The Ravens know their pass rush needs to improve next season. In 2013, the Ravens and Browns tied for 16th in the NFL in sacks with 40, well behind the Panthers who led the league with 60.
Sacks don’t tell the whole story when it comes to pressuring quarterbacks. However, there were too many games when the Ravens gave quality quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers too much time to throw. The Ravens lost to all three in 2013.
For the Ravens’ pass rush to improve, who will step up? Here are some players the Ravens are counting on to give their pass rush more bite.
- Elvis Dumervil, LB – He had 9½ sacks in his first season with Ravens. Now that he is more familiar with defensive coordinators Dean Pees’ system, Dumervil could reach double-digits in sacks.
- Pernell McPhee, LB – As a rookie defensive end in 2011, McPhee had six sacks, but he has struggled as a pass rusher since switching to outside linebacker. With more experience at the position, McPhee could make a jump in 2014.
- Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE – On the injured list as a rookie in 2013, Lewis-Moore has drawn praise from coaches during OTA’s and could work his way into the defensive line rotation.
- Terrell Suggs, LB – Despite leading the Ravens in sacks last season with 10, Suggs had just one sack over the final eight games. After signing a four-year contract extension in March, Suggs will be motivated to prove he’s still an elite pass rusher.
The Ravens believe their entire defensive line will be deeper and more consistent, giving their pass-rushers more opportunities to turn loose. If the Ravens get to opposing quarterbacks more often, it could help them get back to the playoffs.