ROSTER RECAP: Defense
A look at how the defense shapes up after the final major cutdown (although more changes could occur this week):
Starters: DT Haloti Ngata, NT Terrence Cody, DE Cory Redding. Backups: DE Arthur Jones, NT Brandon McKinney, DE Pernell McPhee and DE Michael McAdoo. Comment: There's been an influx of youth here with Cody stepping into a starting role, Jones pushing for a starting role and McAdoo surprisingly making the roster (at least for now) after joining the Ravens one day after going unpicked in the supplemental draft on Aug. 22. The Ravens might be tempted to slip McAdoo onto the practice squad after they add a veteran cut over the weekend. Ngata, Redding and McKinney were all locks to make the team.
Starters: OLB Terrell Suggs, ILB Ray Lewis, ILB Jameel McClain, OLB Jarret Johnson. Backups: OLB Paul Kruger, ILB Dannell Ellerbe, OLB Sergio Kindle, ILB Brendon Ayanbadejo, OLB Albert McClellan, ILB Jason Phillips. Comment: The Ravens return the same starting four from a year ago, but the supporting cast is a bit different. Kruger has returned to being a linebacker after trying to become a defensive end last year. Kindle could provide some pass rush after missing all of last season with a head injury. And McClellan, a practice squad member last year, should make an impact on special teams. He was the defense's second biggest surprise of cut day behind McAdoo.
Starters: TBD with cornerbacks. FS Ed Reed, SS Bernard Pollard. Backups: CB Jimmy Smith, CB Domonique Foxworth, CB Cary Williams, SS Tom Zbikowski, FS Haruki Nakamura, CB Chris Carr, CB Lardarius Webb, CB Chykie Brown. The only guaranteed starter in the secondary is Reed, who led the NFL in interceptions last season. Pollard is expected to get the other starting safety spot over Zbikowski. The starting cornerbacks could be any combinations of rookie first-round pick Smith, Foxworth, Williams and Carr. Webb has been effective as a blitzing nickel back this preseason. Brown, a rookie fifth-round pick, helped his cause to become the 10th defensive back after returning an interception for a touchdown in the preseason finale.