Tag Archive | "Dawan Landry"

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Live from Westminster: Carr, Gooden sit out afternoon practice

Posted on 08 August 2010 by Luke Jones

WESTMINSTER, Md. — The Ravens were back on the practice field in Westminster with the “over-30” club sitting out the Sunday afternoon session. The remaining players practiced in shells and shorts with many players dealing with “soreness” after two weeks of camp workouts, according to coach John Harbaugh.

Cornerback Chris Carr did not practice after leaving the field with a hamstring injury Saturday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium. He left the field before practice was over to dodge reporters’ questions, but Harbaugh does not consider the injury to be serious.

“It looks like [a short-term injury],” Harbaugh said. “[Carr] was out doing some things today, so he should be fine.”

Linebacker Tavares Gooden was a new absence from practice on Saturday afternoon despite downplaying the significance of him not practicing. The third-year linebacker would not comment on any injury, simply saying he was “good, just running around; that’s all.”

Gooden’s absence was labeled “precautionary” by Harbaugh, and he expects the linebacker to return to the practice field on Monday.

In addition to the veterans over 30—including Derrick Mason who bruised his knee during Saturday’s workout—Jared Gaither (back spasms), David Hale (undisclosed), Tony Moll (concussion), Stefan Rodgers (ankle), Marcus Paschal (leg), and K.J. Gerard (hamstring) joined Carr and Gooden as the others missing practice. Prince Miller was absent from practice to witness the birth of his daughter, according to his Twitter account (@Sheeeesh_Miller).

The afternoon practice focused on passing drills with safety Dawan Landry continuing to lead a patchwork secondary. The fifth-year player picked off Joe Flacco to continue a strong camp in which he’s delivered vicious hits and provided tight coverage in the defensive backfield. With Ed Reed continuing to work his way back from hip surgery and several cornerbacks hampered by injuries, Landry is being leaned on to provide leadership in the secondary.

He and Tom Zbikowski have excelled throughout training camp, helping to ease concerns at the safety position.

“[Landry] is the guy that’s probably been there the longest, maybe the most experienced guy back there now,” Harbaugh said. “I really feel good about our safeties. Our safeties, as a group, have done really well. The corners that have played have done well. I think the safeties have anchored us so far in camp.”

With so many corners missing time during training camp, it’s allowed Cary Williams to receive reps with the first-team defense, a golden opportunity if not for his off-field issues. The third-year player is suspended for the first two games of the season after violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy during his time with the Tennessee Titans. The Ravens signed Williams from the Titans’ practice squad last November.

The suspension was announced the week before training camp began.

“He’s got to pay a consequence for a mistake that he made,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the way it is in the world, and he understands that. It’s going to be damaging to us and to him, but he’s got to move on from it. I think he’s matured quite a bit, even the time he’s been here with us, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh following Sunday afternoon’s practice at McDaniel College.

The Ravens will be back on the field for a Monday morning workout at 8:45 a.m. and another full-squad practice at 2:45 p.m. Don’t forget to tune to AM 1570 or streaming online at WNST.net for training camp updates from Westminster every hour on the :30s!

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Live from Westminster: Mason injures ankle, doesn’t appear serious

Posted on 03 August 2010 by Luke Jones

WESTMINSTER, Md. — The Ravens received another injury scare as veteran receiver Derrick Mason was helped off the field with a sprained right ankle in the morning practice. The injury occurred on a hit from strong safety Dawan Landry.

“It just looks like a sprained ankle right now,” said Harbaugh, who had not received a report from the training staff at the conclusion of practice. “At this stage there’s no timetable [for a return] as of yet.”

The injury is not believed to be serious, as Mason was seen walking with a slight limp through the team hotel. The ankle was taped, but there was no splint or walking boot.

There were no other new injuries to report from the Tuesday morning session, but cornerback Chris Carr remains out with a sore back.

Check back right here for other injury updates and news from the morning session (time-stamped below) and head to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from John Harbaugh, Jared Gaither, Terrell Suggs, and Haloti Ngata. Fabian Washington also checked in from the practice field with Thyrl Nelson!

_____________________________________________________________________

3:23 p.m. — K.J. Gerard is again absent from the afternoon session as he’s battling a hamstring issue. Offensive tackle Ramon Harewood is also missing from practice with what’s believed to be a knee issue. He missed a large portion of the OTA schedule with tissue damage in the right knee and has worn a sleeve on his right leg during training camp.

Fabian Washington is also sitting out the afternoon session. He participated fully this morning, so it could just be a scheduled afternoon off.

1:45 p.m. — The Ravens will hold another full-team practice this afternoon at 2:45 p.m. Glenn Clark will be on the scene as I continue my doubleheader of coverage this evening from Oriole Park at Camden Yards for Buck Showalter’s managerial debut.

Tune to AM 1570 WNST or online at WNST.net for hourly updates on the :30’s throughout the day.

1:35 p.m. — The first half of practice was uneventful as the players predominantly participated in positional drills.

Jared Gaither lined up primarily at left tackle with the starting offense as Michael Oher played the right side. The two switched it up toward the end of the morning practice, but I would expect plenty of this throughout training camp.

The fourth-year tackle from Maryland looks noticeably thinner as he’s lost approximately 25 pounds in the offseason, his current weight at 311 pounds. John Harbaugh acknowledged the team wants Gaither to gain some weight but will not specify an exact number.

“I thought he’d come in a little heavier than he did, but I also know we’ve got time to get him right where he needs to be. I think it’s got to be a collaboration with all of us—coaches, trainers, weight staff, and [Gaither]—and get him where he needs to be to start the season.”

We also saw a minor scrum during 11-on-11 drills as offensive tackle Joe Reitz mixed it up with defensive end Paul Kruger, but order was quickly restored.

Highlights of 11-on-11 red zone drills included a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to a wide-open Derrick Mason before the receiver left with a sprained ankle.

With Chris Carr out of practice, Travis Fisher lined up as a first-team corner opposite Fabian Washington with the starting defense.

In the brief live period, Ray Rice snapped off a 13-yard touchdown against the starting defense in what of the highlights of the morning.

1:20 p.m. — Cornerbacks Chris Carr (back) and K.J. Gerard (unknown) were again absent from practice this morning. Gerard missed Monday afternoon’s special teams practice as well.

The team remains thin on the offensive line as Tony Moll (undisclosed), Matt Birk (elbow – PUP list), and Oniel Cousins (throat – non-football illness list) all missed practice.

Others not practicing included running back Matt Lawrence (knee – PUP list), tight end Davon Drew (hamstring), safety Ed Reed (hip – PUP list), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee – PUP list), and linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quad – PUP list).

Newly-acquired cornerback Doug Dutch practiced on Tuesday morning. He previously spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad and was obtained in the trade for quarterback John Beck.

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Blog & Tackle: 2010 NFL Free Agency primer

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Chris Pika

The 2010 NFL free agency period began March 5 with 531 players who can negotiate with all 32 clubs, and the landscape in an uncapped year is much different. Here are the Ravens players directly impacted by free agency, and some of the rules going forward in the 2010 season.

Restricted free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed three, four or five accrued seasons and whose contracts have expired. They have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until April 15, at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed, and the player receives the June 1 tender from his old club, the player’s rights revert exclusively to his old club on June 1.

Restricted free agents who received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are subject to the first refusal/compensation system of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old club has a right of first refusal to all players listed below.  Compensation is as listed in the column on the right. If the old club has only a right of first refusal but is not entitled to any compensation, the designation “ROFR” appears in the column. In order to submit an offer sheet, a new club must have available the required choice or choices, defined as its own or better choices in the applicable rounds, in the 2010 NFL Draft. Offer sheets may be submitted to an old club by no later than 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on Friday, April 15.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School, Compensation)
Barnes, Antwan  LB  Florida International 4th
Beck, John  QB  Brigham Young  3rd
Burgess, Prescott  LB  Michigan  6th
Chester, Chris  G  Oklahoma  3rd
Clayton, Mark  WR  Oklahoma  2nd
Cundiff, Billy  K  Drake  ROFR
Gaither, Jared  T  Maryland  1st
Koch, Sam  P  Nebraska  2nd
Landry, Dawan  DB  Georgia Tech  2nd
McClain, Le’Ron  RB  Alabama  1st
Moll, Tony  T  Nevada  5th
Smith, Troy  QB  Ohio State  5th
Washington, Fabian  DB  Nebraska  2nd
Williams, Demetrius  WR  Oregon  4th
Yanda, Marshal  G  Iowa  2nd
 
Unrestricted veteran free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed six or more accrued seasons whose contracts have expired. They are free to sign with any club, with no compensation owed to their old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). At that point, their rights revert to their old club if it made a “tender” offer (110 percent of last year’s salary) to the player by June 1. Their old club then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (November 16) to sign the player. If the player does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.

Unrestricted free agents with six or more accrued seasons. Subject to the CBA’s “Final Eight Plan” rules, the players in this category may be signed by any club in the league until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first training camp, whichever is later), with no rights of any character held by the old club.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School)
Bannan, Justin  DT  Colorado
Edwards, Dwan  DE  Oregon State
Ivy, Corey  DB  Oklahoma
Mason, Derrick  WR  Michigan State
Smith, L.J.  TE  Rutgers
Tyree, David  WR  Syracuse
Walker, Frank  DB  Tuskegee
Washington, Kelley  WR  Tennessee
 
Players with fewer than six accrued seasons who received no qualifying offer or no minimum tender from their old club.  The players in this category may be signed immediately with no rights of any character held by the old club. There is no signing deadline applicable to these players.

(Ravens Player, Pos., School)
Jones, Edgar  TE Southeast Missouri
Ryan, Greg  C  Western Kentucky
Saucedo, Lou  T  Montana State
Terry, Adam  T  Syracuse
 
Here are some of the rules pertaining to the above players, especially in light of the “Final Eight Plan” currently in place that impacts the Ravens for the 2010 NFL season.

