To commemorate the Ravens' 15 years of existence, Ravens Insider will select an All-Ravens team. It will honor the 25 best players (11 on offense, 11 on defense and three on special teams) who have played on the Ravens from 1996 to 2010.
The All-Ravens team will continue with linebackers, which has consistently been the team's best position over the past decade.
Inside linebackers: Ray Lewis (1996-present) and Bart Scott (2002-08)
Outside linebackers: Peter Boulware (1997-2005) and Terrell Suggs (2003-present)
Comment: No all-star Ravens team could exist without Lewis. The 12-time Pro Bowl performer and two-time NFL defensive player of the year is not only the best linebacker in team history but will be remembered as one of the all-time greats at that position. It's hard to talk about Ravens history without thinking about Lewis' leadership and passion.
The inside linebacker spot beside Lewis is a far more difficult decision. Jamie Sharper, Ed Hartwell and Bart Scott have all parlayed the role of Lewis' sidekick into big paydays. Scott gets the nod because he made more of an impact on the field (beyond his trash-talking ability). Like Sharper and Hartwell, Scott was consistently the second-leading tackler on the team. But Scott, a longtime special teams player, because a playmaker in his first two years as a starter with a combined 13.5 sacks. The next two years, Scott did more of the unappreciated dirty work, taking on blocks to let Lewis run free.
The Ravens' best outside linebackers are the team's all-time leaders in sacks. Boulware got to the quarterback with speed while Suggs has done it with more power. Boulware, who recorded 70 career sacks, had the luxury of having Suggs or Michael McCrary rushing on the opposite side of the line. Suggs' total would be more than 68.5 right now if offenses weren't focusing their blocking schemes around him.
Second team: Jamie Shaper (ILB), Ed Hartwell (ILB), Adalius Thomas (OLB) and Jarret Johnson (OLB).
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