Ravens

Quick Links

Some Ray Lewis better than none

raylewis_10-15.png

Some Ray Lewis better than none

No Ray Lewis hasn't been much of a problem.

The Ravens are 4-1 this season without the linebacker, who went out Oct. 14 with a torn triceps.

Last season, with Lewis gone with a turf toe injury, the Ravens went unbeaten. That’s 8-1 total.

Lewis’ return is on the horizon next month, but given how well the defense has been playing exactly how does he fit back in the mix?

Jameel McClain has filled his shoes in the middle, quarterbacking the defensive calls. Dannell Ellerbe, who left Sunday’s 16-13 overtime win at the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter with a foot and ankle injury, starts at weakside linebacker but has played that spot, too.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees also has done a masterful job at shuffling personnel to compensate for injuries along a front that hasn’t had Pernell McPhee, Haloti Ngata, Terrence Cody and Ma’ake Kemoeatu for a total of nine games since Lewis’ injury.

"We’re committed to fundamental football," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh, making a point to credit Pees. "We’ve put some packages together that have put guys in position to do the things they do best. But to me, that’s peripheral to the fact that we’re attacking the line of scrimmage better, we’re taking on blocks better, we’re tackling much better, our underneath coverage is much more disciplined and the eyes in the back end are getting better and better every week. We’re just playing better football."

At times, Pees has moved Ngata, a tackle, to the outside and put Arthur Jones, a defensive end, inside. Jones had two sacks against the Chargers from that spot. He has shifted where linebacker Terrell Suggs lines up. Linebacker Paul Kruger has flouished, registering sacks in three consecutive games. 

Much was made about Lewis before his injury as the Ravens defense struggled particularly against the run.

It was said Lewis was too slow, had trouble shedding blocks and was too frequently chasing plays in his 17th season.

But given the Ravens’ constant shuffling because of injuries, they can’t have too much depth.

The way Harbaugh spoke Monday, if Lewis’ triceps are properly healed he’ll get his share of snaps. But how many?

Lewis played all 71 defensive snaps in a 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs when they allowed 214 yards rushing. In a 31-29 win vs. the Dallas Cowboys, the game when Lewis was injured in the fourth quarter, he played 76 of the snaps as the Ravens gave up a record 227 yards on the ground.

Harbaugh might want to tread carefully when it comes to altering his defense’s chemistry. Opponents have scored just 19.9 points per game in November.

Maybe Lewis gets his starting job back, but plays a reduced number of snaps to keep the Ravens fresher and more unpredictable as Pees has more options.

"Having him on your team can only make you better," said CSN analyst Brad Jackson, who played for the Ravens from 1999-2001, and acknowledging that McClain, Ellerbe and the like have benefitted and earned time, too. "The guys that are second-tier guys are now getting reps in games and they’re becoming better football players. That is going to help you down the road."

Couple that with Lewis' intangibles and come playoff time the Ravens' defense could be playing less like its No. 24 ranking today and more like its No. 2 ranking from a year ago when they advanced to the AFC title game.

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens announce 2019 open training camp dates

ravens-helmet.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens announce 2019 open training camp dates

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens have announced 2019 training camp dates that will be open to the public. 2,000 fans will be able to attend the 14 open practices at the Owings Mill Underarmour Performance Center. Additionally, the Ravens will hold their annual open practice at M&T Bank Stadium July 27 with Fireworks Night to follow.

2. Wide receiver Jaleel Scott has had a standout offseason thus far after spending his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. According to Ravens media, Scott has been a big playmaker at OTAs and mandatory minicamp and is looking forward to the start of training camp. “I think I had a great practice to end minicamp, and now I’m going to get ready for the start of training camp,” Scott said to Ravens media. “I want to show people I can be a deep threat, that I can make big plays and do things in the red zone, help us score points. That’s my goal.”


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

michael-pierce-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Michael Pierce responds to last week's dismissal from practice

Kick off your Monday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Last week, defensive tackle Michael Pierce was dismissed from practice after showing up in "less than ideal shape" according to The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec. Pierce joined WSNP-FM 105.5 Friday where he responded to being dismissed from practice. “Throughout the offseason, I tend to lift more than run,” Pierce said. “Being a nose guard, I want to be strong or what not. I, honestly, just mismanaged my running a little bit.”

2. On the other hand, tight end Mark Andrews looks "bigger, faster and stronger" Zrebiec said. Andrews had a standout year last season as a rookie with three touchdowns and 34 catches for 552 yards. Zrebiec said Andrews has not slowed down and will be an even bigger asset to the Ravens offense this season.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: