Just how good is this Ravens defense?
On paper, it still should be formidable even without 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.
Earlier in the week, after the first unit was shredded by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones, emotions boiled over as the Ravens fought among themselves at training camp.
Dean Pees is the new defensive coordinator after Chuck Pagano left to be head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but not much is expected to change. Some key players such as Ray Lewis, 37, and Ed Reed, 33, may be older, but safety Bernard Pollard insists too much emphasis is being put on their age.
A strong showing vs. the Detroit Lions on Friday night, the Ravens' first home preseason game, could go a long way to quieting the chatter at least for now.
"Were going to be really good. Suggs is doing everything to get back as quick as he can. We want him to be 100 percent when he comes back. The guys we have in our defense now have to step up," Pollard told CSNBaltimore.com. "That's the name of the game...We've got some guys who are eager to show the city of Baltimore they're ready to play some football.
"It's going to be a lot of fun. Ray (Lewis) is playing at a high level right now. The dude is a freak of nature. You look at Ed Reed. Everybody's talking about how old we are. We have a young defense. We're rolling around. We're having a blast out there. DP is doing a good job of knowing what we're capable of and having that mind-set to put us in the right position to use all his weapons -- like Chuck did. No difference. Not at all."
The Ravens' inactive list vs. the Lions includes receiver David Reed, linebackers Josh Bynes, Darryl Blackstock and Suggs, tackle Jah Reid, tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta and tackle Ryan McBean.