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What the Ravens really need to focus on

by Jermaine Lockett
focus

What the Ravens really need to focus on

All I hear is drama lately when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens. Mostly a bunch of slightly salty former Ravens’ receivers who are now more concerned about individual accomplishments than returning to the team for another shot at a ring.


Fans out there with equal hate for the Greg Roman system under John Harbaugh have also been the talk of the town. Combine that with Orlando Brown Jr. wanting a trade, Matt Judon taking on the twitter monster and ESPN writers and whispers of “Lamar can’t win” crap, you can consider me annoyed.

The real focus needs to be the depth chart on defense, specifically with the OLBs. Let me read to you who they have. Here is the list. Are you ready?

Jaylon Ferguson…That’s the list! We can tweet about Judon extorting ESPN writers or contract denials until we’re blue in the face. The fact is Matt Judon is not a member of the team. Yannick Ngakoue is not a member of the team. Pernell McPhee is a Free Agent. Tyus Bowser is a Free agent. There is only one OLB, not one starting OLB, ONE OLB PERIOD on the roster! Maybe if the pundits and fans could pull their attention from Judon-gate and WR-gate, they could see that EDGE is a major need.

Jaylon is a guy who can be great in coverage and can stay disciplined enough against the run. According to SI.com’s Todd Karpovich:

“Ferguson broke the NCAA record for career sacks with 45, eclipsing the previous mark set by Terrell Suggs, who is Baltimore’s all-time sack leader. As a result, Ferguson instantly drew comparisons to T-Sizzle when he arrived in Baltimore.”

Where are those comparisons now? Charm city is going to need that energy and performance out of the self-proclaimed “Sack-Daddy”.

The former LA Tech player has the prototypical (6-5, 270lbs) size to get the job done. He has shown some ability like the work he puts in here. Yes, I am aware it is almost considered a coverage sack, but it takes real effort to keep striving for this long.


It would be easy to call #45 a bull-rushing brute, but as you can see below, he’s a bit more than that. The guy has good field awareness.


He’s going to need some help. With the Ravens somewhere around less than 20 million dollars in cap space, signing a high-profile OLB is entirely out of the question unless some significant moves happen. With the current lack of money, the Ravens can get 2 of the guys back for cheap.

Tyus Bowser, the former Super Mario Brother’s villain, had some extreme ups during his tenure in Baltimore like this:


And then some blunders like this. Look for #54 at the beginning

 


I’ve watched some tape on Bowser, and seeing his leadership on the field has stepped up immensely since coming into the league. I see him seeing him calling line shifts that benefit the run stop as he fills the APEX or E-gaps. Baltimore is looking at whether they decide to resign the guy for 5-6 mil per year. This signing would retain continuity, and a bit of leadership as the team will build through the draft at OLB.

The other addition for cheap that may be a risk is Pernell McPhee. Sure, he’s long in the tooth, but his veteran leadership will do nothing but help this team be great. His actions on the field have not slowed either. As a pass-rusher in Baltimore’s defense, you’re a rotational player, especially with the number of blitzes Wink Martindale loves to run. To get 15 QB hits and three sacks out of a rotational player, you’re doing something right. Sure it’s nothing to write home to mom about, but this is veteran leadership and quality available at veteran minimum pricing.

I’d be shocked if Jihad Ward didn’t come back for the low-low as well.

Anyway, things are going to shake in about 19 days. I am curious to see how this unit will look before the draft.

Jermaine Lockett is a Writer and CEO for Couch Rider Report. Follow us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter

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