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Thread: Position by position: Ravens defense 2008 vs Jets defense 2009

  1. #1
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    Position by position: Ravens defense 2008 vs Jets defense 2009

    I thought about it the other day as it was always up for debate. Some people said we won't have the personnel that the Ravens had last year and so the Jets and Ryan won't be as good. Other people bring up that we actually have some serious talent on defense and that there's no reason to believe we won't have a dominating defense next year. So what is true?!? Judging just by talent, not by chemistry or anything esle, let's take a look at it and compare the Ravens defense in 2008 to the propable Jets defense in 2009...

    [B]NOSE TACKLE: Kris Jenkins vs Haloti Ngata[/B]
    This is one interesting comparison as both players are truly disruptive forces in the middle and have a huge impact on the rest of the defense. Jenkins rejuvenated his career last season and has basically become one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the league again. We all know that the younger Ngata is an impressive physical speciman and an asbolute stud in his own right. Maybe I'm a bit of a homer here but I think Jenkins is just a bit more punishing, a little nastier and a bit more dominant.

    [B]LEFT DEFENSIVE END: Shaun Ellis vs Trevor Pryce[/B]
    Both players are entering the fall of their career but are still very capable of having an impact on the defensive line. While Ellis is the better pass rusher Pryce might be a bit more disruptive in the backfield especially against the run. I don't think we could make a case for either one truly being much better than the other and I see both of them as steady veterans who do their job and contribute.

    [B]RIGHT DEFENSIVE END: Kenyon Coleman vs Justin Bannan[/B]
    Just looking at their names we see that neither of these guys is a star yet they fill up an important role for their teams as they excel against the run. Neither is worth much against the pass or gets after the QB regularly. They are solid inside players but neither of them is anything special.

    [B]LEFT OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Bryan Thomas vs Jarret Johnson[/B]
    For these two guys we could actually say a lot of the stuff that fits for Coleman and Bannan. Neither is anything special and they are role players. Thomas is a bit more dangerous when it comes to rushing the passer but Johnson might have the advantage when it comes to dropping back. Both are strong and physical against the run and bring solid work every Sunday but nobody would truly miss them.

    [B]INSIDE LINEBACKER: David Harris vs Ray Lewis[/B]
    Even in the late years of his career Ray Lewis is still one hell of a football player and an intimidating force in the middle. Just as much as his play does his leadership help his team and bring them to another intensity level. Comparing Harris to him just wouldn't be fair to Lewis especially after Harris struggled with injuries last season. Yet we shouldn't forget just how well Harris played in his rookie year and that he should do much better in a more aggressive scheme next season. We might truly see next season what kind of upside Harris has in terms of his NFL career.

    [B]INSIDE LINEBACKER: Bart Scott vs Bart Scott[/B]
    Nothing to write here but we should see that Scott will have a bigger role with the Jets and he will basically be the leader of this team. A couple of years ago Lewis got injured and Scott stepped in, basically playing the best football of his life and securing the starting spot next to Ray for good.

    [B]RIGHT OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Calvin Pace vs Terrell Suggs[/B]
    Very interesting pair here. Pace played tremendously for the Jets last season, impacting the game in more ways than just with his passrushing. He forced five fumbles and was a force against the run as he made numerous disruptive plays in the backfield. When we compare his sack numbers to the stats of Suggs, there actually isn't much of a difference. Yet I think we can all agree that Suggs is truly an elite pass rusher. He is fast, strong and can close with the best of them. He also impacts the passing defense in others ways, as he scored 2 interception TDs last year and defended nine passes, often using his tremendous athletic ability to knock down passes.

    [B]LEFT CORNERBACK: Darrelle Revis vs Fabian Washington[/B]
    Washington played well for the Ravens last year, becoming the starter in his first year with the team. His speed helped him on deep balls and he was solid in coverage. With that said, he struggled with his tackling at times and gave away the inside a bit too often. One way or the other, there is no area in his game that is even close to Darrelle Revis. He has become one of the best cover corners in the entire league and is an absolute star at his position. He shuts down one side of the field by himself, is a strong tackler and when tested he proved last year that he can make you pay (5 interceptions). No comparison here and big edge for the Jets.

    [B]STRONG SAFETY: Jim Leonhard vs Jim Leonhard[/B]
    I guess it's safe to say it's a wash...

