcus Spears on the defensive line as well as Elvis Dumervil on the edge (Dumervil is a significant upgrade from the departed Paul Kruger). Offensively, the void left by Boldin will be a tough one to fill, but there are number of young receivers on the roster chomping at the bit for an opportunity to emerge as a playmaker. Even without Ed Reed, the secondary is shaping up to a solid unit. The addition of Michael Huff as a veteran replacement for Reed was huge, and rookie Matt Elam has the potential to be better than Bernard Pollard. The return of Lardarius Webb from a season-ending ACL tear will be huge boost in the defensive backfield as well. While the Ravens will certainly look like a different team in 2013, they have all the potential to be just as good, if not better, than the 2012 team.