Ravens defense still dangerous without Suggs

Ravens defense still dangerous without Suggs
September 19, 2012, 8:06 pm
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FOXBORO -- Tom Brady is probably not broken up about the fact he won't see Terrell Suggs on Sunday.
But the Patriots quarterback managed his usual diplomatic approach when asked about Suggs this week. He couldn't have been more complimentary of the Ravens linebacker, who's currently relegated to PUP with an Achilles injury.
"You know, their defense, its interesting because over the years theyve lost key players and they fill different guys in and different guys play different roles," Brady said. "He's a phenomenal player and he's been very durable over his career. Weve played him multiple times."
There are plenty of other threats for Brady to worry about, anyway.
"They're still getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and applying different blitz schemes to get pressure," he said. "Haloti Ngata is almost impossible to block at times. They like to get their safeties involved. They like to get Lardarius Webb involved. Everybody is a blitzer and thats the kind of scheme it is. Therere different playmakers and they know how to use them and they know what they like. Id like to blitz a lot of those guys, too, if I was how good they are at getting to the quarterback."
Bill Belichick also noted Batlimore's defensive turnover. The coach said the influx of contributions from new sources isn't just from rookies like Courtney Upshaw, but from established players who are coming into their own, like Webb.
"They lost Jarret Johnson and Suggs is out, so theyve had to make some changes there at the end of the line of scrimmage, however you want to look at it -- Sam, crash end, rush end, that type of thing. Haloti Ngata has been a big force for them inside and continues to be. Theyre very strong down the middle with Ngata and Ed Reed and Lewis of course.
"There are some new faces, some old faces and some guys that are entering their third, fourth, fifth seasons that are starting to emerge as solid players in their defense. Thats a big turnover like any team though, its not surprising from the last time we went down there and played them as an example, a lot of guys that arent on their defense anymore, but thats true of almost any team if you look five, six years back. But that was a great defense going back to their championship year and most of those players have been replaced; not Ray."
Ah, yes. Ray. Has anyone been more durable?
The 2012 season is No. 17 for Lewis. He's played in 12 or fewer games in just three of them (five in 2002, six in 2005, 12 in 2011). So Lewis is not only featured on the posters kids like Upshaw tacked to the wall and worshipped a decade ago, he's lining up next to Upshaw on defense at age 37.
"Rays smart, very smart, studies hard, very well prepared and he has good physical ability and he has great instincts for the game," said Belichick. "He anticipates well, has great instincts for the feel for the game and timing and anticipation and things like that. Of course, a lot of that is his preparation and film study and experience and so forth, but you put all those things together, I think they all add up."
New England has done the math. No Suggs, no problem? Not even close.