Bernard Pollard isn't afraid to raise expectations for the Ravens though others may not.
Key players on the defense, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, are older and they won't have 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs for at least six games while he recovers from an Achilles injury.
"You're not going to be perfect. That's the great thing about this team. Every year we expect to win 12-plus games," Pollard told CSN Baltimore recently. "We expect to go deep in the playoffs. We expect to go to the Super Bowl. It's not going to change this year no matter what's happened. We have to keep going because time isn't going to wait for anybody."
That's a sentiment echoed by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who is instituting a faster-pace offense, last week. The belief is if this defense holds steady and the offense becomes a bit more productive that the Ravens would finally advance out of the AFC title game to the Super Bowl.
"Every year the expectation is to get better and keep getting better and keep getting better. We know what our goals are offensively, and we know what our team goals are," Cameron said. "Expectations are a big part of this business, and I think every guy in this building really thrives on those expectations, so absolutely. ...
"I love what I do, and what you love about this game is the pressure that comes with it as a coach and as a player."