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Thursday, May 9, 2013
'Snap' judgments on roster turnover

By Jamison Hensley

It's common knowledge that the two playoff teams in the AFC North -- the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals -- took different approaches in the offseason.

The Ravens parted ways with eight starters from their Super Bowl team, and the Bengals returned all but one starter from the wild-card playoff game in Houston. Looking deeper into the changes (or lack thereof), Jason Vida of ESPN Stats & Information broke down the roster turnover by snaps.

Of Baltimore's 23,375 snaps from last season, players who accounted for 7,549 of them are now gone. That's a 32.3 percent turnover. The change is more dramatic on defense, where the Ravens need to replace 44.2 percent of the snaps.

Of course, change isn't necessarily bad. Baltimore finished No. 17 on defense, its lowest ranking since 2002. The snaps the Ravens get from outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, their top free-agent signing, could be more productive than the ones they got from Paul Kruger, who signed with Cleveland in free agency. The same could be said for the increased snaps from cornerback Lardarius Webb, who missed the final 10 games with a knee injury. The big question is who will replace the playing time of wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

On the other extreme, the Bengals parted ways with players who accounted for 12.3 percent of their snaps last season. On offense, Cincinnati returns players who logged 10,191 of its 11,143 snaps. That's an impressive 91.5 percent coming back from an offense that ranked No. 12 in scoring last season. But not all the players on the Bengals' offense can count on the same number of snaps this season. The Bengals' top two draft picks were tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard.

As far as the rest of the division, the Steelers had the most turnover on offense, losing 30.4 percent of snaps on that side of the ball. The Browns ranked second behind the Ravens in terms of change on defense, parting ways with players who represented 30.1 percent of the snaps.