OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens' defense is focused on regaining its hard-hitting reputation.
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees says, "We've got to be dominant."
The unit lost some of its swagger last year following the retirement of linebacker Ray Lewis and departure of safety Ed Reed.
The Ravens also were lacking in effectiveness.
They're coming off an up-and-down season in which the defense ranked 12th in the league and yielded more than three touchdowns per game.
Pees hopes a mixture of exuberant youth and veteran leadership will produce the desired results. Longtime pros Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil expect big things from rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley and third-year linebacker Courney Upshaw, along with cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Matt Elam.
Ngata says, "I'm excited about our defense, how fast we're looking."
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