The Ravens are coming off of a bye week that must have forced coaches and players to go back to the drawing board. The defensive unit's pass-rush component leaves something to be desired. It was the defense's biggest weakness last season and though fans thought it was addressed in the off-season, the pass rush has been inconsistent. For much of the season, the four-man rush has been largely underwhelming.
Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser are the keys to the puzzle. Though rookies, they are both gifted. Williams is now healthy and Bowser, though in the proverbial doghouse, has flashed ability.
Yes, snaps have to be earned. However, the Ravens’ coaches must start employing their specialists in situations that allow them to shine regardless of past mistakes.
Chuck Pagano proved to be excellent at this, in terms of the pass rush. He allowed the previously misused Paul Kruger and the small school rookie Pernell McPhee to thrive in 2011, providing pass-rush in spades, despite Terrell Suggs being the only pass-rusher of note on the team at that time.
The investment in Williams and Bowser will pay dividends if they are allowed to rush in third-down situations from wider alignments from three or four point sprinter stances, which isolates the tackles and allows the Ravens’ pass-rushers to showcase their physical talents.
The adjustments are simple to make and quite obvious. The coaches must allow the specialists to show off their specialties.