NFL Season Preview: Baltimore Ravens Will Try To Repeat With A Lot Of New Faces
The Baltimore Ravens were Super Bowl champions in 2012 and if they look to repeat in 2013 they will do so with a lot of new faces. With future Hall Of Famers linebacker Ray Lewis (retirement) and safety Ed Reed ( departed via free agency to the Houston Texans) gone the Ravens will need new leaders on defense to step up.
They did not even lock up the apparent heir to Ray Lewis middle linebacker throne in Dannell Ellerbe who the Dolphins swooned with a large contract.
Well Baltimore went right to work in this years draft getting free safety Matt Elam from Florida and inside linebacker Arthur Brown from Kansas State. Elam is a high emotion guy that could end up being a future leader of the defense. He plays with a high intensity fueled by big hits, his highlight reel coming into the draft was impressive. Brown was a great pick in the second round and could be a key component in the middle of the defense his rookie season.
You could say that the Ravens killed it in free agency with the addition of Elvis Dumervil the best pass rusher and arguably best player this free agency period. They also grabbed potential role players in ex-Raider safety Michael Huff and ex-Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty.
Of course the re-signing of QB Joe Flacco was key, he signed a mega contract worth well over 100 million. Flacco’s agent went on record stating the team was stupid to wait a year, which he won the Super Bowl the next year driving his contract much higher.
The Baltimore Ravens are in a tough division and will have to fight off an improving Bengals and Steelers teams if they want to remain a top the AFC North. They will likely be a 10 win team again this year and put on a strong performance in the playoffs. Repeating is tough in the salary cap era, especially after losing two future HoF’s, it will be interesting to see if the new defensive talent they picked up in the draft and free agency along with retaining their franchise QB is enough to keep them a championship team.
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