The Baltimore Ravens in the 90s; Did Ozzie Newsome Build the Greatest Defense Ever ( 2000 Ravens )?


the Cleveland Browns are Super Bowl
contenders and by some publications Super Bowl favorites entering the 1995
campaign but during that season shocking news circulated that the historic
Cleveland Browns were relocating to Baltimore as a result the 95 season for
the NFL team that plays near Lake Erie was chaotic but for the newest NFL team
in 1996 a first-time general manager would come in and build the foundation
for a championship team that included one of the greatest defenses ever 90
sports a soldier presents the Baltimore Ravens in the 90s now before I begin I
just want to point out that technically all the history and records of the
Cleveland Browns should have moved with the franchise to Baltimore but in a way
I’m happy that Cleveland was able to keep their history records the team name
and the colors as for the brand-new Baltimore team a phone and pole was used
to choose a name as a Ravens overwhelmingly one the Baltimore Ravens
would strangely be like an expansion team in 1996 because as for mentioned
the records and history Maine and Cleveland but in reality they weren’t
really an expansion franchise as it would still have several players from
the 95 Browns roster and obviously would not have an expansion draft Bill
Belichick coached 95 Browns but he would not be the one to lead the Ravens in
1996 that would be Ted marchibroda during the 1995 season marchibroda led
the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC Championship game and was one play away
from the Super Bowl however marchibroda and the Colts parted
ways due to the inability to reach a contract agreement marchibroda coached
the Baltimore Colts for five seasons leading them to three division titles as
for the last coach to lead the Baltimore Colts to the playoffs it may have seemed
like a bit of a publicity stunt to make marchibroda the Baltimore Ravens first
head coach nonetheless Maryland’s biggest city was excited to have
football back after the Colts abruptly left Baltimore following the 1983 season
the coaching staff would have several coaches remain from the 95 Brown’s team
but at the defensive coordinator position the Ravens hired the
linebackers coach from the rival Pittsburgh Steelers for his first shot
as an NFL defensive coordinator that person would be Marvin Lewis during the
build Cour era in the nice Pittsburgh was great at getting
production and developing at the linebacker position meanwhile in the
Ravens front office Ozzie Newsome would get his first shot of being in charge of
player personnel decisions and newsome’s first draft in 1996 was tremendous with
the fourth selection in the first round the Ravens selected offensive tackle
Jonathan Ogden apparently owner Art Modell and marchibroda wanted troubled
running back horns Phillips but knew some stuck to his board and took Ogden
wanna beam arguably the greatest left tackle ever the Ravens also had a 26
pick and selected linebacker Ray Lewis the former Miami hurricane was labeled
as too small by many to play linebacker in the NFL
the Ravens executives and coaches were extremely impressed on film but Louis’s
ability to make so many tackles furthermore outside linebackers coach
jim schwartz really recommended ray lewis and highly regarded lewis’s
leadership competitiveness and charisma lewis went on to be arguably the
greatest middle linebacker ever with the ravens also drafted in the 5th round was
Jermaine Lewis was perhaps the best kick returner during his time in the NFL
before Devin Hester and Josh Cribbs came into the league the ravens opened week 1
at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium against the Raiders now I’m not a Baltimore
native nor Cleveland native and this is not a knock on the Ravens but as an
outsider it just seems so strange and weird watching this game with Ted
marchibroda Ravens garret after 95 AFC Championship game and a strange scene a
brand new team debuting week one as I really didn’t get a chance to experience
that with Carolina and Jacksonville but most of all it was just so add in such a
big deal about Cleveland leaving and it made this game kind of seem like you
know I can’t expend a bull like a dream that this is actually the old Browns
team nonetheless the Ravens defeated the Oakland Raiders 19 of 14 to open the 96
campaign as for the rest of the season the Ravens finished with a 4 and 12
record with home wins over New Orleans st. Louis and Pittsburgh
quarterback Vinny Testaverde did have a career year in terms of passing yards
and touchdowns during his rookie season Jonathan Ogden helped to protect
Testaverde at left guard but would move over to left tackle next season as for
the other side of the ball defensive end Rob Burnett who is a decent pass rusher
only played six games Ray Lewis was credited with 110
tackles during his rookie campaign and safety Eric Turner made his second Pro
Bowl but would leave bolts or to sign with the Raiders the Ravens
ranked 28th had a 30 teams in terms of points allowed just two seasons ago as
the Cleveland Browns the team ranked 1st and points a lot but that team had
veterans like Carl banks Pepper Johnson Dan Griffin and Michael Dean Perry who
all departed or retired so the inexperienced Ozzie Newsome had some
work to do with the 1997 draft the Ravens once again had the fourth overall
pick and select Peter Boulware who was an athletic linebacker who could really
get after the quarterback and with the fourth pick in the second round
the Ravens selected James sharper who was an athletic linebacker who could
really tackle already in just two seasons Ozzie Newsome put together when
the greatest line back in cores ever with Ray Lewis Peter Boulware and Jamie
