Yeah it’s only preseason and you don’t want to over-analyze the play-calling, but there are some good things happening with the Ravens defense. In their first two preseason showings, the Ravens defense blitzed frequently and mixed up the looks at the line of scrimmage.
In their first preseason game against the Panthers, the defense stifled Carolina’s quarterbacks with many pressure packages.In that match-up, most fans will remember FS Tom Zbikowski’s blitz, sack, and forced fumble. Their aggressive mentality and pressure schemes carried over to the next game.
In fact, Ken McKusick of Ravens24x7.com pointed out that against the Redskins:
“We may have got a glimpse of the identity of the 2010 Ravens… The Ravens rushed between 3 and 7 on each pass play. They rushed 3 men 11 times by my count and 7 just once (on the Redskins final offensive play)… A number of players saw time both on the inside and outside… In addition to 4 sacks, the Ravens registered 7 QHs [quarterback hits], forced an intentional grounding, and batted down a ball at the LoS [line of scrimmage].”
Part of what looked good about the pressure was OLB Terrell Suggs. He wreaked havoc on Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams and disrupted the Redskins backfield. Suggs looked in great shape and form this year, so he should be a major plus for the defense.
While Redskins quarterback Donavan McNabb moved the ball down the field and made great passes, it was not all so bad for the Ravens secondary. Ron Fritz of the Baltimore Sun, pointed out during the game that the Ravens started to figure out McNabb. Fritz said,
“Just as we were about to write that Donovan McNabb has been picking apart the Ravens’ secondary, the Ravens’ Cary Williams picked off McNabb. And the secondary almost got another on the Redskins’ next series.”
Continued Pressure & Chaos?
It will be interesting to see if the Ravens defense continues with their aggressive play-calling against QB Eli Manning and the N.Y. Giants this Saturday. Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison has always preached about the ‘front four pressure’ approach, but now that the secondary is banged up, my guess is that the team will have to return to the ‘organized purple chaos’ approach.