It’s a tale as old as time in the NFL. An offense gets sick of going at their opposing defense because seeing the other side in practice only serves as a motivating force to rile them up.
That seems to be the case this offseason with the Baltimore Ravens, and it’s not much a surprise if it is indeed the case thanks to how good the team’s defense is. Lamar Jackson seems to be impressed with his group once again to start the 2021 season, so much so he doesn’t want to face them anymore.
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Speaking after minicamp practice, Jackson took time out specifically to give a shout-out to the Baltimore defense given how strong at competing they have been early in the 2021 offseason program.
As he said:
“What’s that they always used to say about defenses? Defense wins championships, ‘we must protect this house,’ stuff like that? The Ravens defense has always been one of the best defenses. I feel like Eric DeCosta does a great job bringing guys in. We already had a lot of guys from last year, we got a lot of vets and stuff coming back. We got great young guys coming in. I just can’t wait to get after it. I’m tired of seeing our defense already, because they’re flying around, making us compete against them. They’re doing a great job right now.”
That’s exactly what the Ravens should be doing on that side of the ball, so as the saying goes, iron can sharpen iron. Come training camp, Jackson might really get sick of seeing his ferocious defense. For now, the OTA period will break and cooler heads will prevail.
It sure sounds as if it’s business as usual for the Baltimore defense heading into the summer, though.
Ravens Defenders Praising Offense, Too
It wasn’t just Jackson sharing the love for his teammates on the other side of the ball, the Baltimore defenders seem to like what they have seen from the team as well this offseason to this point. Specifically, Marlon Humphrey called out the Ravens’ wideout group and explained that he has been very impressed with what they have brought to the table thus far in camp.
“I definitely have noticed (a) difference with our receiving core. I look over at our warmups and I see our wide receiver coaches doing different things. I noticed the energy. I felt a major energy change with that group. I feel like everyone has really stepped up their game a lot. I just think this year, whatever group makes it, we’ll have a really good, serious passing attack with what those guys can do. It’s been a good OTA, and it will be a much different unit than we have seen in the past with that core.”
All told, this is good news for the team considering the wideout spot is seen as a huge tipping point in the 2021 season. The Ravens spared no expense to beef the spot up in terms of free agency and draft capital, so it would be big news if somehow that group could turn things around.
Ravens 2020 Defensive Statistics
Baltimore’s defense was once again a top group in the league this past season. Coming off the 2019 year when they were rated a top three defense in terms of total yards allowed (300.6), the sixth-overall defense in terms of passing yards per-game (207.2), and the fifth ranked rush defense in the league with 93.4 yards per-game, Baltimore once again boasted a top 10 unit in 2020.
The Ravens ranked seventh in terms of total defense, and also allowed a stout 221 passing yards per-game as well as a decent 108 rushing yards-per game.
In spite of the good work the Ravens did on that side of the ball, defensive coordinator Don Martindale was not promoted, but that only might serve to benefit the Ravens the most in the end. This season, Martindale can stick around and once again apply his genius to his home team in Baltimore. Along with Rob Ryan coming in, it’s a strong veteran staff that should only figure to continue to get the most out of their players statistically and otherwise.
Already, it sounds as if the team is ready to reprise their good work on that side of the ball come 2021. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever followed the team.