There Is Still One More Player on Defense That the Ravens Need to Sign

Joe HinkleContributor IMarch 6, 2009

After losing multiple play-makers from the defense such as Bart Scott and Jim Leonard, the Baltimore Ravens can hardly stand to lose the MVP of their special teams unit.

Sam Koch was a critical part of our defense last year and helped the Ravens dominate the field position game all season long.

Koch, a restricted free agent, lead all NFL punters last year in punts inside the 10-yard line and averaged 43.8 yards per punt.

If there is anyone on the Ravens roster of 2008 that still needs to be signed long-term, it is Sam Koch. With one kick, Koch would change the whole dynamic of the game and force opposing teams to travel the length of the field against that stingy Ravens defense.

When it comes to putting Sam Koch into perspective you practically can consider him apart of the defense.

I would have to go as far as saying that signing Sam would be just as important as signing Ray Lewis this off-season. Not that Sam Koch equals the talents of Ray Lewis, but the overall value towards the team's effort.

I have to ask you, what's the point of signing Ray Ray if you sacrifice Koch? What's the point of having a Ray Lewis if you're giving the oppositing team free yardage?

Sam is just as important to the offense's progress as the defense.

If quarterback Joe Flacco didn't convert a pass for a first down, Joe could count on Koch punting the ball deep.

After the change of possession, the chances of the other team getting in range to put points on the board were pretty low.

The offense could bet the farm, that with Koch's right foot and the defense's muscle, they would get a second chance to seal up the game.

But if all else fails, Sam could always run the ball like he did in Dallas against the Cowboys. After a fumble recovery on third down, deep in Cowboys territory, John Harbaugh called for a fake field goal, putting the rock in Sam Koch hands.

Sam delivered and almost ran it in for the TD. The play demoralized the Cowboys and maintained the Ravens' momentum to win a game that had severe playoff implications.

If you're Ozzie Newsome, you need to have at least one of the Ravens' kickers from last year in your plans for 2009. Sam Koch is a rare talent for his position.

Yes, he can be replaced for a second-round pick, but would you want to replace one of the best field position punters in the game after taking a hit on your defense during the first few weeks of free agency? Ozzie you need to sign him long term.