Ravens: Adding Calais Campbell mirrors a move from 2006

The Baltimore Ravens traded for Calais Campbell this offseason. It’s a lot like the move they made to get Trevor Pryce in 2006

Calais Campbell is a 6’8″ defensive end who has joined the Ravens after already having a lot of NFL success before this stop in his career. Campbell has 88 career sacks from his work with the Arizona Cardinals and the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has two seasons on his resume with double digit sacks including a 14.5 sack season. Campbell is being added to a defense that is already one of the better units in the NFL. There is another defensive end who came to Baltimore with a similar story.

Trevor Pryce signed with the Ravens in 2006. Pryce was a 6’6″ defensive end who had a nine year career with the Broncos. During his Denver days, Pryce had 64 sacks. He had two seasons with double digit sacks and his best year was a 13 sack season. Pryce was coming onto a Ravens team known for defense. He joined a defense with a rookie Haloti Ngata and established stars in Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs.

The Ravens have made this kind of a move before. The first time they did it things worked out pretty well. Pryce stayed in Baltimore for five seasons and had 26 sacks. Pryce had a 13 sack season in 2006. He was the perfect combination of run defense and pass rush and he took things to a new level for the defense.

The combination of Pryce and a rookie Haloti Ngata on the defensive line allowed good outside linebacker play to go to the next level. Ngata only had one sack in his rookie season but gave offensive linemen a lot to worry about. Pryce led the team with 13 sacks, so he was a force to be reckoned with before the offensive line could get to the outside linebackers. The payoff was 11 sacks from Adalus Thomas and 9.5 sacks from Terrell Suggs.

There were so many sacks artists on that defense. Bart Scott almost got to 10 sacks and Ray Lewis had five. Kelly Gregg and Dawan Landry both chipped in a few. The 2020 Ravens have to hope that making their defensive line dominant will lead to the plethora of quarterback punishment that the 2006 team was able to create.

The new and improved defensive line could create more opportunities for the outside linebackers. Matt Judon was close to getting double digit sacks last year. He should be able to get 10 this year, while 12-14 is possible. If the Ravens get a jump in production from Tyus Bowser and Jaylon Ferguson recreating the 2006 sack totals.

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Campbell should make a huge difference this season. I’m already on record for saying that he will have a monster 2020 season. If he and Derek Wolfe can recreate performance of Pryce and the 2006 defensive line, it could have a huge ripple effect on the defense. Campbell could be the key to unlocking Don Martindale’s dream defense.


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