Questioning The Enemy: Ravens Defense Better Than Steelers, Bengals

Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio and safety Dawan Landry answer the tough questions.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Categories: Questioning The Enemy, Ryan Mink

Over the past two weeks, the Jaguars have faced the NFL’s top two ranked defenses – Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. They’ll face Baltimore’s No. 3-ranked defense this Monday night.

But when Del Rio studies the Ravens defense, he sees a difference. And his words mean something.

Del Rio was an NFL linebacker for 12 years. His first job as a positional coach was with the Ravens in 1999, and he coached Baltimore’s renowned linebacker corps during their Super Bowl year. Del Rio’s Jaguars currently have the No. 8-ranked defense the NFL.

Del Rio knows defense.

Keep that in mind when reading these comments from Jacksonville’s head coach and safety Dawan Landry as they spoke with the Baltimore media Thursday:

Head Coach Jack Del Rio

On what he sees from this Ravens defense and just how formidable they are: “Well, we’ve played – in terms of NFL rank the last three weeks – the Top 3 units, but I think there’s a clear separation. I think this is the best unit that we’ve played so far, so it’s going to be a heck of a challenge for us.”

On what makes it so difficult to run the ball against the Ravens: “The big tackles, and Ray Lewis protecting behind them is a pretty lethal combination.”

On whether it’s scheme, or more of a personnel thing: “Well, it’s a combination. It’s always a combination of good coaching, good scheme, good players. And when they go hand-in-hand, you’ve got something special.”

On what it was like to coach linebacker Ray Lewis and the rest of the group during the Ravens’ Super Bowl season: “It was an awesome three years that I spent there in Baltimore. It was a good group, guys worked hard, had a lot of passion, and it was a treat to coach a group like that.”

On how tough it is for any rookie quarterback to have to play against the Baltimore defense: “It doesn’t get any easier for Blaine [Gabbert], it doesn’t get any easier for us playing good defenses. And they’re certainly, like I said, I think as good as anybody out there. It’ll be a challenge. It’ll be a challenge, but we’re getting prepared for it, we understand that they’re very good at some things. Then we just want to try to be smart, move the football and find a way to get the ball in the end zone.”

S Dawan Landry

On the emotion of facing his former team in the Ravens: “I’m not trying to put too much emotion into it, you know? Like you said, I played five years there [and] they have a great organization, great team. They’re doing great things right now and it’s a formidable opponent for us coming into Jacksonville this week.”

On what went into his departure from Baltimore this offseason: “It basically came down to financials and things like that. Like [I] said, it was a great organization, but at the same time, I was looking at Jacksonville and the moves they made in the offseason and I wanted to be a part of that.”

On what he feels like his role in Jacksonville is and how well he fits into that defense: “I’m still playing the same style. We don’t do as [many] plays as Baltimore did, but at the same time, it gives us a chance to make plays, and I’m fitting in well I think.”

On whether he has talked to rookie QB Blaine Gabbert about what the Ravens defense will try to do to him: “No, not really. I know he’s been studying and watching film hard and things like that. I haven’t said anything about them. I think he’s going to have those guys wired by Monday.”

On how difficult this season’s start has been going from a team that has made three straight playoffs to a team that is on the losing end right now: “It’s not tough. You know, just coming to work each and every day, taking the winning approach. At the same time, we lost a lot of those games by a few points; a play here [or] a play there and we’re back in this. So, I look at it as we can easily be 5-1, 4-2. So, we’ve just got to keep working.”

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