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Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil Look to Lead Ravens Defense

Baltimore is blessed with not only one top-tier pass-rusher, but two.

Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil could make quite the outside linebacker tandem in Baltimore this year.
Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil could make quite the outside linebacker tandem in Baltimore this year.

Each NFL team wants a prized pass rusher.

The Baltimore Ravens now have two.

It was quite a surprise when the organization landed former Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil in March. Not only does Baltimore welcome a healthy Terrell Suggs to the 2013 season, but they add another dominant defender to rush the passer.

Dumervil played defensive end in Denver's 4-3 defense but will shift to a strongside linebacker with the Ravens. The concept still remains the same, though: Get to the quarterback.

On Wednesday, Suggs was asked what kind of tandem the two outside linebackers can be. Suggs thought about it for a quick second before shifting his face into a smile. It's certainly something he is excited about.

"We can be pretty good," Suggs said. "If everything goes according to plan, we can keep everybody healthy, it's going to take more than just us two, though. It's a collaborative effort of everybody doing their job."

A season ago in Denver, Dumervil recorded 11 sacks, six forced fumbles and one pass deflection. Suggs only notched two sacks during the 2012 regular season but missed the first half of the year with an Achilles tear. He later tore his biceps and didn't begin playing like his usual self until the playoffs. He's hoping to return to 2011 form, when he recorded a career-best 14 sacks and won NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The Ravens are replacing four defensive starters, including Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The defense will count on Suggs to provide the leadership left void due to Lewis retiring and Reed signing with Houston this offseason. But Dumervil, who's entering his eighth NFL season, will also be someone the defense can turn to based on his years of experience.

"I think the way you play on the field, you lead by example," Dumervil said. "Leadership don't come with talking or speech. It's just how you carry yourself. I've always been a leader. It's just natural for me. I think I learned how to follow before I could lead. It's year eight. I know a little bit."

So far, Dumervil has been impressed with Suggs' football IQ and anticipation off the snap. Suggs seems excited to see what another pass-rushing specialist can do on the opposite side of him.

"I think it's going to be fun to see us when we finally all get to get out there and get at it," Suggs said.

With Dumervil and a slew of new faces on the defense, it's been rather easy for the Ravens to deflect whether they're defending their 2012 Super Bowl title. In fact, Dumervil said he's seen some of his new teammates walking around the facility with their rings on.

He wants one of his own.

"One good thing with this team in 2013 is we all have something to prove," Dumervil said. "We all have something to prove, for sure, from the coaching staff down. It's a totally different team. Whenever it's a totally different team, stakes are different, questions are asked. You have to go out and prove yourself and that's the beauty of it."

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