The Ravens way: Jadeveon Clowney, Kyle Van Noy continuing legacy of veteran pass rushers

Two-hundred and sixty-six days. That was the period of time between video games for Kyle Van Noy.

Yet, the 32-year-old outdoors linebacker had little hassle making an impression in his first begin with the Ravens final week. Just 5 days after his first observe with Baltimore and in his first motion since final season with the Los Angeles Chargers, he had 4 quarterback pressures, one quarterback hit, three hurries and received his fingers on two passes whereas taking part in 23 snaps.

“I don’t think a lot of people could do that, to be able to come in and make some plays right off the streets,” Van Noy stated. “It’s not easy to do.”

His addition, together with that of fellow outdoors linebacker Jadeveon Clowney in August, is a well-known development for the Ravens.

Justin Houston. Jason Pierre-Paul. Calais Campbell. Pernell McPhee. Elvis Dumervil. Chris Canty. They are simply a few of the veteran move rushers who discovered a house in Baltimore in recent times. Now it’s Clowney’s and Van Noy’s flip, and it couldn’t have come at a greater time with David Ojabo on injured reserve with knee and ankle accidents that may very well be season-ending, Odafe Oweh nonetheless sidelined from a Week 2 ankle damage and Tyus Bowser nonetheless on the non-football damage checklist as he continues to work his means again from a knee damage that stored him out of the workforce’s offseason program, coaching camp and the beginning of the common season.

While a lot was anticipated from Ojabo and Oweh specifically this season, their absence hasn’t prevented the Ravens from producing one of many NFL’s finest move rushes.

The Ravens’ 15 sacks by way of the primary 4 video games are the second-most within the league behind the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills and Chargers. Their 30 quarterback hits are fourth-most. Their protection has surrendered simply three touchdowns.

“We have had a lot of success with that,” coach John Harbaugh stated of including veteran move rushers. “It wasn’t something that we really planned. It was just born of necessity.”

While a lot of the Ravens’ success on protection this season will be attributed to inside linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen in addition to security Kyle Hamilton and cornerback Brandon Stephens because the leaders of their respective items, Clowney and Van Noy have been vital.

Though Clowney has simply 1 1/2 sacks, he has terrorized opposing defenses. He ranks tenth within the NFL in move rush win fee, beating his block inside 2.5 seconds 24% of the time, in keeping with ESPN analytics and Next Gen Stats. He’s additionally tallied six pressures, 5 quarterback hits and 10 tackles, together with two for loss.

Van Noy, in the meantime, brings a Super Bowl pedigree to Baltimore, having gained two titles with the New England Patriots.

Last season, he had a sack in 5 straight video games down the stretch to assist spark the Chargers to their first playoff look since 2018. And in his first 9 NFL seasons, he recorded 33 1/2 sacks, 47 tackles for loss, 10 pressured fumbles and 9 fumble recoveries.

“Jadeveon’s dominating pass rush,” outdoors linebackers coach Chuck Smith stated. “He’s affecting different offenses, different groups are scheming up in opposition to up him.

“Kyle, all I did was say go get ‘em. He was plug-and-play. … He comes in instantly talking, communicating on the field, having things that only a 10-year guy can have.”

They are additionally providing a excessive return on funding.

Clowney signed a one-year deal in August value a reported $2.5 million. The deal for Van Noy, who was signed to the observe squad earlier than being elevated final week in opposition to the Browns, in the meantime, was only a reported $1.165 million.

And although they’re veterans, Smith, a former move rusher who logged 58 1/2 sacks over eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, has imparted his data on the 30-year-old Clowney specifically.

“He listens, he takes coaching,” stated Smith, who added that he’s labored increasing Clowney’s toolbox with a rip transfer and getting him to remain in fixed movement. “He’s been a wrecking ball.”

Van Noy, in the meantime, has benefited not simply from taking part in alongside Clowney and being turned free by Smith however from inside linebackers Smith and Queen, amongst others.

“They’ve helped me a lot,” Van Noy stated. “Those two specifically, they’re in all probability taking part in the perfect linebacker … I stated final 12 months [that] it was my little brother, Fred [Warner] and [Dre] Greenlaw of the [San Francisco 49ers], that was the perfect duo. I feel these two is likely to be the perfect this 12 months. They’re taking part in actually, actually good soccer. They’re making game-changing performs.

“It’s always fun to be on the field with another Kyle and play with somebody like [Kyle Hamilton], and playing with somebody like Clowney, too. I think he’s gotten … His narrative has been what it has been in the past, and he’s come here and been nothing but a team player and has played really, really good football.”

It was just one sport, however the identical may very well be stated of Van Noy, and the veteran move rushers who got here earlier than him.

Last season, Houston and Campbell mixed for 15 sacks. Whether Clowney and Van Noy can have the same impression nonetheless has to play out, however they’re off to an excellent begin.

“These guys are highly talented guys, high draft picks, that still have a lot left in the tank,” Harbaugh stated. “That’s the operate of it. They nonetheless wish to play, they’re nonetheless motivated to play, they needed to be right here, they consider within the protection, they slot in fairly effectively with the blokes, they usually’ve had success.

“Those two guys played really great [against Cleveland]. I thought they both played excellent. Jadeveon, he’s bringing it, and you see him getting better every single week.”