Tha Sports Junkies 101

The Leader Of The New School…C.J. Mosley

Bill Hunter via Flickr



The Baltimore Ravens are one of the more accomplished franchises in NFL history. In 20 years, its two Super Bowls are more than 13 other franchises.

During the first Super Bowl run in 2000, the Ravens went FIVE games without scoring a touchdown, and won the Super Bowl.

Throughout the years, the Ravens have built a reputation on its defense. Baltimore has a proven track record of drafting defensive studs.

Although the Ravens aren’t as dominant as they were in years past, they are still a solid unit. Of the top 10 defenses in yards allowed, Baltimore finished eighth.

If the they can increase upon its points per game total from last season, (ranked 24th), the Ravens have a legit shot at the playoffs.

Inside Linebacker C.J. Mosley is a player that’s aiming to lead the Ravens defense back to its dominating ways. He’s the only player in Ravens history to garner Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, as a rookie.

Halfway through his rookie season, he assumed play calling responsibilities from defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Easily the best player on the Ravens defense, Mosley has been one of the league’s most productive linebackers since he entered the league.

Through two seasons, he’s compiled 250 tackles, seven sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. To put his numbers in perspective, Ray Lewis compiled 251 tackles, two interceptions, 6.5 sacks, and a forced fumble and a recovery, within his first two seasons.

The Baltimore Ravens are an organization that prides itself on defense. As the franchise celebrates its 20th season, I’d like to select 10 Raven greats, that would easily form a top-5 defense in today’s NFL with C.J.Mosley.

The aforementioned Lewis, and C.J. Mosley would man the inside backer positions. Ray Lewis is a NFL legend. He spent his entire 17-year career in Baltimore.

The 13-time Pro Bowler & 10-time All-Pro is a Super Bowl MVP, a member of the NFL 2000’s All-Decade team, and 2-time Defensive Player of the Year.

The top two pass rushers in team history, Peter Boulware and Terrel Suggs would be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.

Boulware was a 4-time Pro Bowler, in addition to being named DROY in 1997. He was a All-Pro member in 1999 . Boulware finished his career with 70 sacks.

T-Sizzle” is still going strong in his 13th season. Suggs has earned six Pro Bowl appearances and two All-Pro selections. He’s a former DROY and DPOY.

He’s also a member of the distinguished 100 sacks club. Suggs is recovering from his second torn Achilles, but he’s the greatest pass rusher in Ravens history. Expect Terrell Suggs to add to his 106.5 sacks this upcoming season.

The defensive line would feature, “Buddy LeeKelly Gregg as the nose tackle. With Adalius Thomas and Haloti Ngata as the defensive ends.

Gregg was the classic blue-collar type player. He wasn’t flashy, but he was a stalwart at nose tackle from 2001-2010. He ranks fifth in tackles in Ravens history. Thomas was a 2-time All-Pro & Pro Bowler in Baltimore. He finished his career with the New England Patriots.

Haloti Ngata was an absolute monster as a Raven. He logged five Pro Bowl appearances and 5 All-Pro honors. At 6’4 345 lbs, he wreaked havoc on a weekly basis.

Just imagine how different Robert Griffin III would be, had it not been for Haloti Ngata. Ngata was traded to the Detroit Lions last offseason.

In the secondary, Duane Starks and Chris McAlister would serve as the defensive backs. Dawan Landry, would start at strong safety, opposite the great Ed Reed, patrolling center field.

Landry tallied five interceptions as a rookie and four in 2010. He finished second in tackles behind Ray Lewis in 2009 & 2010.

Starks logged 20 interceptions in four seasons as a Raven. He didn’t become a full-time starter until his second season in Baltimore. McAlister was one of the more underrated defensive backs of his era. He was voted to three Pro Bowls and selected to two All-Pro teams. At 6’1 210, he was the Ravens no.1 corner for years.

Ed Reed was an absolute star for the Ravens. He’s the franchise leader in interceptions with 61. He also has the most multi-INT games in NFL history with 13. He’s the only player in history, to score touchdowns off a fumble recovery, punt return, and a blocked punt.

Reed blocked four punts in his career, returning three for touchdowns. He also led the NFL in interceptions in 2004, 2008, and 2010.

A nine-time Pro Bowler, and eight time All-Pro selection, Reed was the DPOY in 2004 as well. Ed Reed is also a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team. Currently, he’s as an assistant defensive backs coach in Buffalo.

The Ravens host Reed, and former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan in week one, as the Bills travel to Baltimore.

Ravens All-Time Starting Defensive Unit

  1. ILB Ray Lewis-96’/1st Rd/26th Miami
  2. ILB C.J. Mosley-14’/1st rd/17th Alabama
  3. OLB Terrell Suggs-03’/1st rd/10th Arizona State
  4. OLB Peter Boulware-97’/1st rd/4th Florida State
  5. NT *Kelly Gregg-99’/6th rd/173rd Oklahoma
  6. DE Adalius Thomas-00’/6th rd/186th Southern Miss
  7. DE/DT Haloti Ngata-06’/1st rd/10th Oregon
  8. CB Duane Starks-98’/1st rd/10th Miami
  9. CB Chris McAlister-99’/1st rd/ 10th Arizona
  10. SS Dawan Landry-06’/5th rd/ 146th Georgia Tech
  11. FS Ed Reed-02’/1st rd/24th Miami

*Drafted by Bengals