Ravens Burning Questions: Is the Secondary Really Fixed?


Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens strong safety Will Hill (33) celebrates with teammates free safety Darian Stewart (24) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (21) after returning an interception by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) for a touchdown during the third quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t matter how you look at it: the Baltimore Ravens had a horrendous, terrible, downright awful pass defense in 2014.  Depending on who you talk to, it might have even been the reason this team failed to reach the Super Bowl.  It’s certainly not a reach when you consider how loaded the rest of the roster is, and how well they performed all season.

The Ravens obviously didn’t lie down this offseason and ignore the problem.  They let safety Darian Stewart walk in free agency and signed former Texans safety Kendrick Lewis and Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington.  They also used a fourth round draft pick to select cornerback Tray Walker.

Add to that a (finally) 100% healthy Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson, a soon-to-be healthy Jimmy Smith, and an improved Matt Elam and Rashaan Melvin, and you have a better lineup than last year.  At least on paper.

There’s no doubt that a lot hinges on health, which is a luxury that the Ravens’ secondary didn’t have last season.  With an almost laughable list of injuries, one would hope that we can chalk that up to bad luck and call it an aberration.  Somebody start knocking on wood.

Once again, health will be the most important factor if we are to see a resurgent secondary in 2015.  The good news is, both Kendrick Lewis and Kyle Arrington have proven to be durable in their respective NFL careers.  Webb’s back problems last season appear to be a thing of the past.  And Jimmy Smith’s foot problem should be behind him by camp.

Much hinges on the performance of the front seven as well.  The Ravens were able to mask many of their deficiencies last season thanks to a dominant pass rush.  When your quarterback is running for his life, it makes it a little harder to throw downfield.

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All-in-all, it looks like 2014 will go down as more of an exception to the rule.  The Ravens have proved time and time again that they are smart enough to fix a problem.  Just look at the offensive line’s transformation last year.

The secondary should enjoy a bounce back performance this year as well.  They may or may not be a dominant unit on the field, but they aren’t going to be the embarrassment that keeps this team out of another Super Bowl, either.

Next: Five Ravens set to disappoint in 2015

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