10 Reasons the Ravens WILL WIN the Super Bowl in 2015: #9


Reason #9: The Defensive Line WILL be better than ever in 2015, despite Haloti Ngata’s departure.

Former Baltimore Ravens All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata made headlines last week regarding his first impressions of the defensive line of his new team, the Detroit Lions.

He stated, “I’ve never been a part of a defense like this. You have so many athletes: J.J. (Jason Jones), Ziggy (Ansah), Caraun (Reid), Darryl Tapp. You just have so many playmakers all over the front on the D-line. I’m just excited to be a part of it.” (courtesy of nfl.com)

Well Mr. Ngata, you’re right. You’ve never been on a defense that has so much talent but can’t seem to become a consistent playoff contender or reach the Super Bowl. I believe in Ngata’s Raven heart, that’s what he really meant. Public relations just cleaned it up for him.

Also on Ebony Bird: Ravens success hinges on young defense

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s address the more important matter at hand and the 9th reason why the Ravens will win the Super Bowl in 2015. The Ravens’ defensive line is preparing for life without Haloti Ngata for the first time in 9 years in this upcoming 2015-16 season.

But dare I say, it will not be as big of a deal as most fans, and critics alike, are making it out to be. Why? Well it’s not so much a “why” as it is a “who”. There is a group of young, talented, strong, fast and hungry athletes who are ready to prove that they can contribute and deliver beyond the standards of a notoriously stout defensive front.

Keep a close eye on these names:

DT Brandon Williams

Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw (9) fumbles as he is sacked by Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams (98) during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

DT Timmy Jernigan

Sep 11, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens tackle Timmy Jernigan (97) reacts following his tackle against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

DE Kapron Lewis-Moore

Jan 5, 2013; Miami FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (89) during media day for the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

These 3 guys have all sat as understudies to Haloti Ngata. True students of the game, they’ve learned from a perennial Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion. Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan are the two most poised to fill the void left by Ngata’s departure.

Williams played in all 16 regular season games last season, starting in 14 of them alongside Haloti Ngata. He racked up 24 tackles and 2 forced fumbles.

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Timmy Jernigan played in 12 games of the regular season and started in 3 of the 4 games in which Haloti Ngata was suspended towards the end of the season. During that time, Jernigan earned his keep by compiling 23 tackles and 4 sacks (2 as a starter). With this said, there’s a great deal of production here to not only fill the void, but obliterate the void.

Also on Ebony Bird: Ravens are confident Timmy Jernigan can fill Haloti Ngata’s shoes

On to Kapron Lewis-Moore. A guy with something to prove well beyond an opportunity in the line. Lewis-Moore has been sidelined the last 2 seasons with 2 subsequent ACL injuries.

Considering he’s healthy by training camp (which all signs says he will be) he will surely be out to prove that being a 6th round pick (due to injury in the 2012 BCS Championship Game) and sitting on the sidelines for 2 seasons will not stand in his way of greatness.

Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams (98) high fives defensive end Chris Canty (99) after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Lastly, for those who worry about “leadership presence” in that particular youthful group, fear not. Chris Canty may not be the dominant physical force he once was, but he’s still a dominant force as a vocal leader and player/coach for these young guys who are out to prove a point.

Also on Ebony Bird: Training camp battle, Chris Canty vs. the young guys

Canty was brought back to the Ravens after initially being released this offseason and it’s widely believed that it was for this very reason. Leadership presence, and to help bring home some more hardware to the Baltimore Ravens.

There you have it. The defensive line will not disappoint. Stay tuned for reason #8…..

Next: Ravens still the kings of the AFC North

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