Q. What is the time period for free agency signings this year?
A. For restricted free agents, from March 5 to April 15.  For unrestricted free agents who have received the June 1 tender from their prior Club, from March 5 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). For franchise players, from March 5 until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the regular-season (November 16).  If he does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. There are no transition player designations this year.
 
Q. What is the difference between a restricted free agent and an unrestricted free agent?
A. In the 2010 League Year, players become restricted free agents when they complete three, four or five accrued seasons and their contract expires. Unrestricted free agents have completed six or more accrued seasons. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club with no compensation owed to his old club.
 
Q. What constitutes an “accrued season?”
A. Six or more regular-season games on a club’s active/inactive, reserved-injured or “physically unable to perform” lists.
 
Q. What is the Final Eight Plan?
A. During the Final League Year, the eight clubs that make the Divisional Playoffs in the previous season have additional restrictions that limit their ability to sign unrestricted free agents from other clubs. In general, the four clubs participating in the championship games are limited in the number of unrestricted free agents that they may sign; the limit is determined by the number of their own unrestricted free agents signing with other clubs. They cannot sign any UFAs unless one of theirs is signed by another team.
 
For the four clubs that lost in the Divisional Playoffs (including the Ravens), in addition to having the ability to sign unrestricted free agents based on the number of their own unrestricted free agents signing with other clubs, they may also sign players based on specific financial parameters. Those four only will be permitted to sign one unrestricted free agent for $5,807,475 million or more in year one of the contract, plus the number of their UFAs who sign with another team. They also can sign any unrestricted free agents for no more than $3,861,823 million in year one of the contract with limitations on the per year increases.
           
In the case of all final eight teams, the first year salary of UFAs they sign to replace those lost cannot exceed the first year salary of the player lost with limitations on the per year increases.

Q. Is there an Entering Player Pool in the Final League Year?
A. Yes. The CBA provides that the league has the right to keep the rookie pool in the Final League Year.
 
Q. Is there a Minimum Team Salary in the Final League Year?
A. There is no Minimum Team Salary in the Final League Year.
 
Q. Are there individual player minimum salaries in the Final League Year?
A. Yes, but they rise at a rate somewhat slower than player minimum salaries rise in capped years.
 
Q. Do any player contract rules from capped years remain in place for the Final League Year?
A. Yes. Some rules like the “30% increase rule” are still in effect in the Final League Year for player contracts signed in capped years. That rule restricts salary increases from 2009 to 2010 and beyond. For example: a player with a $500,000 salary in 2009 would be limited to annual salary increases of $150,000 ($500,000 x 30%) beginning in 2010.

To follow Chris Pika on Twitter, click here (@BlogAndTackle)

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Ravens Colts Playoff

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Divisional Playoff Preview: Ravens @ Colts

Posted on 15 January 2010 by Derek Arnold

Ravens Colts Playoff

Ravens Colts Stats 2

Another season, another trip to face the AFC South winners, holders of the #1 overall seed in the AFC. Can the Ravens repeat the huge upset they pulled last year in Nashville against the Titans? Methinks yes. Let’s look at the reasons why…

Peyton Zulu

1. The Colts’ regular season dominance will again hurt them in the postseason

The Colts won more games than any other team 00’s. However, as of right now there are two teams who have won more Lombardi Trophies than they did (Pats, Steelers) and three others who have won just as many (Ravens, Buccaneers, Giants). All their regular season victories have not translated into January and February success. In fact, at times they have been so dominant during the regular season that they have locked up the #1 seed early enough that their last game or two has been meaningless. Every time that such a scenario has played out so far, they have lost their first playoff game. That’s right; Peyton Manning and his Colts are 0-3 in the Divisional Round during years in which they had a bye during the Wild Card round. Their only Super Bowl win came in 2006, when they were forced to play a Wild Card game.

This year, the Colts wrapped up the AFC’s #1 seed on December 13th (Week 14). They then played to win one more time, four days later in Jacksonville. They did this only to set the record for most consecutive regular season wins (Edit – they had already broken this record the previous week. So, Bill Polian is not only a shithead, but he can’t count either). Since then, they have played a game “in anger” exactly zero times. They took their starters out in Week 16 against the New York Jets, and promptly lost any chance at an undefeated season they may have had (more on that later), and laid a stinker in Buffalo in Week 17, finishing up at 14-2. Tack on last week’s bye, and it will have been one day short of a full month since the Colts last tried to win a football game.

The Ravens, on the other hand, have been fighting for their Playoff lives all season. Under intense pressure to win, they came out on top in three of their last four in the regular season and then pounded Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Wild Card round. If not for a few costly drops in Pittsburgh in Week 16, the good guys in purple would be riding a nice little five game winning streak.

It will take the Colts at least a quarter to get re-acclimated to game speed, and part of me believes they will not be able to match the Ravens’ intensity at any point during the 60 minutes. If the Ravens can start fast like they did in New England (not necessarily 24-0, but 10-0 or 14-0), the thought of “here we go again” will force itself into the Indy psyche.

2. Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Le’Ron McClain

The Colts were 24th in the NFL stopping the run, allowing 126.5 yards per game. Sure, these three managed only 100 yards combined in the Week 11 meeting, but that was back when the Ravens still had no offensive identity. Now that they are fully committed to being a pound-it-down-your-throat running team, they should have much less trouble pushing around the Colts’ undersized front seven. In four of the last five games, one of the Ravens’ rushers has topped the century mark – Ray Rice three times (166 vs. Det, 141 @ Pit, 159 @ NE) and Willis McGahee once (167 @ Oak).

The formula for success against Peyton Manning is the same as it’s been pretty much his entire career – keep him off the field as much as possible, and when he is on it, move him off his “spot.”

The Ravens’ running game will go a long way to fulfilling the first ingredient in that recipe. As far as the other…

3. The return of the Ravens’ pass rush

There is no denying that the Ravens have had trouble getting to the quarterback at times this season. However, over the last several games, they seem to have figured things out a bit.

In Week 16, they sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times – 3.5 came from defensive linemen
In Week 17, they sacked Jamarcus Russell three times and caused him to fumble once – all 3 were from defensive linemen
Last week, they sacked Tom Brady three times and caused him to fumble once – Two of 3 were from defensive linemen

So, not only are the Ravens now getting to quarterbacks, they are doing it without being forced to blitz the house. This latter point is huge against Peyton Manning, who eats blitzes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Peyton Manning BEGS you to blitz him. If the Ravens can pressure him, get his feet all nice and happy, and move him off of his spot, he will become very average very quickly.

Guys like Dwan Edwards, Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Antwan Barnes, who have picked up their games recently, need to keep it up Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Throw in the occasional well-timed blitz by Ray Lewis (who is much better served rushing the passer than say, trying to keep up with Dallas Clark in the middle of the field), and hopefully the Ravens will be making Peyton very familiar with the turf.

3(b). The Ravens’ Secondary

This point goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Since the Ravens’ front has been getting to passers, their formerly dreadful secondary has suddenly come alive. Dominique Foxworth has started to live up to his huge free agent contract over the last month or so. Chris Carr, filling in for the injured Lardarius Webb, has improved every single game since becoming a starting CB. Hell, even Frank Freakin’ Walker was making plays last week in New England. When Walker is batting down passes, instead of having flags heaved in his direction, you know things are going well.

The Ravens picked off Manning twice in Baltimore in Week 11. They won’t have the advantage of crowd noise that they enjoyed in Charm City, but the play of the aforementioned guys, along with Dawan Landry, has improved dramatically since even that mid-season contest. If they continue their strong play, that should more than make up for the fact that Manning will be operating in his cozy home confines.

4. Michael Oher and Jared Gaither

These two won our “Play Like a Raven” award in Week 11, as they kept the Colts’ fearsome twosome of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis completely shutout of the stat sheet. We all know from those investment commercials that past success is no indicator of future performance and all that, but it’s good that the Ravens’ young tackles will have some confidence going up against such an intimidating opponent.

Freeney, who said at the end of “The Blind Side” (book, not movie), “You tell Michael Oher I’ll be waiting for him,” will have another chance to back up those words.

Unfortunately, as far as the Ravens are concerned, he may have a much higher number of chances than he did in the previous meeting.

Freeney usually lines up on to the quarterback’s left (the “Blind Side,” naturally), while Michael Oher has spent the majority of his rookie season playing right tackle. However, Jared Gaither’s status for Saturday is still up in the air. If Gaither cannot go, Oher would again move to the left side. What happens on the right side would then also be undetermined – the Ravens could put Oneil Cousins at right tackle OR move Marshal Yanda from right guard to right tackle, and reinsert Chris Chester at right guard.

Gaither did fully practice on Thursday, but would not talk to reporters about his injury. Cross your fingers that he is able to go.

And now, for some silly reasons:

5. Karma

The Colts’ brass’ decision to forego the chance at a perfect season really sucks. It sucks for their players. It sucks for their fans. It sucks for fans of football in general. It sucks for anybody who gets sick of seeing that old curmudgeon Mercury Morris vindicated every damn year. It just…really sucks.

The Colts’ players were visibly distraught on the sidelines in Week 16 after the starters had been removed. Watching their chance at history go up in flames obviously did not sit well.

Understandably so.

Imagine being Peyton Manning. You’re constantly compared with Tom Brady. You hear all the time how the two of you are 1-2, in some order, among quarterbacks of this generation. Those that argue for Brady point to his postseason success as the deciding factor. Tom Brady was two minutes from posting a historic 19-0 season. He failed.

Now, you have the chance to be the one that goes 19-0. If you can win your second Lombardi Trophy, and go 19-0 in the process, something ol’ Tommy was unable to do, you’ll win. YOU will be the one that did what Tom could not. YOU will now be the undisputed best.

And then Bill Polian goes and takes all that out from under you.

