Its never an easy task defending a Super Bowl Championship and the Baltimore Ravens have experienced more changes entering the 2013 campaign than your average Vince Lombardi Trophy holder from the previous season.
One person who remains, is Super Bowl MVP, QB Joe Flacco who was signed for $120.6 million over the next 6 years. More "Flacco Flings" should be in store for the 2013 Baltimore Ravens after he threw for 3,817 yards, 22 TD's and only 10 picks last year. Also remaining is All-Star running back Ray Rice which bodes well for the Ravens prospects on offense. He, along with second year runner, Bernard Pierce present a formidable pair of rushers to go along with Flacco's arm and quiet leadership abilities. Gone is Anquan Boldin, a reliable, but not sensational wide receiver who was traded to the San Francisco 49'ers who happened to be the opponent in Super Bowl XLVII. Center Matt Birk retired, which is a major hit for the middle of the offensive line.
The firing of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator in December of last year and replacing him with Jim Caldwell seemed to breathe new life into Baltimore's offense and propelled them through the postseason and "Big Game" win.
The major loss on defense for the Baltimore Ravens is, of course, the retirement of perennial All-Star linebacker Ray Lewis. Another significant departure on the "D" is that of safety Ed Reed who signed as a free agent with the Texans. 2012 marked the first time in a decade that the Baltimore Ravens did not show up as a NFL top 10 defense. Even with the aforementioned losses, GM Ozzie Newsome did a great job of retooling bringing in linebacker Elvis Dumervil, along with defensive linemen Chris McCanty and Marcus Spears. These additions along with Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata returning could have the defense returning to the NFL's upper third.
If Flacco remains healthy there is no reason to believe the Baltimore Ravens will not capture their 3rd straight AFC North title and perhaps even be visiting New York in February.
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