"The young D-linemen are obviously going to be huge for us," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "We've gotten younger there really quickly, capped off by the move of Haloti." (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)
The Ravens' defensive line absorbed two major hits last year in training camp when defensive ends Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore suffered season-ending injuries.
Now, Urban and Lewis-Moore have made significant progress to the point where coach John Harbaugh predicted they'll likely be full-go during organized team activities. Urban tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and Lewis-Moore tore his left Achilles tendon. Lewis-Moore was also sidelined for his entire rookie season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained during the BCS national title game while playing for Notre Dame.
"It's really important that Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore come on," Harbaugh said following his keynote graduation speech at Stevenson University. "Brent looks like he's 100 percent, Kap looks like he's really close to 100 percent."
After trading five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions, the Ravens' defensive line is in transition as Timmy Jernigan is set to replace him after recording four sacks as a rookie last year.
The Ravens are counting on defensive end Chris Canty to provide leadership after re-signing him to a two-year, $4.65 million contract. Canty, 32, is entering his 11th NFL season.
"The young D-linemen are obviously going to be huge for us," Harbaugh said. "We've gotten younger there really quickly, capped off by the move of Haloti. We still have Chris Canty, so that's a plus for us. He'll be the sage veteran in the locker room."
Brandon Williams emerged as one of the top nose tackles in the league last season in his first full year as a starter. The Ravens finished fourth in rushing defense and sixth in scoring defense last season as Williams recorded a career-high 48 tackles, forced two fumbles, and had a fumble recovery and a half-sack.
"I talked to Brandon Williams about stacking another year," Harbaugh said. "You come back better than before. He took last year and got everyone's attention. Now everybody is going to be watching.
"You're not going to surprise anybody. The expectations are up. What an opportunity to build on that and really make a name for himself. He seems motivated to do that as well."
The Ravens return DeAngelo Tyson for their defensive line rotation and re-signed Lawrence Guy to a two-year, $2.3 million deal. Christo Bilukidi was re-signed to a one-year contract after spending last season on injured reserve.