By Tyler McMullen @Direct_Snap on August 5, 2014
The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2014 NFL season with high hopes of not only capturing the AFC North divisional crown, but also returning to the postseason after missing out in 2013. Baltimore is primed for a strong season behind a much improved roster and could be an intriguing team to watch in 2014. Here are five reasons why Baltimore fans should be excited for the 2014 season.
Baltimore went out and grabbed two big name free agents this offseason in WR Steve Smith and TE Owen Daniels. Both of them will contribute in a big way this season for Baltimore and the Joe Flacco led offense. Smith has looked wonderful thus far during his short tenure with Baltimore, and he has provided a nice spark for the offense in practice. If Daniels can remain healthy, he will provide a nice one-two-punch at tight end with Dennis Pitta.
Baltimore's offensive line really struggled in 2013 and could not keep Joe Flacco from running for his life. They are ready to go in 2014 as a much healthier and much stronger unit all together. Eugene Monroe returns as the team's LT and Pro Bowl RG Marshall Yanda returns for another great season. Offseason acquisition Jeremy Zuttah will man the center spot as Kelechi Osemele returns from injury at LG. Ricky Wagner is likely the starter at RT.
Baltimore decided to pair longtime pass rusher Terrell Suggs with former Denver Broncos OLB Elvis Dumervil last season, and it paid off in a big way as the two combined for 19.5 sacks and were arguably one of the top pass rushing duos in the NFL in 2013. Both players return in 2014 primed for a big season working opposite each other behind a very deep defensive line rotation. We could see their total of 19.5 sacks increase to 25 or more in 2014.
Baltimore has quite a deep defensive line that the team can really use to their advantage. Although the loss of DE Arthur Jones could sting a bit to open the season, rookie DL Timmy Jernigan should be able to fill the void alongside players such as Chris Canty, Brandon Williams, Terrence Cody, DeAngelo Tyson, Kapron Lewis-Moore and, of course, Haloti Ngata. Look for Baltimore to rotate these big bodies quite frequently to keep them fresh.
Mosley was one of the most sought after prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft, and Baltimore had no problem using their first-round pick on the former Alabama standout. Mosley has been the talk of the town at Baltimore's camp thus far and certainly has the edge on 2013 second-round pick Arthur Brown for the starting inside linebacker spot next to veteran Daryl Smith. Mosley is something special and could bring a Patrick Willis-type game in 2014.
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