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Ravens News: Can Baltimore Maintain Top Defense After Multiple Offseason Departures?

by News7

The Baltimore Ravens will enter the 2024 season ready to redeem themselves from their loss in the AFC Championship game to the Kansas City Chiefs. Baltimore lost the game despite it being played at M&T Bank Stadium, which normally gives the Ravens a pretty strong home-field advantage. Baltimore has banked on strong defensive play over the years to help balance the team, but it has lost a few pieces this offseason.

Safety Geno Stone departed from the Ravens to sign with the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker Patrick Queen left to sign with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tyus Bowser is still a free agent coming off an injury.

Each of these losses starts to push against the preconceived notion of Baltimore being one of the top defenses around the NFL, but safety Marcus Williams isn’t buying it. Even with new defensive coordinator Zach Orr in the mix, Williams believes the Ravens have the pieces to be successful.

“He definitely has the respect of the room,” Williams said. “He comes in every day and puts in that time and that work — age is just a number — you put in that time and that effort to come out and be the best at your role as he did as a player, he’s gonna do as a coach. I have the utmost respect for him; the way he presents himself, the way he carries himself, how he coaches us and how he listens to whatever we have to say. He doesn’t have an ego where we can’t put our input. So, that’s a good thing, but he isn’t going to hold back just because he feels we’re about the same age. He’s still going to give you that good, hard coaching.”

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 20: The Baltimore Ravens defense prepares to lineup during an NFL Divisional Round playoff game against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 20, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. The…

Photo by Kara Durrette/Getty Images
Now-former Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike McDonald accepted the head coaching job with the Seattle Seahawks, leaving a large hole on the Baltimore coaching staff.

The Ravens have benefitted from a physical defense over the years, helping to carry them to success. Last season, the Ravens led the NFL in sacks (60) and turnovers (31). It helped them clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC but there will be some new challenges this season.

“A lot of people think they got it figured out and then you change something,” Williams said of the defense’s many looks and ability to change. “You got to be chameleons when you’re in this league because people, you know, they adapt, and they see you on film, they can see how you stand, how you align, and each and every week you got to be able to change a little here, a little there.”

“We have a good thing going in our group and we’re able to see what the offense is doing to try and attack those [defenses] and those coverages,” Williams continued. “That defense is really good for us — depending on which one you’re talking about.”

Baltimore is still expected to be one of the top teams in the AFC this season. They will battle with teams like the Kansas City Chiefs for the top spot and they added a major weapon to the offensive side of the ball. Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry joined the Ravens this offseason, giving more weapons to an already explosive offensive attack. While there may be questions on the defense, Baltimore should be able to navigate through it all just fine.

Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Source : Newsweek

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