    [B]FREE SAFETY: Kerry Rhodes vs Ed Reed[/B]
    Now we keep hearing about the great ability that Kerry Rhodes has and it is definitely true that he is a very talented player. But right now he has to prove himself again as he won't have the excuse of being misused last year by Mangini (which was certainly true). Ed Reed might be the best playmaking safety to ever set foot on the NFL gridiron. He is as dangerous a ballhawk as you can find and is always capable of making an out of this world play. Rhodes has more potential to rush the passer as he showed in 2006 with 5 sacks and might even be a bit more versatile than Reed. It's gonna be interesting to see how he does under Rex Ryan. In the end, he's no Ed Reed though.

    [B]RIGHT CORNERBACK: Lito Sheppard vs Samari Rolle[/B]
    It will be tough to really evaluate both these guys against each other. Rolle might be the more complete cornerback but he is truly showing his age lately as he struggled to stay on the field more often than not due to injuries. He's a solid number two cornerback and at this point of his career maybe even less. Few people know what to expect from Lito Sheppard. If he returns to his pro bowl form from a few years back, he could be a special weapon in Ryan's defense. He excels at making plays on the ball and can play close coverage. There's an if though because he hasn't played on that level for quite some time now. Hopefully he can excel with the change of scenery and take advantage of being a part of a very strong secondary.

    Now, which unit in terms of personnel is better?!? In the end, even if I'm biased, I'll give an edge to the Ravens. It is a very very small one though. It basically comes down to a few factors. The Ravens have the special, all pro pass rusher in Suggs which the Jets just don't have right now. Pace and Thomas will give you some sacks yet I would say no offensive coordinator would plan for them as much as he would do for Suggs. The nose tackle position is very evenly matched with pro bowl talent on both teams. Sure, Jenkins has to stay healthy but even when he struggled a bit at the end of last year, he still played all 16 games. The only other elite level talents we see on these teams are Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Darrelle Revis. Obvious edge Ravens yet this one might be taken away when we compare the overall talent level of the other starters where the Jets are basically very solid from top to bottom and the Ravens even might have a weak link or two (like their CBs).
    What could really help the Jets in fielding a similar defense to what the Ravens had last year, especially in terms of production, is Vernon Gholston. He is the true X factor for the Jets front seven next year. He doesn't have to be Terrell Suggs and he propably will never be, yet when he can become a force at rushing the passer and make plays against the quarterback, then the Jets truly gain another dimension on their D. It's a big if but we all know that Ryan will look to get Gholston up to his potential.
    In the end I guess it is safe to say that both units feature some truly special players and that the Jets will be able to field a very good defense next season. There will be some differences that will be visible in how we will use our safeties or how Harris and Scott will interchange in their roles. Depth or possible draft additions will come into play but nonetheless, I think it was very interesting to compare both units at every position. All in all I'm truly pumped to see our defense next year and in terms of personnel, we look to be very good from top to bottom...

  2. #2
    Great read Mo. Well done!!!

  3. #3
    Solid evaluation, could the Jets D actually be better than the Ravens last year? Stay tuned folks...

  4. #4
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    Great stuff. Cool thing is that it's an apples-to-apples comparison as it's the same exact defensive system. I think being a top-10 defense this year is a good bet, with a possibility for top-5.

  5. #5
    Jets seem to be solid all around now on defense and depending on what we do in the draft we may add another X-factor to the unit. Anyway you look at it I'm pumped to see what Ryan can do with this unit.

  6. #6
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    That was an awesome post that helped me get through a few minutes at work!

    I gotta agree with you- as it stands, the Ravens have proven what they are capable of so it would be ridiculous to say that the Jets right now are better.

  7. #7
    The Jets have talent on defense no doubt. They have 5 guys who are possible Pro-Bowl starters (Jenkins, Revis, Scott, Harris, Rhodes). I can't wait to see what Ryan does with that talent.

  8. #8
    Can't do it like that...Ravens have had a similar defensive philosphy and two superstar elite players leading that D for almost the whole decade.

    That said, our D is just as talented as their '08 version IMO....Rhodes, Revis, Harris, Scott, Pace, and Jenkins could easily start for them...and I doubt they'd turn down the services of the guys we so willingly call scrubs like Ellis, Coleman, Thomas, Lowery, and even Elam.

    Ravens/Jets D just for Shiggles:

    RE - Ngata

    NT - Jenkins

    LE - Ellis

    OLB - Suggs
    ILB - Scott
    ILB - Lewis
    OLB - Pace

    CB - Revis
    CB - Washington

    S - Reed
    S - Rhodes
    Last edited by Chica me Tipo; 03-07-2009 at 03:35 PM.