How would you feel if you were Peyton? Deflated, I’d say, to put it mildly.

The other 44 guys wearing horseshoes on their helmets Saturday might not be dejected to quite that level, but they’ll still be a bit less motivated, to one degree or another, than they would have been had they finished the regular season 16-0.

Aside from that, the Colts NEED to lose at some point this postseason for the sake of football fans everywhere. If they win the Super Bowl, after deciding to rest their players and not try for 19-0, it will deprive us of the chance to see any team try to be perfect in the future. The Colts CANNOT be allowed to set the precedent that resting your players, even with the perfect season on the line, is the way to go, or other teams will surely follow.

Roger Goodell says there is “no solution” to teams resting starters. Yes there is: BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THOSE TEAMS. Prove, time and time again, that you cannot just turn the competitive edge on and off like a light switch.

SOMEONE needs to beat the Colts this January, for football fans everywhere. Might as well be the Ravens.

Oh, and of course there’s those whole stole-our-team then knocked-us-out-of-the-playoffs-in-2006 karma that needs to be repaid.

6. Nestminder in da house

Finally, the Ravens will win because I’m going to my first postseason road game. I’m ridiculously pumped to go to Indy, and judging by the fact that I had to book my flight out of Dulles, due to all Baltimore-Indianapolis flights being booked, I am very eager to see just how well the purple is represented in the Midwest.

I’ll be at the WNST pre-game tailgate party at the Rock Lobster, and if you’re in Indy, you should be to. Hope to see you there.

I’ll have plenty of pictures, and hopefully some videos, of the trip next week. Hopefully (come on, come on, COME ON) they will be celebratory in nature.

Ravens 24 Colts 20

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BeliStan

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Ravens 33 Patriots 14 (THE DISMANTLING OF THE PATS’ DYNASTY Game)

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Derek Arnold

BeliStan

Wes “Tiny Tim” Welker hobbled out to midfield with the captains for the coin toss.

Matt Slater stopped Jalen Parmele in his tracks at the Ravens’ 17 yard line on the opening kickoff.

Those two moments, both occurring prior to about 1:05 PM Eastern Time, would be the last semblance of good feelings for every chowdah-swilling Masshole in attendance at Gillette Stadium on this day.

On the Ravens’ first play from scrimmage, Ray Rice took the handoff on the “slow to, fast through” play, and raced 83 yards to the end zone. The longest play of Mighty Mouse’s young career, and the second longest rush in NFL postseason history, served to set the tone for what was to be a glorious day for the Ravens and B’More. Three plays into the ensuing New England possession, it was Week 4 all over again for Terrell Suggs and Tom Brady, as Sizzle AGAIN stripped the three-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback, this time falling on the ball himself at the Pats’ 17 yard line.

Five plays later, it was Le’Ron “Pain Train” McClain getting into the end zone, and the route was on. Less than five minutes into the game, with the Foxborough crowd still getting situated in their seats, the purple and black led 14-0.

For the swarming Ravens’ defense though, who would have their best game of the season, the turnover party was just getting started. After each squad went 3-and-out (New England’s highlighted by a ferocious Ray Lewis sack, the first of his career in the postseason), the Pats would reach only their own 25 yard line before turning it over once again, this time on a ridiculous “who in the world was he throwing that to?” ball by Tom Brady that was snatched up by Chris Carr.

The Ravens’ methodical ground game would come through once again, turning this Patriots mistake into seven points as well.

Twelve minutes into the game, with Joe Flacco having completed just one pass for 13 yards to that point, the Ravens already found themselves ahead 21-0. Ravens fans buckled down for what looked to likely be a long, LONG, 48 remaining minutes, as we were sure that Brady & Co. would not go quietly, and would muster a valiant comeback.

Such a situation did not even come close to materializing.

When all was said and done, the Ravens had intercepted Tom “Terrific,” who was Tom “Terrible” on this day, three times, and stripped him once. As mentioned, the Ravens’ defense came to play, having easily their most impressive performance of 2009. Brady was sacked three times, New England’s running plays fooled nobody, and the Pats’ go-to wide receiver screen game was completely ineffective thanks to outstanding tacking from the B’More secondary, especially Dominique Foxworth and Chris Carr. Foxworth had his best day as a Raven, leading the team with 8 tackles, most of which were near the line of scrimmage, and holding Randy Moss to just five catches for 48 yards. Carr made several stops in the backfield, and seemingly continues to improve each week since being inserted as a starting cornerback. His only mistakes of the day really weren’t his fault – Tom Zbikowski got in the way of the punt that he muffed, and he simply lost his footing on Pats’ WR Julian Edelman’s second touchdown catch of the day.

Ed Reed and Dawan Landry both had interceptions, and each broke up another pass. It was so bad even FRANK FREAKING WALKER was making plays. No, really. Walker had a direct hand in Landry’s pick, blowing up Ben Watson just as the ball arrived causing it to pop up in the air, and made several strong tackles (of course, he dropped what should have been another interception, just to remind us that he’s still Frank Walker – but overall a very good day by #41.)

