It's early in the Ravens' transition from retired (and then unretired) defensive coordinator Dean Pees to Don "Wink" Martindale, but change is already afoot. Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley indicated Tuesday that while the playbook will remain largely the same, the terminology is a little different and the schemes might be as well.
"I don't want to tell everything on Day 2," he said, "but it'll be a little switch, but it won't be too much different."
Perhaps the biggest difference will not be in which plays are called but in the Ravens' flexibility and responsibilities on the field before they're executed. Safety Eric Weddle said Martindale's new defense will "give us the ability to react and change on the fly and not be so blackboard [of a] defense, black and white, 'This is what we do versus this.' "
As an example, Weddle said he and Mosley could, after noting an opposing offense's pre-snap formation and motion, tell certain players along the defensive line to remain in their blitz package, knowing that he could cover for them, if needed. Weddle, who has started 32 games over his two seasons with the Ravens, said the defense never was afforded such a privilege previously.
"So it's able to give the players more responsibility because we have a lot of guys that are intellectually high," Weddle said. "They understand football, they understand the game, and coach is giving us the tools. Obviously, it's going to take a long time to be confident in what we can do and what we can change, but it's going to be great for us."
The Ravens finished sixth in the NFL last season under Pees in scoring defense (18.9 points per game allowed) and 12th in total defense (325.1 yards allowed per game). Pees retired Jan. 1 after six seasons as the team's defensive coordinator before taking the same position on the Tennessee Titans' staff less than a month later.