When the Ravens lost players like Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, Cary Williams and Ray Lewis early this offseason, there was a fair amount of concern among fans and media about whether or not Baltimore’s defense would be good enough to contend in 2013.
Lost in those discussions before and after the team filled holes in free agency and the draft was the fact that the Ravens defense in 2012 wasn’t a particularly great one by franchise standards. They finished 12th in the league in points allowed, their lowest ranking since the 2007 season that saw Brian Billick’s coaching tenure come to an end, and they allowed the second-most yards per game since the franchise arrived in Baltimore in 1996. Things got better in the playoffs, but defensive coordinator Dean Pees is looking at the overall picture when he talks about his goals for this year’s unit.
“We have to be better than we were last year. We were good in the playoffs — good enough — but we weren’t good enough during the season for us to be the kind of defense that we want to be. We have to be better than we were a year ago, I’ll put it that way. I don’t know whether we will be, but we need to be,” Pees said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
Pees said the team would miss some of the veterans who left the team, but will have a younger defense that the coordinator believes will be quicker across the board once everyone is up to speed on the playbook. Should that come to fruition, that will be a change for the better on defense in Baltimore and the team’s chances of both repeating and continuing to contend will go up despite saying goodbye to so many key players from a Super Bowl winner.