All told, New England managed just 196 total yards, went 3/12 on 3rd downs, and scored their fewest points since Week 2 against the Jets.

The Patriots’ defense, which we had been told all week was well equipped to hold down the Ravens’ running attack with defensive tackles Ty Warren and Vince Wilfork returning to the lineup, got pushed around handily by the purple and black offensive heavies. Ravens running backs totaled 46 carries, 229 yards (a 4.98 average), and four touchdowns. Even Joe Flacco got into the act on the ground, scrambling for a key first down in the fourth quarter that set up the Ravens’ final points of the day.

Flacco’s day passing was non-existent, but it didn’t need to be otherwise. His 4/10, 34 yard, 1 Int performance tied Bob Griese of the 1973 Miami Dolphins for fewest passing yards in a Playoff win in the Super Bowl era. The haters will be quick to jump on Joe for these numbers, but pay them no mind. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers may have thrown for 422 yards and 4 touchdowns in the late game Sunday, but all those pretty stats got him nothing more than a one-way ticket to the offseason. If Flacco does his best Trent Dilfer impersonation all the way to a Lombardi Trophy, not a soul in Charm City will complain, I promise you that.

At the end of the day, the Patriots’ dynasty of the 2000s was left in shambles. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who had never lost a Playoff game at home together, were embarrassed by John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco (ok, moreso Ray Rice, but you get the idea). Much to the chagrin of all the talking heads (none of whom were giving the Ravens a snowball’s chance in hell, all but booking the New York Jets’ tickets to Indianapolis) there will be no Brady-Manning rematch in the AFC Championship and no dimpled chin darling to fawn over in future rounds of the 2009 postseason. Nope, it’s unibrow time, baby!

Tidbits:

  • It was the first time an NFL Playoff game had been lost by the Patriots in New England since 1978 (The CBS broadcast decided to break this stat down into days, for some asinine reason – 11,000 or something like that).
  • There is now nary an active quarterback in the NFL with more road Playoff victories than Baltimore’s own number Five. The Ravens also tied the 1970s Dallas Cowboys for most road Playoff wins in one decade (6).
  • The Ravens’ committed only three penalties for a paltry 15 yards, both lows for this flag-filled season (big ups to referee Gene Steratore and his crew, by the way, for actually letting the players decide the game! Is there any way we can reserve him for all Ravens games from now on?)

Next up for our purple heroes is a rematch of the 2006 AFC Divisional Playoff with the Indianapolis Colts. Hopefully the road team will emerge victorious this time around as well.

Pats Fans

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Win or Go Home

Posted on 07 January 2010 by bigbrad

I’m a little tardy on this post, but better late than never, right?

 

Anyway, it’s no secret anymore that the Ravens have an extremely tough challenge ahead of them as they head north to take on the Patriots, a team that they have never beaten in the Ravens 14 years of existence. But hey, there is a first time for everything!

 

There are a few key match-ups that I feel are important, and one of my loyal readers have also mentioned that he feels the same way. So let’s go through them to see exactly what the Ravens are going to have to do in order to pull out a victory on Sunday afternoon.

 

The biggest concern, and one that has been a dark cloud over the Ravens all season, is the Ravens’ secondary against the opponents’ receivers. And the Patriots have one of the best in Randy Moss. If there is one good thing going in favor of the Ravens is the unfortunate injury to Wes Welker this past weekend. However, at the same time, Julian Edelman is his backup, who just torched the Texans with 10 receptions and 103 yards this past Sunday. Needless to say, the Ravens are going to have their hands full. Moss is obviously going to have to be double-teamed as much as possible so that not many balls are thrown his way. And whoever is matched up against Edelman and the other Patriots receivers is going to have to shut them down. One thing I would like to see is a lot of help from our safeties, whether that is Ed Reed, Dawan Landry, or Tom Zbikowski. I actually wouldn’t mind a new look where all three of them are back deep, offering as much help as possible to our secondary and linebackers.

 

Another concern that has been brought to my attention is the Patriots’ defensive line against the Ravens’ offensive line. The best way to counter their D-line, led by Vince Wilfork and his 325 pound frame, is to establish an early running attack so that the defense will be keying on Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, which will open up the secondary so that Joe Flacco can have some targets to throw to. In order to establish this early run game, we are going to have to have extra blockers stay in, meaning Todd Heap and Le’Ron McClain. We may even need these two to stay in for pass protection as well, since it seemed last week that the Raiders were continually getting a hand on Flacco, even more than the four sacks that they recorded. At the same time, however, Flacco is going to need to feel this pressure and go to his check downs earlier, or get rid of the ball. He is going to get hurt worse than he already is one of these days if he doesn’t learn to do this.

 

And if the Ravens can get off to this strong early running game, they can keep the Patriots’ offense on the sideline, preventing them from scoring on the Ravens’ defense. It isn’t going to be an easy game, but nothing in the NFL ever is. If you look back on all of the Ravens’ losses this year, they have been to quality opponents where the Ravens had a chance late to pull off a win. We all remember Mark Clayton’s dropped pass late in the fourth quarter against these very same Patriots. I expect another game very similar to the one in week four. Hopefully this time, there will be a different result. I definitely do not want this game to be the last one for the Ravens this season.

