It was extremely hard for Kelly Gregg to sit and watch his team mates practice last season when he was sidelined with a knee injury that would require microsurgery to get him back to normal, which thankfully at this point he seems to be. He said it killed him to be out of the game, and he spent way too much time at the buffet. But Gregg is back as strong as ever and that should bode well for the Ravens defensive line.
Make no mistake, Justin Bannan had what might be the best season of his career last year, but he simply isn't as powerful or good in his technique to supplant Gregg as the teams best nose tackle. But, the playing time Bannan got last year should make him a better replacement to spell Gregg during games this season as he has become a better player himself. It's a win/win situation.
Head coach John Harbaugh hasn't had the pleasure of seeing Gregg play for the most part, so I'm sure he's watching him do his thing with his offensive opponents during training camp, and I'm sure he likes what he sees. The man can be an unstoppable beast in the center of the defensive line and it amazes me that he hasn't already been to multiple Pro Bowls. I realize that most of the folks that vote online or at their local stadium aren't that familiar with him, but I'd bet that the offensive linemen he's played against have voted for him for the last 6 years.
Having Gregg occupy two offensive linemen should free up the defensive ends to get passes thrown before the opposing quarterback wants to make them. As they say it all begins in the trenches, and Gregg is one of the very best at the down and dirty job of getting it done at the primary point of attack. The return of Gregg will also allow Ravens defensive line coach Clarence Brooks to to rotate Gregg with Bannan, Dwan Edwards, and Brandon McKinney, which will make for a better overall line. One that should reak havoc on quarterbacks this season.