Ravens know they have to adjust scheme without Suggs

The Ravens knew they were going to have to adjust to find pass-rush without Terrell Suggs.

But the biggest burden will fall on defensive coordinator Dean Pees as much as any player they could stand in Suggs’ spot.

He’s the best I’ve gone against,” Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron told Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun when asked about Pees. “The reason is because he’s very difficult to decipher what they’re trying to do.”

When Pees was defensive coordinator in New England (2006-09), the Patriots were the only team to rank in the top 10 in scoring defense each year. Granted, he had help from some guy named Belichick, but Pees developed a reputation for X and O acumen of his own.

“Dean is a very, very sharp guy,” Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain said. “A lot of people are going to find that out with his schemes. It’s going to be interesting.

“Everybody knows what’s at risk with Suggs hurt. Sadly, one person went down, but it’s an opportunity for someone else and they all recognize that.”

Without the same kind of personnel that finished with 48 sacks last year (14 of which were from Suggs), the key will be moving parts around to create confustion.

“It’s tough for everybody because quarterbacks are smart, coaches are smart,” Pees said. “They can figure that stuff out pretty good. The key is trying to disguise the blitz, make them think you’re coming and you’re not and vice versa. Every time you put in a blitz, you try to put in something coverage-wise that looks exactly like that.

“Every time you play coverage, you try to have a pressure off of that. It’s just hard sometimes. Linebackers can’t sit 5 yards off the line and pressure from there. So, disguise is always a big part of it.”

That will be a significant part of the Ravens plan this year, since there’s not a replacement for Suggs’ ability. Having Haloti Ngata to push the middle will help the guys they try to use. But no amount of Courtney Upshaw or Paul Kruger or Pernell McPhee is going to fill the gap.

That’s why Pees has to be at his best this season.

14 responses to “Ravens know they have to adjust scheme without Suggs

  1. Clearly not worried in the least bit. McPhee, Kruger and Ngata are more than capable of carrying the load. Can’t replace Suggs, it’s just next man up.

    In any event, the other divisional foes have so many issues going on, Ravens look primed for another AFCN sweep, bank on it.

  2. Obviously we will never know the actual reason, but I do find it interesting that BB, who very very seldom lets a good assistant coach walk (OR fires them)unless it’s for a higher position let Pees walk after 09. The public talk was that Pees wanted to move on BUT the report from at least one Pats beat writer is that it was basically a firing. Regardless, Pess handled it with class publicly and I wish him well except when he faces the Pats.

  3. Ravens won’t make the playoffs.

    Why does everyone think they are a great team? Suggs is a huge loss. Where will the pass rush come from?

    It’s nice to just say Pees will think of something but that’s a cop out. Nobody is a better schemer than Belicheck and the Pats defense have stunk the last few years because he doesn’t have the players.

    The ravens offense is mediocre at best. If their defense isn’t locking people down then the ravens can’t win shootouts.

    The steelers and bengals improved. The ravens went backwards.

  4. “In any event, the other divisional foes have so many issues going on”

    Please inform us of the Bengals issues. No second receiver? Plenty have stepped up to the role. Next

  5. This team got every break last year and still couldnt reach the super bowl. This year they have fallen apart. 9-7 at best. cincy will be more of a competitor for steelers this year!

  6. I know – line up Joe Flacco at LB – he would probably say he is the best LB in the game!

  7. Keep jawing naysayers, but let me ask you this: how many former Raven defensive players have had the same success with another team? They never do and its all because of a succession of good to great defensive coordinators and their schemes that are just as important as the Suggs and Reeds,etc out there on the field. Even when the entire team was abysmmal in ’07, the defense still finished middle of the pack and was still a top 5 run defense as well (partly due to the Corey Ivy’s and David Pittman’s of the world stinking up that secondary that season). Pees is a championship caliber coordinator who know he has a big job but I have full confidence in him, he’s been a coordinator before unlike Pagano (whose 1 season performance earned him a HC gig). Even without Suggs’ 14 sacks last year, the 34 others the team registered were still better than roughly half the teams in the league. The Ravens may miss the playoffs as some of you geniuses think, but it won’t be because of the defense.

  8. Flacco carries the team this year and the Ravens sweep the AFCN again!

    Ben is on the PUP list by week 4

    Andy gets it handed to him in his second year

    Brandon and the Browns just work on getting out of a paper bag.

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