 

 

 

 

 

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PlayLikeaRaven

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Play Like a Raven – Week 10

Posted on 18 November 2009 by Derek Arnold

PlayLikeaRaven

Played Like a Raven – Dawan Landry

Landry

The fourth year safety has been having a very lackluster year, and has very obviously not been the player that he was prior to sustaining a spinal cord concussion last season. However, on Monday night, Dawan Landry showed glimpses that just maybe he is returning, slowly but surely, to his pre-injury form. He racked up four solo tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss and had another tackle, that would have went for a loss of 4 yards, nullified by a 12-men on the field penalty by the Ravens. Landry’s 48-yard interception return touchdown provided the knockout blow that Ravens fans had been nervously awaiting all night.

This may come as a shock, but Landry now actually leads the team with his three interceptions. Granted, the entire team only has 9 picks through 9 games, well below 2008’s 26 in 16 pace, but…there it is.

Hopefully this was a sign of things to come for Landry. We’ll gladly take the interceptions, especially considering the lack therof coming from anybody else in the secondary, but it was his return to sure, aggressive tackling that bodes well for #26 moving forward.

Did Not Play Like a Raven – Wide Receivers

WRs

For the fourth straight week, this dubious honor goes to not a single player, but an entire group (previous three were: offensive line, anyone who got flagged, and secondary). This time it was the Ravens’ wide receivers who failed to make the trip to Cleveland. The group, as a whole, managed only THREE catches all night; all were, of course, by Derrick Mason. Mason’s long reception on the night was 41 yards, but about 30 of that came after the Browns DB whiffed and ran right by Derrick – it was by no means a stretch-the-field type catch.

The “howlitzer,” as Jaws put it, on Flacco’s shoulder was never on full display, due to, among other problems, the wideouts failing to get any separation down the field. Some blame also needs to go to Flacco, who still throws high way too often, and the offensive line, who seem to give Flacco much too small of a pocket, especially in front of him.

Despite the high throw, it was nonetheless a very catchable ball from Joe to Mark Clayton on a slant route from the slot – one that likely would have resulted in a long catch-and-run touchdown had Clayton pulled it in. It’s a play that an NFL wide receiver needs to make.

Kelley Washington went without a reception for the first time all season, and was targeted only once.

An inability to move the ball in big chunks and put points on the board, against a lowly defense such as that of the Browns, does not inspire confidence for the upcoming contests against Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay. This group, along with pretty much everybody else on the offensive side of the ball, needs to step it up in a big way over the season’s final seven games.

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RiceTigers

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Bengals 17 Ravens 7 (The WHICH TEAM IS THE BUNGLES, AGAIN? Game)

Posted on 09 November 2009 by Derek Arnold

After a week in which they reassured us that the sky was, in fact, not falling, the Ravens pulled a complete 180 with their worst performance of the season in Cincinnati yesterday. It was the first of the Ravens’ 4 losses where they were absolutely, unquestionably, without a doubt, outplayed and outcoached for 60 minutes. The first of the four where you can’t look back, point to any one or two particular plays, and say, “yup, that was the one that lost it.” It was a flat-out, thorough butt-whipping at the hands of the “Don’t call us the Bungles.”

RiceTigers

To any Ravens fan watching, flashbacks to Minnesota in Week 5 were unavoidable, as the purple team came out as flat as could possibly be, on both sides of the ball, en route to digging themselves a quick 14-0 hole. There would be no late-game near-miracle comeback at Paul Brown Stadium though, even if there would be an all too familiar Steve Hauschka “wide left,” thrown in as a little salt on the wound. Even though the defense did buckle down after the Bengals’ first two drives (both touchdowns), allowing just a field goal for the final 47:26, you still came away from this one feeling like it was a steamrolling.

Where to begin?

On offense, Bengals’ defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer now has Cam Cameron’s number in 2009 the way that Dick Lebeau of the Steelers did in 2008 (yet to be seen if it carries over to this year). In six games against the rest of the league this year, the Ravens offense is averaging 30.8 points and 399 yards off offense per game. In two contests against Cincy, those numbers drop to 10.5 and 236. Against the “not Bengals,” Joe Flacco has thrown 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, and compiled a passer rating of 100. But when the striped team lines up on the other side of the ball, his numbers have read a dismal 1 touchdown, 4 interceptions, and 59.2 rating.

That there are now not 1, but TWO teams in the division who seem to have figured out Cameron/Flacco is a bit unnerving.

As bad as Joe was yesterday, he got absolutely zero help from his offensive line, who need to take their share of the blame. The group that had played so solidly all season had their worst outing, as Flacco was under constant pressure and holding and false start flags were rampant. After allowing 12 sacks in 7 games, the Ravens gave up 4 to the Bengals, even without Antwan Odom. Three of these came on the final drive when they were able to tee off on Flacco, but the pressure was there all day. And, for his part, Joe needs to do a much better job of identifying his hot read and getting the ball out quickly when the blitz comes. Several times yesterday he had time to throw, but instead patted the ball and ended up on his butt.