sharper also in the 1997 draft laid in the second round
the Ravens selected safety Kim hearing who wound up being a solid starting free
safety for Baltimore beginning in 1998 moreover also making the roster as an
undrafted free agent would be running back priest Holmes would really blossom
for the Chiefs which is like the Rams greatest show on turf system in which he
was perfect for other moves in the off season included signing defensive tackle
Tony Siragusa warned him later on and defensive end Michael McQuarrie which
was a very underrated signing for the Ravens this defensive line was much
better and we know about the linebackers and thus the Ravens defense improves by
ranking 16th out of 30 teams in terms of points allowed for the 1997 season as
for the offense Testaverde wasn’t able to duplicate his numbers from the 97
season but the receiver still put up solid numbers as BAM Morris led the team
in rushing was 774 yards Baltimore finished 6 9 & 1 enter the 1998 season
and of course as you Newsom once again found a Saud player with his first round
selection with a 10th overall pick Baltimore selected Wayne Starks the
former Miami hurricane maybe didn’t have the impact as a previous two first-round
picks but Starks proved he could play
cornerback and make plays in the NFL the Baltimore Ravens continued to improve
their secondary by sending former all-pro cornerback Rod
Woodson was familiar with Marvin Lewis during his days in Pittsburgh what soon
to play corner but then move over to free safety beginning in 1999 in 1998
the defense once again was ranked in the middle of the pack all the offense was
ranked near the bottom Vinny Testaverde left for the New York Jets as Jim
Harbaugh was the new quarterback in 298th priest homes did become the first
1,000 yard rusher and ravens history Jermaine Lewis would see action as a
starting wide receiver but became an all-pro kick returner enter the 1999
season Brian Billick will be the new head coach while with the Vikings as the
offensive coordinator Billick in the 1998 Minnesota Vikings scored a
then-record 500 56 points in his season Marvin Lewis
would remain as a defensive coordinator but there’d be some interesting names
joining the staff on defense like Rex Ryan Jack Del Rio and Mike Smith once
again as you knew some struggled with his first-round choice and Chris
McAllister I always thought Chris McAllister was
very underrated nonetheless the Ravens had a fine cornerback tanum and
McAllister and Starks when this is kind of where things would begin to change
for the better but in a 16 AFC Central it wouldn’t be easy Jacksonville is
arguably the most talent in the NFL Tennessee was a talented team that
finally had a home and stability Nashville to go along with the highly
physical and aggressive style Pittsburgh was down for a little bit under Bill
Cowher from 1998 to 2000 but they were still talented and of course like all
Bill Cowher teams intense and very physical this is the first year for
Cleveland as new Browns and Cincinnati they’re bad on defense but coy Dillon
was a really good running back as for the 1999 season the Ravens had three
quarterbacks on the roster Scott Mitchell went outstanding 95 season with
Detroit but aside from that season was turnover prone especially interception
problem Tony banks who threw a beautiful deep ball with the Rams was also
turnover prone especially fumble problem and stony case who I just remember him
in an important season finale against the Bears in 2004 not being able to
throw the ball to move the chains and only being able to get first downs by
running the 1999 season opened up with a fascinating game against the st. Louis
Rams and went more in depth about this game in a video I did link down below
check it out but basically these two teams had bad 1998 seasons nobody really
expected anything from these two squads but instead it was a birth of the
greatest show on turf which is perhaps the greatest offense ever and they’re
going up against the core players and perhaps the greatest defense ever and no
one could have guessed that these two teams will be the next two Super Bowl
champions anyways the Rams won in an interesting game
as for the rest of the season the offenses better statistically but
seemingly it was inconsistent the Ravens defense was obviously getting better
Baltimore’s the Elson ranked second in regards to rush defense only behind the
Rams but the Rams got out to big leads so teams were basically passing against
them for the most part the Ravens best defensive performance might have been
against the mighty Jaguars it was a 6-3 loss but the defense allowed 9 first
downs and 132 total yards their best team performance might have been against
the Tennessee Titans who are the AFC Champions was really good this game and
seemed to have good chemistry with the Missal Quadra is mild during the second
half of the season also another interesting game for these two that I
remember against Pittsburgh Tony banks went 8 of 26 for 268 yards quadriyyah
smile caught six of those passes for 258 yards as the rest of the team only had
two receptions for 10 yards the Ravens finished a 10-8 which wasn’t
too bad considering the division they ran and they went for their last 5 games
and started to show a lot of promise still from my recollection there wasn’t
a lot of news or publicity about the Ravens who hadn’t had a winning season
since relocating to Baltimore Baltimore 5 Pro Bowlers and one of the better
defenses in the league but the leader on that defense would have a troubled off
season after a Super Bowl party on January 31st 2003 Lewis along with his
group and another group of people were involved in a fight resulting in two
