The Super Bowl XLVII victory is less than a week old, but the Ravens are already looking at how they can improve their roster for the 2013 season.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t hesitate when asked Thursday during the “State of The Ravens” presser about the team’s biggest needs heading into the offseason.
“The middle of the defense,” he said. “We think we have to get better at defensive tackle. We know that one linebacker is retiring and another one is a free agent. We have a safety that is a free agent, and some young guys that have yet to step up. So, we would say the middle of the defense is probably the one area that we will concentrate on.”
Retaining free agent Dannell Ellerbe would help maintain some consistency in the middle of the defense, especially with the uncertainty of around him. Ray Lewis is retiring, and Jameel McClain needs to work back from a spinal cord contusion.
Up front, Newsome hopes the Ravens can improve on the middle of the line. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was a Pro Bowler for the fourth straight season, but he was banged up for much of the year and unable to play up to his full potential for parts of the season. Beside him, nose tackles Terrence Cody and Ma’ake Kemoeatu struggled as run stuffers at times and the group was an uncharacteristic 20th in the league at against the run.