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One Winning Drive: How Does Losing Scott Impact Defense?


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Change is supposed to be a good thing, but it may be hard to convince fans in Baltimore that a minor overhaul of a storied and respected defense will end up helping their football team.

Despite a familiar chorus of criticism directed at the offense, most of the Ravens’ moves this offseason have involved the defense. Unfortunately, not all of the changes were entirely voluntary.

Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has found a new home, this time in New York as a head coach. Under Ryan, the Ravens defense never finished worse than sixth in the league in yards allowed, and they also consistently ranked near the top of the league in rushing yards allowed as well as turnovers.

And it is not just Ryan who’s gone. He took with him star linebacker Bart Scott and safety Jim Leonhard, who filled in for the injured Dawan Landry for nearly the entire 2008 season.

Top it all off with the fact that three-time Pro Bowl selection Chris McAlister, the team’s lockdown cornerback for the last nine seasons, is gone as well.

For the Ravens, the combination of coordinator and player changes will lead to some pretty glaring differences on the field. Given the team’s depth and breadth of defensive talent, however, you can be sure that Baltimore will again be ranked among the league’s best defenses. (more…)



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