Ravens Will Focus On Improving Front Seven This Offseason
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens admittedly need to make some improvements with both their inside and outside linebackers.
The team would also like to add more depth to the defensive line and further support a secondary that is the strength of the team.
Baltimore has several pending unrestricted free agents with its front seven, including linebackers Josh Bynes, Matthew Judon, Anthony Levine Sr., Pernell McPhee and Patrick Onwuasor. Defensive tackles Justin Ellis, Domata Peko, Michael Pierce and Jihad Ward can also hit the open market.
The Ravens like to blitz more than any other team under defensive coordinator Don Martindale. Baltimore finished the regular season with 28 sacks and was able to play man-coverage in the backend because of its talented defensive backs. The team wants strengthen its group of pass rushers and ability to stop the run.
"Those guys, all the players up front did a great job. You can go to Jihad [and L.J. [Fort], and Matt Judon had his best season," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Brandon Williams was dominant, so was Michael Pierce. But all of those guys have different situations and statuses going forward.
"So, we have to get better just to stay the same, start with that. And then we do want to get better. We want to improve that part of it. That’s really something that’s going to be a target for us. We’re very specific. We had our personnel meeting [last week] with the scouts and the coaches. We talked about every specific guy, and we talked about every need."
The Ravens will look at all areas to improve the front seven this offseason, via resigning players, the free-agent market and the draft. The team currently has $28.9 million in salary-cap funds to make some moves.
"We want to build a great roster," Harbaugh said. "That’s the point of everything that we do. The front seven, specific positions and skillsets within the front seven, are going to be really critical.”