The issue that I found the most glaring in the defensive alignment was the pre-snap distance between linebacker, safety, and cornerback. There was too much space between the linebackers, who were 3-5 yards behind the defensive line and the safeties, who when in two-deep coverage were 15 yards behind the linebackers. Matt Elam and Darian Stewart do not have that kind of range to be impactful on pass plays. Will Hill does, which is why I think he definitely should start after his suspension.
On a second and nineteen, Tony Romo completed to Dez Bryant for a first down with Elam in off coverage. On replay we can see that Elam takes too many false steps instead of exploding and under-cutting Bryant's route. As a result he has decent coverage on the play but is unable to get his hand on the ball.
On a following third and eight, the Ravens were screened for twenty-one yards. The defensive linemen did not show good enough awareness as Pernell Mcphee and Elvis Dumervil failed to recognize the screen and were both caught rushing hard up field.
The Ravens are too often fooled by play action and screens last year and when they were, the results often were big plays. On the screen, the first player to even be seen in the picture and ahead of the play was C.J Mosley, 20 yards down field.
When the Ravens blitzed, the blitzes were easily picked up. I always wondered if Pees' blitzes were good enough to create free rushers. It seems like his goal is to create one on ones. But if the rushers don't win in time, it leaves the secondary vulnerable. I thought this was exposed on Bryant's touchdown. If the secondary problems are not fixed,
Pees needs to understand that the margin for error is slim to none. I don't think Pees is creative enough to scheme free rushers. The scheme then relies on one on ones and while the talent on defense is good, it will not be "top five" if the scheme is not forceful.
But then again its pre-season, the ravens corners are injured which in turn affects the way the game is called with a lot more zone than man and the blitzes and coverages are a lot more vanilla.
So I am relaxed. But if the same issues arise on week one, the Ravens will be in trouble.