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D-Line Turning Up the Heat

Kelly Gregg is leading the charge of Ravens defensive linemen.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Thursday, December 31st, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

Ravens defensive tackle Kelly Gregg has been leading a late charge by Baltimore’s defensive line to get after the quarterback more.

With a sack in each of his last two games, Gregg said the line’s performance is a product of the entire defense working together and a steady rotation of defensive linemen.

In addition, the Ravens front wall has settled into coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense, which relies on pressure from the front four, not dramatic blitz schemes.

“We’re getting comfortable,” Gregg said.  “We’ve had some good coverages, and we’re working hard to get there.  It all goes hand-in-hand.  We’re always fresh because of our great depth, and it helps out a lot when guys aren’t overextended.”

Last week, Gregg, fellow defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and defensive end Trevor Pryce all brought Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to the turf (Pryce split a sack with cornerback Chris Carr).  Ngata posted his first sack since Week 2, where he recorded a half sack in San Diego. 

The Ravens also hit Roethlisberger five more times.

It was a solid showing for a pass rush that had been lacking earlier in the season, and the Ravens will need to continue that trend this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders to help their chances of getting into the playoffs. 

“You always want to try and get pressure, and early in the year, we didn’t have great success,” Gregg said.  “With the playoffs coming up, this game is huge.   You want to play your best football in the end, and we’re trying to do that up front.”

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