Dean Pees: Ravens defense has to be better than last year


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.

6 responses to “Dean Pees: Ravens defense has to be better than last year

  1. They were the definition of bend but don’t break last season. They gave up a ton of yards but when the other team would get into the red zone they would usually hold them to field goals.

  2. People seem to forget that the first playoff game was when they finally got Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata all on the same field at the same time the entire season.

    Prior to that they also had injuries to their other MLB – Dannell Ellerbe. They lost Lardarius Webb for the year. They had a ton of guys missing games, and they all got healthy (save for Webb) at the right time.

    The stats/rankings aren’t exactly telling, other than the patchwork defense finished 12th in the league in points per game. Not bad.

    Going out this offseason and getting guys like Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Elvis Dumervil, etc…they’ll be just fine. Dean Pees is a very good coordinator. Well respected around the league.

  3. DL – Ngata, B Williams (3rd round), Canty, Spears, Art Jones, P McPhee & others. Solid 7 man rotation. Way better than last year.

    LB – Suggs, Dumerville, Courtney Upshaw John Simon. Better than last year.

    ILB – Jameel McClain, Arthur Brown, Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan & others. Serious question marks.

    CB – L Webb, C Graham, J Smith, C Brown (on par w/last year)

    S – M Huff, M Elam, J Ihedigbo (jury’s out on this one…..question mark)

    Should be far stronger up front & big rush from Sizzle & Doom. If they gel as the season goes on, this could be a way better D than last year. By far. But, ILB & S have to get solid play. Thin & inexperienced at those positions. Very deep elsewhere.

  4. The other teams need to worry about their field position — as in remaining in an UPRIGHT position when the Ravens comes crashing through!

  5. 8 New starters and no on field leaders. This defense is headed for the bottom. Quickly.

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