When the Baltimore Ravens take the field to open the season on Thursday Night Football in September, they'll boast a drastically different defensive cast, with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams and Bernard Pollard all no longer on the team. Baltimore still has defensive lineman Haloti Ngata -- and Baltimore's big presence on the line could see more time at defensive tackle next season, according to the Carroll County Times.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh noted Baltimore's new additions, Chris Canty and Marcus Spears, gives Baltimore's coaching staff flexibility with Ngata.
"We've played [Ngata] everywhere pretty much, and it's been more based on what we've needed to do based on the offensive line that we're going against or our situation personnel-wise," Harbaugh said Tuesday at the NFL's annual league meetings in Phoenix. "But the fact that we've added two guys that can play defensive end definitely marks the possibility he could play inside more."
Even though the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore boasted a below-average run defense in 2012. The Ravens uncharacteristically allowed opponents to rush for over 122 yards-per-game -- No. 20 in the entire NFL.
Moving Ngata back to the inside would certainly boost Baltimore's run defense. Per the Carroll County Times' article, Ravens nose tackles Terrence Cody and Ma'ake Kemoeatu graded out as Baltimore's worst defensive linemen in 2012.
Change is coming to Baltimore's defense -- but it might not necessarily be bad for the Ravens, despite losing franchise icons.