If there is anything to draw from the Baltimore Ravens defense in their last two preseason games, it’s the fact that the defensive line made a point to disrupt the line of scrimmage.
The Ravens’ first-team defense only allowed 38 yards rushing in the first game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the best play for the defense came when defensive end Chris Canty sacked Buccaneers quarterback Josh freeman on third down to create a three-and-out. Canty was a bit silenced against the Atlanta Falcons last night, but the veteran is still an underrated addition.
We all know what veterans like Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs can do, but it was so critical so see how a new face like Canty would do in the Ravens’ aggressive 3-4 scheme. Canty is expected to start during the regular season.
The thing that has stood out to me during the last two preseason games is Canty’s aggressiveness in the pass defense in terms of the ability to generate sacks, instead of just being a run-stuffer. It’s a quality the Ravens haven’t had since Trevor Pryce in his productive years from 2006-2009. Canty is going to be a big part of what the Ravens do this year.
A lot has been made of the team’s changes on defense, and rightfully so. Whenever you lose future hall of fame players like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, people are bound to talk about it. However, I don’t think the additions that the Ravens made have been talked about enough. The Ravens have been trying to improve on a defense which allowed 122.5 rushing yards per game last year, and one that allowed 4.0 yards per carry for the first time in franchise history.
Canty and Marcus Spears playing defensive end as well as Ngata playing nose tackle allows the Ravens to be who they want to be up front, and not worry about undersized defensive ends like Pernell McPhee as they’ve had to over the past couple of seasons.