Posted by MikeT23 on 3/21/2013 4:11:00 PM (view original):
8 of 22 starters gone. That's a pretty big obstacle.
Yeah, but a lot of that is skewed. I mean Ellerbe started just 7 of 13 regular season games and Kruger started just 5 of 15 and Lewis was 6 of 6. On the other side of that Jameel McClain started 13 of 13, Albert McCellan started 12 of 14, Courtney Upshaw 9 of 16. Put those 3 with Suggs and you basically return your starting LB's for much of the year (I also wouldn't be totally surprised to see a guy like Dansby or Urlacher brought in).
Kemoeatu (most likely gone) is replaced by Canty and Pernell McPhee looks like he is ready to take the other line spot with of course Ngata (I also expect Arthur Jones back who along with new signee Spears should provide good line depth).
Webb coming back from injury easily replaces Williams as the #1 CB (it was after all Webb before he got hurt) while Corey Graham and Jimmy Smith will start and play nickel (Chykie Brown is also back as the dime back). Reed and Pollard are big losses (Ihedigbo is basically the only good safety on the team right now and how good he is up for debate) and the team will obviously miss Lewis' leadership, but those three players have all aged dramatically over the last couple of years.
Matt Birk is the biggest loss on the team and if they do lose McKinnie that will be a big loss as well. Boldin is obviously a great possession receiver, but Pitta and Dickson should be able to fill much of that role, so I'm not worried there at all.
The death of the Baltimore Ravens has been greatly exaggerated. Now granted I am a fan and have that fan bias, but I truly believe they are still the best team in the AFC North and a contender to once again go to the Super Bowl.