Ravens Mail: Why has Haloti Ngata been dominant again?

It's time to click open our weekend Baltimore Ravens' Twitter mailbag ...

@jamisonhensley: This is a major reason why Haloti Ngata has become a playmaker again on the Ravens. Ngata was moved around the line a lot the past two seasons, and he played out of position at nose tackle last year so the Ravens could get Arthur Jones and Chris Canty both on the field. This season, with Brandon Williams excelling at the nose, Ngata has lined up at almost exclusively at defensive tackle. There is something to be said for putting all your focus at one position and developing a comfort level there. That's what has happened with Ngata. He has two forced fumbles after none his previous two seasons. He has picked off two passes, his first interception since 2008. And he has knocked down seven passes, which are two more than any of his previous eight seasons. Also, Ngata has been able to stay healthy, which has been a big plus.

@jamisonhensley: It would not only be a good public relations move to re-sign Justin Forsett, but it would be the right one as well. Forsett has been the team's most dependable running back. He can run the ball inside as well as on the edges. He can catch the ball and make defenders miss in open space. And he is an underrated pass protector. Despite his career year, it would be surprising if another team spent big money on Forsett, who turns 30 during next season. So, the Ravens should be able to retain him with a reasonable offer. Even if Lorenzo Taliaferro or another young running back (perhaps from the 2015 draft) gets increased playing time next season, Forsett can be a valuable third down back at the very least. When looking at an odd-man out among the current running backs, I would point to Bernard Pierce. He never seized the opportunity like Forsett did, and he has been a picture of discontent on the sideline this season. Last Sunday, he was visibly upset when the Ravens pulled him after a handful of good runs and let Forsett finish off the drive with a touchdown.

@jamisonhensley: Taking Joe Flacco out of the conversation, the two players who need to step up after the bye are wide receiver Steve Smith and safety Will Hill. Smith has disappeared the past three weeks, which has coincided with the offense slumping. Earlier this season, Flacco went to Smith on third downs and when defenses blitzed him. Even though he plays a different position than tight end Dennis Pitta, Smith became Flacco's new security blanket. The Ravens' offense won't get back on track without Smith getting more involved. The other player who has to raise his game is Hill. He has certainly shown flashes (like when he broke up the third-down pass last Sunday), but the expectation is for Hill to make more plays when he gets comfortable with the defense. Many forget that Hill has only played four games, so there is still a learning curve. Hill's range and athleticism is the Ravens' best hope in cutting down big pass plays, which have been a nagging problem all season.

@jamisonhensley: Not very likely. No matter what Rex Ryan's status is in New York, Pees is safe with the Ravens. There really shouldn't be much criticism with Pees over the job he's done this year. Consider this: the Ravens have allowed the third-fewest points this season (18.1) despite going through six starting cornerbacks. Does anyone think Ryan would do a better job than that? Pees has faced many challenges during his short time as defensive coordinator. He dealt with a group of aging playmakers in 2012. He kept the Ravens in the middle of the pack defensively last season in the team's first season without two future Hall of Fame players, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. This year may end up being his best coaching effort with the Ravens because of all of the moving pieces in the secondary.

@jamisonhensley: Jah Reid may not be on the roster much longer. He broke his hand last week, and coach John Harbaugh said the team is still discussing their next move with him. No one would be surprised if Reid is eventually placed on injured reserve. No one will argue that Reid has been a big disappointment since the Ravens drafted him in the third round in 2011. But he's better than the offensive tackles currently available in free agency. If Eugene Monroe or Rick Wagner got hurt, James Hurst moves into a starting role and Reid would be the primary backup at that point. So, he is one injury from figuring into the team's plans. That's why the Ravens are taking their time during the bye to make a decision.

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