Lewis: Mattison Blitzes As Much As Rex Did

Ray Lewis said the amount of blitzing isn’t sometimes seen because it’s disguised.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Much has been made of the blitzing, or lack thereof, of Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison’s defense this season.

When making a comparison, it has naturally centered around former Ravens defensive coordinator turned New York Jets Head Coach, Rex Ryan – perhaps the most blitz-happy defensive play-caller out there.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis gave his assessment Wednesday, saying there hasn’t been a transition for the players from Ryan’s blitz schemes to Mattison’s.

“It’s a copycat league. Everybody kind of does the same exact things,” Lewis said. “It’s just how much more you do it than the other person does it. I think we do it as equal an amount as we did it even when Rex was here.”

For those still skeptical, Lewis had an explanation for that too.

“Sometimes in games you get in there and it may not look like it’s like that, but we have a great way of disguising a lot of different things to make it look like something and it’s really not,” he said. “And Coach [Mattison] gives us a lot of flexibility to turn things into things they’re not supposed to be either.”

Linebacker Jarret Johnson echoed Lewis’ assessment, saying the Ravens still have blitzes from Ryan’s days in the playbook. But Johnson did indicate that it’s a bit different.

“It may not be quite like it used to be, but that just puts more pressure as an individual, puts more pressure on us up front,” Johnson said. “And we’ve got to do a better job.”

With 16 sacks this season, the Ravens are tied with the Cleveland Browns for 22nd in the NFL. By comparison, Ryan’s Jets are tied for 12th with 20 sacks.

Baltimore got two sacks on Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan last Thursday, both coming from outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. The week previous, Suggs and Haloti Ngata each notched a sack against the Miami Dolphins.

Johnson was asked to rate Baltimore’s pass-rush this season.

“It hasn’t been great,” he said. “We got to them at times. A lot of it has to do with the teams we played the first four games. They didn’t throw much. They just pounded the ball. It could be better. It could always be better.”

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