The departure of tackle Haloti Ngata leaves the Ravens’ defense with big shoes to fill. However, it also leaves Ngata with a major challenge in Detroit.
Lions fans view Ngata as the replacement for star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who went to Miami during free agency. Ngata will be under the microscope in Detroit, and could hear criticism if the Lions’ defense struggles.
Ngata says he’s not focusing on the comparisons between himself and Suh.
“I just think we’re totally different players,” Ngata told Jenny Ventras of the MMQB.com. “We’ve always been. He’s made Pro Bowls, and I have, too. Hopefully I can continue to help this team win.
“They’re going to see how I play. We’re definitely just different body types. I weigh a little bit more than he does, and so we’re just going to have to roll with whatever happens in the season.”
Having had time to reflect, Ngata said he held no grudge about being traded, after making the Pro Bowl five times during his nine seasons in Baltimore. The Ravens and Ngata could not reach a contract agreement that would have reduced his salary cap number for next season.
“I can’t thank Baltimore and (owner) Steve Bisciotti and (general manager) Ozzie Newsome enough for the opportunity they gave me,” Ngata said. “It was a business decision, they had to do what they had to do, and we had a trade.”
The Ravens are counting on Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan to anchor their defensive line, now that Ngata is gone. Meanwhile, Ngata hopes to prove that at age 31, he can still still be a defensive anchor in Detroit.
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