Ravens' young pass rushers need to start bringing the heat

The Ravens are better at pressuring the quarterback than a year ago, but they need some of the young defensive players to step up.

It's still relatively early in the season, but it would be nice to see more progress out of outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith, Matt Judon and Kamalei Correa, who have no sacks. Also included on that shutout list is veteran outside linebacker Albert McClellan.


The Ravens (3-2) have 10 sacks for the season, but four of those come from outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and three from defensive end Timmy Jernigan. The Ravens have also gotten inside pressure from end Lawrence Guy and tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, but nothing consistent from the outside including Suggs and fellow outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Some of Suggs sacks have been of the "clean up" variety.

Maybe that will change Sunday against the New York Giants, who have allowed 10 sacks. This could be an opportunity for some of the young guys to get ahead of the learning curve.

"We want to get pressure with whoever is out there playing," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh of his young players. "Those guys are big guys. They are important to us. They will get pressure, there is no question. Those guys are good players. We are going to get pressure.

"Now, if you want pressure on every single snap against every single pass, including play-action, it is not going to happen every single play. We are going to get our share of sacks. We are going to get plenty of quarterback hits. We are up there in the league in quarterback hits. We are not too terrible in sacks, either."

Harbaugh said he's not too worried about getting pressure.

"I feel like our defense in the back end just can't give these guys easy plays over the top. You have to tackle. You have guys like [Odell] Beckham [Jr.], who you read there … They want to move him around and get him in different places. They are going to get the ball out quick," he said. "Then, you have to go tackle guys like that. More than anything, I would say for us is, if we get in the high red zone, let's have our eyes on those double moves. We are capable of doing that.

"And I don't want our defense to let down either in the things that we are doing well, which is pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run and playing inside and in-front pass defense. We have to keep doing that."