The Ravens enjoyed having a perennial Pro Bowler anchor the middle of their defensive line for last nine years.
Now an up-and-coming defender hopes to carry on that tradition.
Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan will largely be tasked with filling the void Haloti Ngata left behind, and the second-year defender wasn't shy about discussing the high expectations he has for himself.
"I want to go to the Pro Bowl. I'm not even going to sit here and lie to you," Jernigan said after Wednesday's practice. "I definitely want to win more games. That's first. You definitely want to win more games, help the defense get even better."
If Jernigan were to realize his goal, he would join a select group of Pro Bowlers in Ravens draft history. Not even Ngata made the Pro Bowl in his second year.
Only linebacker Ray Lewis, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Peter Boulware, tight end Todd Heap, safety Ed Reed, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, fullback Le'Ron McClain, running back Ray Rice and kicker Justin Tucker (undrafted free agent) accomplished such a feat in Year 2. Linebacker C.J. Mosley, who was selected one round ahead of Jernigan in 2014, was the only drafted Raven to earn a Pro Bowl honor in his rookie season.
Jernigan, 22, impressed during his rookie campaign.
The second-round pick particularly came on strong at the end of the year when Ngata missed four games because of a suspension. Jernigan stepped into the starting lineup and helped the Ravens go 3-1 during the stretch while continuing the defense's streak of not allowing any 100-yard rushers.
"I learned a lot," Jernigan said. "I definitely feel comfortable picking up where I left off last year. I feel really good and everything is starting to seem second nature to me. The biggest thing now is to keep it going and build on top of what I did last year.
"You can't get complacent with what you did and feel comfortable with where you're at. I'm just trying to take it to the next level."
Jernigan finished last year with 23 tackles and four sacks in his 12 games. He's in line for a significant jump in playing time this season, and the Ravens are counting on him to be an essential piece of a young defensive line.
"I know a lot of eyes are not just going to be on me, but the whole group," Jernigan said. "We have huge shoes to fill with Haloti missing and it's definitely going to be a group effort for all of us, not just me."