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Steve Spagnuolo: Baltimore Ravens have 'wow' factor

After being fired by the New Orleans Saints in January, Steve Spagnuolo found work as a senior defensive assistant for the Baltimore Ravens. What he's seen in the months since has Spagnuolo thinking big.

"Defensively, wow," he told the team's official website earlier this month. "I had little visions of the Giants' front that I happened to be privileged to be working with.

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"This is as good a looking football team that I've ever seen. I'm talking about physically and stout."

The New York Giants team Spagnuolo referenced was the sack-happy 2007 squad that won Super Bowl XLII behind a defensive line that choked offenses and shattered quarterbacks with a league-leading 53 sacks. Big Blue thrived behind double-digit takedowns from Osi Umenyiora (13) and Justin Tuck (10). Michael Strahan added another nine.

In Baltimore, Terrell Suggs and new addition Elvis Dumervil anchor a pass rush that also features Arthur Jones and former Giants lineman Chris Canty. The Ravens move into the season minus a flock of former starters -- Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard and on and on -- but general manager Ozzie Newsome has patched those holes with youth and a string of smart free-agent signings.

Don't expect the Ravens to top the Giants' 53 sacks from 2007, but improving upon Baltimore's 37 from a year ago feels entirely realistic.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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