With all of the changes going on in Baltimore, you can be certain that this is no longer your daddy’s Baltimore Ravens. What I mean by this is that the way the defense has allowed opposing offenses to march down the field is disturbing; compared to ones of the past, this one is not even recognizable. Dean Pees is killing what used to be something worth watching on defense for the Ravens.
I get it, Ray Lewis is retired, Ed Reed is in the lone star state and five of the team’s other former starters have sought out employment elsewhere. The “next man up” mentality has always worked in Baltimore. When Adalius Thomas left, Jarrett Johnson stepped in and dominated. When Johnson left to the San Diego Chargers, Paul Kruger filled the void.
At all positions, there has always been a capable performer who could handle business as usual. The difference in the transition is simple. John Harbaugh is okay with Pees’ sub-par defense.
After having one of the top 10 defenses consistently from 2001- 2011, the Ravens are now ranked 19th in the league overall, allowing around 343 yards per game.
This number would have been unacceptable to coaches who actually take pride in defense. In fact, in a Brian Billick era, if Rex Ryan, Mike Singletary or even Mike Nolan would have came to the table at the end of the year with those numbers, there would have been some bags packed because someone would be hitting the bricks.
It makes my stomach churn knowing that we as fans have to sit idly by while Pees takes a stout defense with a history of dominance and turns it into soft bread pudding. We all know the problem is not with the personnel there; Ozzie Newsome did his job. The problem is with the packages. They are soft and very predictable. There are very few stunts, and it almost looks like there is no strategy being put into the defensive game plan.
Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron last year because he simply was not executing properly. It’s time for the same type of dismissal this year. Fans and players deserve better than the schemes put together by Pees. During this bye week, I am hoping Harbaugh can send a message to Pees that motivates him to put this D back on top where it belongs.