  9. #9
    Great post FlamMo. I'm impressed with the depth-analysis that you've presented . My first instinctive reaction when I knew Rex was our new HC, was that he had pieces on the Jets D to work with, that were similar to the players he coached for the Ravens. When you add Scott, Leonhard and Sheppard, the comparrison of defensive personnel of the Jets matches up pretty close to that of last year's Ravens.

    I'll just quickly respond to some of your points.

    [B]Jenkins - Ngata [/B]are great impact players for their defense. The loss of Jenkins may have a greater negative impact to our defense, then if Ngata was lost to the Ravens. At least that would've been the case last year.

    [B]Rhodes - Reed[/B] You are correct that Reed is the best ever instinctive playmaker at his position. And that Rhodes has the tools to be very good at making plays on the ball, but potentially even more lethal in Rex's blitz packages.

    [B]Harris - Lewis[/B]...(Harris may never be Lewis, but his 1st yr performance shows stud potential). Harris-Scott vs Lewis-Scott is hard to give a concrete answer; but I'm excited of how dynamic our Jets duo can be. As Rex pointed out, The Mike-Will positions are more interchangeable with Scott playing with Harris. It May not reach the emotional frenzy or physical impact of Lewis-Scott, but it should be the best we've had here at LB since Mo Lewis-Marvin Jones, or the 80's.

    [B]Gholston - Suggs[/B]...Imo, this is better comparrison because Vernon has off the charts physical potential(to play a Suggs type of role down the road) Rex will probably try to get Gholston untracked by having him focused on situational pass rusher for this year. If that can be successfully accomplished, then Gholston's role may graduate to a more expanded one the following year. The last half dozen games of the season should tell us plenty about Gholston as a player. Is he making dominate plays and doing more then what his role was at the start of the year, or has he become less visible with each passing game.

    Once again...the thought and effort you put into this is much appreciated.

  10. #10
    The Ravens D falls apart without Ngata IMO.

    Ngata and Jenkins IMO were the top 3-4 DL men in the league last year...Ngata's done it since he came into the league though while Jenkins has had 1 year in the 3-4.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=Chica me Tipo;3038466]Can't do it like that...Ravens have had a similar defensive philosphy and two superstar elite players leading that D for almost the whole decade.

    That said, our D is just as talented as their '08 version IMO....Rhodes, Revis, Harris, Scott, Pace, and Jenkins could easily start for them...and I doubt they'd turn down the services of the guys we so willingly call scrubs like Ellis, Coleman, Thomas, Lowery, and even Elam.

    Ravens/Jets D just for Shiggles:

    RE - Ngata

    NT - Jenkins

    LE - Ellis

    OLB - Suggs
    ILB - Scott
    ILB - Lewis
    OLB - Pace

    CB - Revis
    CB - Washington

    S - Reed
    S - Rhodes[/QUOTE]

    Yeah but I would take Harris over Lewis at this point.

  12. #12
    I was going to do Harris over Lewis but I figured I'd pay the guy his respect while he's still around.

    I do think Harris + Scott is going to be epic here...

  13. #13
    Could you imagine the safety tandem of Rhodes and Reed? Scary...

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=HessStation;3038471]Yeah but I would take Harris over Lewis at this point.[/QUOTE]
    Long term yes but this year it's still Lewis.

  15. #15
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    Well done, Mo! :yes:

    The comparison I'm most excited about and our biggest upgrades...

    [B]Rex Ryan > Eric Mangini

    Mike Pettine > Bob Sutton[/B]

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=jetstream23;3038864]Well done, Mo! :yes:

    The comparison I'm most excited about and our biggest upgrades...

    [B]Rex Ryan > Eric Mangini

    Mike Pettine > Bob Sutton[/B][/QUOTE]

    Thanks!

    In this case though it's more Harbaugh/Ryan vs Ryan/Pettine...

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=Flaming Mo;3038427][B]STRONG SAFETY: Jim Leonhard vs Jim Leonhard[/B]
    I guess it's safe to say it's a wash...[/QUOTE]
    Good post, but this isn't quite fair is it? Wasn't Leonhard just a backup for the Ravens?

  18. #18
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    Great thread,it gets me pumped up for this season!!!

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=foxtrot;3038914]Good post, but this isn't quite fair is it? Wasn't Leonhard just a backup for the Ravens?[/QUOTE]

    Nope, became a starter in week 3 after Dawan Landry went down.

  20. #20
    Right now the Ravens have the better defense, until we play a game in the regular season and prove otherwise.

    But I like where this is going.....

    Also, right now, we have more depth than the Ravens, ESPECIALLY in the secondary. Our linebackers as a group are better, and our defensive line is pretty much the same, barring a draft choice or two.

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