Calais Campbell says Yannick Ngakoue fits Ravens' culture perfectly

Eric DeCosta sent shockwaves through the NFL in the spring when word spread of his deal to bring Calais Campbell to Baltimore.

The Ravens general manager followed with a late aftershock last week when acquiring Campbell's former quarterback-harassing running mate, Yannick Ngakoue, in a trade with Minnesota. Sacksonville might be dead, but its spirit lives on in purple and black -- and Campbell thinks it will be better than ever in Baltimore.

"What it means to be a Raven, he possesses that," Campbell said Monday, via the Baltimore Sun. "He loves the game of football."

The game of football is easier to love when you're finding success playing it. Campbell and Ngakoue know a little bit about that when playing together.

Campbell and Ngakoue were part of a havoc-wreaking Jaguars defense that helped Jacksonville reach the 2017 AFC Championship Game, pressuring opposing quarterbacks at rates of 14.7 percent (Ngakoue) and 12.9 percent (Campbell), and combining to force nine fumbles during the campaign. Ngakoue followed that season with another in which he pressured quarterbacks at a rate of nearly 13 percent, even as the Jaguars disappointed as a team during that season.

Campbell doesn't expect any disappointments from Ngakoue in 2020, and believes his pal will fit right in, perhaps even for the long term.

"I hope this really works out for him here and he can be a long-time Raven, because this place, it really is special," Campbell said of Ngakoue. "He's probably one of the hardest-working people I've ever met. He watches a lot of tape. He's always first in line, running sprints as hard as he can, gets to the ball. When they say, 'lead the league in effort,' he's definitely going to be an effort guy. You see it when you watch his tape; he's a high-motor guy.

"The coaching staff here, the organization, they're going to allow him to be himself and to flourish. So I feel like this is going to be a great place for him. I'm really excited for him."

Baltimore ranks eighth in the NFL in QB pressure rate (27.6 percent) and disruption rate (29.9 percent), but still hasn't quite found a singular replacement for Za'Darius Smith, who left for Green Bay via free agency in 2019 and has flourished as a Packer. The addition of Ngakoue just might do the trick.

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