The Baltimore Ravens fielded one of the NFL’s best defensive units in 2016, and part of that was their penchant for taking the ball away.
In the year prior, the unit was almost adverse to turning the ball over, posting a measly six interceptions over 16 games. The turnaround in 2016 season was drastic, as the secondary nabbed 18 interceptions in the same span, a production jump that is due in large part to several key additions made over the previous offseason.
This upcoming offseason will again be vital to how the team’s secondary plays in 2017, because maybe the most important of the aforementioned additions, defensive backs cosch Leslie Frazier, is now coaching with Sean McDermott in Buffalo. While Frazier doesn't necessarily deserve all the credit for the ballhawking rennaissance that took place in Baltimore, he was a significant figure in it.
Part of that is due to his experience, and the other half is largely just coaching ability that saw players such as Tavon Young (a rookie) and Lardarius Webb (a converted safety on the back nine of his career) consistently getting their hands on the football. Not only that, but his coaching also had these type of players all contributing to a secondary that seemed to be better than the sum of its parts.
It’s likely that Ozzie Newsome will be targeting secondary players, namely cornerbacks, this offseason to bolster a unit that needs more depth. Hopefully those players he adds are ones that are coachable and have a nose for the football, because if not, the Ravens secondary could be due for a bit of a regression in 2017.