people being stabbed to death Lewis and two of his companions were questioned by
Atlanta Police and then ultimately were indicted on murder and aggravated
assault charges in June 2000 County Superior Court Judge Alice D Bonner
approved a deal along Lewis to avoid murder charges and jail time by pleading
guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice
Lewis was sentenced to 12 months probation as part of a sentence he
agreed to testify against two co-defendants who were eventually found
not guilty of murder as well as for the Ravens team Ozzie Newsome had another
solid offseason with a 2000 NFL Draft Ozzie Newsome acquired the 5th and 10th
selections Thomas Jones and Ron Dayne were the two most highly touted running
backs in the story but instead Ozzie Newsome drafted
running back Jamal Lewis Louis was not as accomplished as Jones ordained in
college but the 5:40 eleven 245-pound running back with Sharon carries to
Travis Henry at Tennessee but he proved to be the bus back and had such a
dynamic combination of power and speed with a 10th pick Baltimore selected
Travis Taylor in which he seemingly did not live up to expectations
the Ravens made a nice selection in the sixth round with athletic linebacker ad
aliased Thomas in a division with tough physical running backs like Jerome
Bettis Eddie George and Corey Dillon Jamal
Lewis would fit right in Fred Taylor was also in this division but he wasn’t the
bruiser as the other names were but one healthy
he was spectacular he was quite the talent thus the Ravens beefed up their
defensive line even more by signing a 340 pound defensive tackle and Sam Adams
and this move was brilliant as Adams and Tony Siragusa were just two monsters in
the middle who could take on multiple blocks and this allowed Michael McCreary
and Rob Burnett to get after the quarterback but maybe more importantly
it allowed the athletic line back in trio of Ray Lewis Peter Boulware and
Jamie sharper to really roam free and fly all over the field
the Ravens secondary and one of the best cornerback Tatum’s in the game Rod
Woodson was a probable safety and Kim hearing he was just solid at the other
safety position one last acquisition to note Ravens sign tight end Shannon
Sharpe Shannon Sharpe told Ray Lewis and training camp in regards to the murder
trial the only way to redeem himself was to be spectacular on the field plays so
well that people might forgive and forget what happened months earlier
Lewis and the Ravens jumped out to a 5 in 1 start which included a shootout
over Jacksonville and three shutouts however the ravenson lost their next
three there was a stretch where the offense did not score a touchdown for
five consecutive games after a lost divisional rival Tennessee quarterback
Tony banks was benched and replaced by Trent Dilfer then after 9 6 loss to
Pittsburgh Baltimore finished his season winning their last 7 and during the
stretch Baltimore only scored fewer than 24 points once the Ravens finished with
the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs opened up at home in the playoffs
against the Broncos were ranked second in the NFL in terms of total yards and
really dominated this wild card matchup then it was on to Nashville to face the
top seeded Titans and I greatly enjoyed watching these
Ravens Titans games back then and as for this game though
Baltimore only recorded six first downs and were out gained by nearly 200 yards
when Anthony Mitchell blocked field he’ll return for a touchdown and a Ray
Lewis interception return for a touchdown was the difference the Ravens
would then heads at a black hole to face Raiders and in my humble opinion and
around this time I thought Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon was the second
best quarterback behind Kurt Warner unfortunately for Raiders fans Gannon
dropped bet for a pass in the second quarter and was taken down by a
questionable hit by Tony Siragusa Gannon would try to give it a go after the hit
was not at full strength as Bobby Horn what also plays several snaps under
center however before the hit Gannon struggled with an interception while
only completing five passes for 31 yards nonetheless the Ravens made it to the
Super Bowl against the New York Giants and the defense was just phenomenal
forcing five turnovers and allowing only 150 to total yards the Ravens defeated
the Giants 34 to 7 as the only touchdown for New York was a kickoff return Ray
Lewis was a Super Bowl MVP and this game truly solidified the 2000 Baltimore
Ravens legacy and defense the mm bolts more Ravens have the NFL record for
allowing the fewest points in a 16-game season yes it was a great accomplishment
however the 2000 Ravens mostly went up against poor offenses and in my opinion
the only offense that Baltimore really went up against that was prolific was
Jacksonville on the other hand the 2000 Baltimore Ravens do have the NFL record
for long the fewest rushing yards in a season and the list of running backs
they went up against was quite impressive furthermore the Ravens
defense in the playoffs was just awesome and it really showed how ultra talented
this defense was no doubt the 2000 Baltimore Ravens one of the best
defenses in NFL history what might make this defense stand out a little compared
to the other great defenses the talent 1 through 11
might be the best each player in the 2000 Ravens had a specific role and
performed in accordance to his role tremendously there may have been
defenses with more Hall of Famers but if you look at players 1 through 11 the
Ravens were quite impressive and was typically all constructed by Ozzie
Newsome the Baltimore Ravens in the nineties the Baltimore Ravens in the 90s

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