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Are Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo ready to lead the Ravens' pass rush?

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Odafe Oweh (99) during the game Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If you want to improve your pass-rushing output, you can do a lot worse than hiring a coach nicknamed Dr. Rush.

The Baltimore Ravens have struggled to develop edge defenders who can generate consistent pressure in recent years, with stars such as Matthew Judon and Za'Darius Smith having career years after leaving the team.

The Ravens opted to sign Justin Houston as a free agent in each of the past two offseasons, with the former Kansas City Chiefs standout ending 2021 and 2022 with the team’s highest PFF pass-rush grade among defensive linemen. As things stand, though, the Ravens haven’t brought Houston back for a third season and fellow free agent Jason Pierre-Paul has also not been re-signed. Fourth-round draft pick Tavius Robinson out of Ole Miss is the team's only offseason addition at the position.

That’s where new outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith comes in. Smith, in earning the “Dr. Rush” moniker, has developed and operated a pass-rush training program for pro and college athletes over the past 20 years and helped with Von Miller’s annual Pass Rush Summit.

Now, he’ll be required to help get the most out of Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, who will look to replace more than 600 edge defender pass-rushing snaps lost from 2022, as things stand. The team also has Tyus Bowser, who will rush the passer but also see plenty of snaps in coverage in a Sam linebacker role.

The case for Odafe Oweh

The Ravens drafted Oweh out of Penn State with the 31st overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, despite the former Nittany Lion recording zero sacks in his final college season and just seven from 409 pass-rushing snaps over three years. He was an elite athlete at the position, though, with a 4.37-second 40-yard dash time.


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