Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/18/13

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Haloti Ngata #92 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts to stop Kevin Faulk #33 of the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Haloti Ngata (Photo credit: charles LeClaire/US Presswire) Without a doubt, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens had one of the best defenses in NFL history. Since then, the organization has been trying to find a group that could match the legendary 2000 defense. While they haven’t quite gotten there yet, they have found some solid men to round out the roster. Here’s a look at five key players on the Baltimore Ravens defense to keep an eye out for this season. 1.Terrell Suggs The 2011 Defensive Player of the Year was sidelined for part of last season after an achilles tendon tear during the offseason. An injury like that was quite a disappointment for Terrell Suggs, especially after the outstanding season he just completed. But like many injured Ravens’ players before him, Suggs had a remarkable recovery time and made it back onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium on October 21, 2012. Suggs preformed well last season despite the injury, but was not at back at his “Defensive player of the Year” ability. While Suggs came back with what seemed to be more passion than ever before, he lacked his typical ferociousness on the field. He was not as explosive as he was the season before when it came to tackling and playmaking. Suggs has the capability to reclaim his Defensive Player of the Year title, as long as his work ethic matches his enthusiasm for the game.  2. Haloti Ngata Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata know the Ravens’ defense better than anyone on the roster this season and both are going to have to step up as leaders on defense. The key for Ngata to be successful this season is to stay in shape and free from injuries. Ngata suffered a MCL sprain during Super Bowl XLVII in addition to ankle and shoulder injuries earlier in the season. Ngata has spent his offseason resting and trying to get back to one hundred percent. While Ngata’s size helps him on the defensive line, his outstanding athletic ability for his massive stature is what makes him so versatile. He is able to switch from defensive end to nose tackle and perform exceptionally well in both positions. The Ravens are fortunate to have a player like Ngata to step in and fill in the gaps on defense, which Ngata does better than most defensive linemen in the league.  3. Lardarius Webb Another player that the Baltimore Ravens need to stay healthy this season is Lardarius Webb. The Ravens struggled to find a solid cornerback for a few years, but they found their silver lining with Webb in 2009. Unfortunately, Webb has suffered two ACL tears since debuting with the Ravens. Webb was preforming at a Pro Bowl caliber before the injury last season. Most of the problems in the Ravens’ secondary came after Webb’s injury. He is expected to be at training camp with the rest of the team next week. With Webb back in the lineup, the coverage in the backfield will look more like a Super Bowl defense should. 4. Elvis Dumervil Ravens fans were hurting a bit after hearing the news that outside linebacker Paul Kruger was headed for Cleveland. But it wasn’t long before the Ravens found a more-than-adequate replacement for Kruger. A fax machine “faux pas” in Denver led the three-time Pro Bowler to Baltimore. Dumervil and Suggs are a petrifying tandem of pass-rushers to face on the football field.  Dumervil has 63.5 sacks in his six year NFL career so far and Suggs has managed 84.5 sacks since entering the league in 2003. The Ravens have lacked a forceful pairing for a few years, but this duo will be very dangerous and are capable of doing some serious damage on the field. 5. Matt Elam The safety out of the University of Florida agreed to terms on his rookie contract with the Baltimore Ravens for four years worth just over $6.7 million. Elam was drafted as the Ravens’ first round pick in the 2013 Draft. The rookie comes into the league with high expectations from the Ravens organization, fans, and himself. The Ravens have had the dependability of Ed Reed in the backfield since 2002. Elam brings energy, hard hits, and a football mind to the field, similar to his predecessor. It will be interesting to see how he performs at this level, but if his college days are any indication, Elam will have a very successful NFL career. Matt Elam will be splitting time with veteran Michael Huff, which the Ravens brought in as a free agent from Oakland this season. The two are very versatile and will play whichever safety position they need to. And they will excel. While Elam will be one to watch in a Ravens uniform this year, it will be the interchanging of Elam and Huff that will captivate the fans in 2013. There is a lot of versatility and many dynamic players on the Ravens defense this year. As long as everything goes according to plan, the Ravens have the potential to make other offenses shiver at the thought of facing them on the field, just like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense had the ability of doing. Related Articles Baltimore Ravens: 5 key players on offense Will the Baltimore Ravens be better than last year? Baltimore Ravens: Can Flacco live up to the hype?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker