Skip to main content

10 Questions: What Changes Will Mike Macdonald Make to Defense?

Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald
Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald

We've hit the slow time of the NFL calendar, the time when there's a whole lot more debate than news.

Thus, over the next two weeks, we will debate some of the most pressing issues facing the Ravens as they enter the 2022 season.

What changes will Mike Macdonald make to the Ravens defense?

The Ravens defense has a new leader in Mike Macdonald, who was brought back to Baltimore after one highly successful season as the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan.

Macdonald is a bright mind, and he impressed Head Coach John Harbaugh with his ideas for evolving Baltimore's proud defense.

Players have already been impressed with the way Macdonald is explaining his defense. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey said Macdonald is helping the unit "all be smarter" by explaining the reasoning behind different packages and calls.

Macdonald unlocked the potential of young Michigan pass rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo by letting them do what they do best. Hutchinson went from a three-point stance to more of a stand-up linebacker. Ojabo was allowed to fly off the edge and get after quarterbacks.

Macdonald adjusts his defense to cater to his players, and that's his vision for the Ravens defense in 2022, which ranked last in the league in passing yards allowed per game.

With top free-agent addition Marcus Williams and top draft pick Kyle Hamilton joining Chuck Clark in the secondary, Macdonald has a lot more toys to play with and the freedom to line them up in different spots to confuse the offense.

Macdonald called the Ravens' loaded secondary a "huge advantage," saying it will help him keep defenses guessing more often. Macdonald has the scheme and personnel flexibility with players that can play multiple spots. That will allow for more and better matchups, as well as more creativeness with different packages.

The Ravens have long been a blitz-heavy team that liked to put pressure on opposing offenses. Outgoing defensive coordinator Wink Martindale was especially fond of blitzing. Macdonald also believes that getting after quarterbacks is essential, but with a bolstered secondary, he may be pulling more levers.

Related Content