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What Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Means for Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Van Noy was recently signed to the Ravens' active roster. What does he bring to Mike MacDonald's versatile Ravens defense?
Kyle Van Noy Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens recently signed Kyle Van Noy to their 53-man roster after having stashed the two-time Super Bowl winner on their practice squad for four days prior.

Van Noy, 32, won his two rings with the New England Patriots. He has also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. He played for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2022.

The versatile linebacker has 33.5 career sacks to his name. He has also recorded 10 forced fumbles, three interceptions and 29 pass deflections.

With David Ojabo headed to IR, Van Noy fills Ojabo’s space. Ojabo will miss at least four games through his ankle and knee injuries. However, there is a chance that he will miss more. Ojabo is the latest name to add to Baltimore’s increasing injury list.

What Kyle Van Noy Brings to Baltimore Ravens

Kyle Van Noy the Player

Van Noy presents an excellent fit for Baltimore. The first thing to note is Van Noy’s familiarity with the team already. He has spent the last week working with the team meaning he will have sufficient familiarity heading into Week 4 against the Dorian Thompson-Robinson-led Cleveland Browns.

While a week is not a lot of time, Van Noy’s vast NFL experience means that he will have received more than enough instruction to contribute as the team’s third outside linebacker.

The experience that the former Patriot brings is key. Baltimore’s pass rush core is young. The maturity and know-how that Clowney and Van Noy have brings structure and discipline to a young edge rusher group.

Van Noy is also a smart addition from a production point of view. The veteran recorded a solid 63.4 PFF grade last season, making 33 tackles and five sacks. While those are not impressive numbers for a starter, they are beyond adequate for a rotational piece. This is the role that Van Noy will likely assume in Ojabo’s absence.

Kyle Van Noy’s Scheme Fit for the Ravens

Van Noy’s rotational reps will come through two means. The first will simply be through fatigue. With Clowney having lost a step, there is a good chance that he will need breaks. Van Noy would fill in effectively in those situations.

The other way Van Noy will get snaps is through Defensive Coordinator Mike MacDonald’s multiple defensive fronts. MacDonald’s defense has created “disguise and chaos” through versatile and disguised defensive formations.

Van Noy only adds more versatility to Baltimore’s fluid defense. The outside linebacker has been used as an off-ball linebacker, though is most effective as an edge rusher. MacDonald will be able to use him in both these roles to disguise defensive coverages.

Van Noy’s versatility also means that MacDonald can vary Clowney’s usage. Clowney can be used as an inside rusher when Van Noy is on the field.

Kyle Hamilton is Baltimore’s most versatile piece. He was impressive in Baltimore’s sloppy defeat to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. In that game, Hamilton recorded three sacks. With Van Noy, MacDonald can elect to send Hamilton on more blitzes while utilising Van Noy in simple zone coverage assignments.

Due to Van Noy’s multiple skillsets, he presents a good fit for MacDonald’s fluid and dynamic defense that emphasizes the importance of versatility.

How Van Noy is used could also provide the blueprint for Trenton Simpson’s usage. The third-round rookie has yet to see any time on the defense. However, if deployed in an outside linebacker role, Van Noy’s usage could pave the way for Simpson’s usage.

Ravens Pass-Rush Depth Chart

As it stands, Baltimore’s pass rushers consist of Odafe Oweh, Jadeveon Clowney, Tavius Robinson and Jeremiah Moon. Oweh has been the star of this group so far. He had a promising off-season and said that he wanted to be “dominant” for Baltimore. So far, he has been effective.

Clowney has been a pleasant surprise for Ravens fans. There were questions about his work ethic and recent decline in athleticism. However, since Week 1, Clowney has been highly impressive. He has rushed the passer effectively and found a good fit in multiple roles for the Ravens defense.

Both Robinson and Moon have had bigger roles than expected. Neither are ideal starting options but have been solid in spurts. Van Noy’s addition means that both Moon and Robinson can be deployed more reservedly.

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Main Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


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