Haloti Ngata seems to have a short memory.
Ngata, who spent nine seasons anchoring the Ravens defense before being traded to the Lions this spring, told the Detroit Free Press recently that he has "never been a part of a defense" like that of the Lions.
"You have so many athletes: (Jason Jones), Ziggy (Ansah), Caraun (Reid), Darryl Tapp," Ngata said. "You just have so many playmakers all over the front on the D-line. I'm just excited to be a part of it."
Led by the departed All-Pro defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, the Lions defense last year ranked second overall, allowing 300.9 yards a game. So the bar is indeed high in Detroit under defensive coordinator and former Ravens assistant Teryl Austin.
But it was that way in Baltimore, too; in Ngata's nine seasons in Baltimore, the Ravens defense ranked in the top three four times, and was No. 1 in 2006, Ngata's rookie season. It's possible that Ngata was speaking specifically of the defensive front, but then again, the Ravens have been pretty stout there as well: The Ravens have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 26 games, by far the longest streak in the league. The Ravens defense finished in the top five against the run seven times in Ngata's nine seasons.
So while Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and others might beg to differ with Ngata's assessment, it's clear Ngata is bleeding Lions blue right now.
"I've been down in Baltimore a long time and changing to this type of defense it's just exciting," Ngata told the Detroit paper. "I'm excited to do it and I'm excited to be here. Just can't wait to put the pads on to see how it really feels."