Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and friends really have some work to do now.
They've lost seven starters from the defense that helped them win Super Bowl XLVII last month. Jamison Hensley wrote on Friday in his ESPN.com blog that "has any defending Super Bowl champion ever suffered so many demoralizing blows? No other Super Bowl champion has lost more than five starters, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Ravens have already lost seven starters and that number could raise as high as nine (which accounts for 41 percent of the starting lineup). "
Ouch. There's really nothing else to say.
But for all of the fans who are freaking out, and the "experts" who are putting the Ravens in line for a not-so-good 2013 season, remember something.
There's still plenty of time left in this off-season.
They're still in the hunt to sign Elvis Dumervil and Dwight Freeney -- and others. Right now, the Ravens need to fill holes in the middle of the defense, specifically at linebacker, safety and getting some help in rushing the passer. Those are the holes they need to fill if the team wants to do anything of interest this season.
Since the Ravens are such a well-respected franchise, they won't have trouble in drawing the interest of players. Also, they've been one of the most successful teams in recent memory when it comes to picking players in the draft who make an impact sooner rather than later. Or signing rookie free agents to do the same.
Remember Justin Tucker this year? These are the pieces to the puzzle for an NFL team. And the Ravens know how to find them.
The Ravens had a big task in front of them as they were really strapped by the salary cap. But they were also an older team and letting some of these guys go was a bit of a painful yet necessary move. It's not been fun to watch, but Newsome and his staff have time to rebuild. The question is what they can accomplish.