Playing against Jason Babin can make you want to pull your hair out. I’ll show myself to the door.
The Ravens suffered a huge blow to both the locker room and their defense on Sunday when the emotional leader of the team, Terrell Suggs, tore his Achilles ending his season. Suggs has been the Ravens’ best pass rusher since he was drafted in the First Round in 2003, so replacing his production will be tough.
To steal a concept from the movie, Moneyball, Suggs production won’t be replaced by one player, but likely by two or three. Courtney Upshaw will now become a full-time starter, along with Elvis Dumervil, who had split time between run and pass situations. Rookie Za’Darius Smith will also likely see time in passing situations and sub-packages, but they also made an interesting move to help supplement the pass rush.
Veteran pass rusher Jason Babin, who played with the Jets last season, was signed today to a 1 year contract. Babin, maybe best known for his elaborate tattoo that goes from arm to arm, has definitely lost a step from when he was at his best in 2011, registering 18 sacks for Philly. He also had 12.5 sacks for the Titans in 2010. Babin won’t be the highly regarded pass rusher he once was, but he will bring a sense of security at the position. He’s also a valuable veteran presence, at 35 years old. The former 1st round pick of the Texans in 2004 will be playing for his 8th team, and has seen just about everything during his stint in the NFL. Ozzie Newsome likes guys like this, and has done well with getting the most out of them in the past.
How much will Babin contribute? That’s still to be seen, but it’s another Ozzie move that, while mostly under the radar, will likely provide dividends in Baltimore this season. The Ravens face the Oakland Raiders this Sunday, and will be looking to get back to .500 at 1-1.