Should The Ravens Switch Back To The 4-3 Defense?

Posted on May 22, 2014 by Phil Gentile


Ever since I can remember I've been a fan of the 4-3 defense. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I miss the days of guys like Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams dominating the line of scrimmage and watching opposing running games completely flounder. Given the last couple draft classes and the age of the Ravens existing superstars I think a switch back to the defensive scheme the team ran under former defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis would lead to big dividends this upcoming season and beyond.

The Ravens currently run a 3-4 defense. Don't know what that is? Allow me to explain. Simply put, a 3-4 defense is when you have three defensive lineman with their hand in the dirt and four linebackers. The Ravens switched to this scheme around 2002 to give Ray Lewis more space to do what he did best, play sideline to sideline. While I do like the different looks the 3-4 defense presents for opposing quarterbacks, I feel like the Ravens defense is on the other end of the spectrum now. Ngata is only 30 years old but he's taken a beating over his eight year career. Imagine what putting a big body like Brandon Williams or Timmy Jernigan next to him in the middle of the defensive line would do?


Photo Credit: Baltimore Beatdown


Potential Starting Lineup:

DE: Terrell Suggs

DT: Haolti Ngata

DT: Brandon Williams

DE: Pernell McPhee

Off the bench: Timmy Jernigan, Brent Urban, DeAngelo Tyson, Terrence Cody, Kapron Lewis-Moore


OLB: Elvis Dumervil

MLB: Daryl Smith:

OLB: C.J. Mosley

Off the bench: Courtney Upshaw, Arthur Brown, Josh Bynes, John Simon, Albert McClellan


In 2013, the top three teams in total defense (Seahawks, Panthers, and Bengals) all used the 4-3 defense. The Ravens would be wise to copy the Seahawk's defensive philosophy. Seattle rotates in numerous defensive linemen throughout the game so they are always fresh and ready to rush the passer whenever needed. With Kapron Lewis-Moore, DeAngelo Tyson, and Pernell McPhee the Ravens have a solid core of young defensive ends. Plus, with versatile pass rushers like Suggs and Dumervil and an aging star like Ngata the time could be right to make the change.

next up:

AFC North QB Watch: A look at the old and new faces in the division

May 21, 2014

The Ravens will have six games against two familiar foes and the new "face" of the NFL

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