Derrick Mason did absolutely nothing to back up his “nobody can cover me 1-on-1” talk leading up to the game, as he caught just 3 of the 13 balls thrown to him, for a measly 31 yards. Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington had only 1 catch apiece, as the Ravens converted just ONE OF TEN 3rd down opportunities. A terrible effort by all.

All except Ray Rice of course, who was the only thing even resembling a weapon the Ravens had all day. He finished the day with 8 catches for 87 yards and 12 carries for 48 and the team’s only score.

On defense, all the problems that seemed to have been corrected against Denver came flooding back in force against the Bengals. The pressure that was there from the front seven against Kyle Orton was nowhere to be found when Carson Palmer dropped back. The gap integrity that held the Broncos’ ground game in check was instead replaced with more gaping holes for Cedric Benson, who racked up 117 yards. The sure tackling that negated Denver’s short passing attack regressed to the tune of more arm tackling FAILs and inability to wrap up the ballcarrier (with the pleasant exception of Lardarius Webb).

The few times Greg Mattison did dial up the blitz, it was largely ineffective. They forced some early, errant throws from Palmer in the 2nd half, but during the game’s decisive opening quarter, ginger boy had all day and then some. Cincy was a disgusting 5/5 on 3rd downs on their two touchdown drives, which included an 11-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 with the score 0-0, and an illegal contact call on Chris Carr that gave them another try despite an offensive holding flag being thrown on the play. Other critical mistakes on those two possessions included Fabian Washington dropping what should have been an easy interception on a deep pass and a pass interference flag on Dawan Landry negating a Ravens’ fumble recovery (because, despite interfering, Landry was STILL unable to keep Chad Ochocinco from making the catch…UN-AC-CEPT-AB-LE!)

Ed Reed’s strip of Ochocinco (for the 2nd straight game) could have made this one interesting, had he been able to take it to the house OR had the Ravens’ O been able to score a TD for the 2nd consecutive drive OR had Hauschka not CH-CH-CHOKED again, this time from only 38 yards and the middle of the field.

Of course, none of those things happened, but the Ravens really didn’t deserve this one anyway. Not in the least.

I’ll search in vain for a bright spot for this week’s “Play Like a Raven” feature, but it won’t be easy. This one was just bad all around.

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Ravens vs. Broncos

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Broncos (6-0) @ Ravens (3-3)

Posted on 30 October 2009 by Derek Arnold

Ravens vs. Broncos

Ravens vs. Horseteeth Stats

Things certainly don’t get any easier for the Ravens coming off their bye. After facing 5-0 Minnesota in Week 6, our purple heroes now get 6-0 Denver in Week 8. Oh, and they will receive no competitive advantage from the schedule, since the Broncos too, are coming off their bye week. Realistically, the Ravens need to win 7 of their final 10 games to have a shot at the playoffs. It all starts now, and to have any prayer, the Ravens need to hold serve at M&T Bank Stadium. By winning their final 5 home games, the team will be able to finish double digit wins with perceived “gimme” games in Cleveland (Week 10) and Oakland (Week 17). Short of running the table at home though, the Ravens will likely face must-win scenarios in places like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay.

The Denver Broncos, who were supposed to be pushovers in 2009, after one of the most tumultuous offseasons ever seen by any franchise, have instead come out of the gates gangbusters. First year head coach Josh McDaniels’ squad is already sporting a comfortable 3-game lead in the AFC West, and they would own the #1 seed in the AFC, were the season only 6 weeks long. They’ve remained undefeated by being surprisingly efficient on offense, and by featuring the league’s stingiest defense.

Quarterback Kyle Orton, acquired via trade for Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears, has been a huge surprise. Expected to struggle (based on his 4 non-remarkable seasons in the Windy City), Orton has instead flourished, passing for 9 touchdowns to go with only 1 interception, which came on an end-of-half Hail Mary toss. His QB rating of 100.1 is nearly 25 points higher than his career average. Orton’s 2009 is reminiscent of Chad Pennington’s 2008 – a “game manager plus” who makes a few plays every game, and is extremely stingy with the ball. Of course, the Ravens had no problem making Mr. Pennington look quite pedestrian last year, but so far nobody is confusing the 2009 Ravens defense with the 2008 version.

Orton Kyle Show

Orton’s weapon of choice is wideout Brandon Marshall, subject of many trade rumors here in B’More last Spring/Summer. The disgruntled Marshall has put his gripes aside and hauled in 29 passes for 332 yards and 4 TDs, all tops on the team. At 6’4″ 230, Marshall is just the kind of WR that has been giving the Ravens’ undersized cornerbacks fits all year, and Sunday threatens to be no different. Not only can Marshall go up and get the ball, he is hell to bring down once it’s in his hands. If the Ravens’ secondary can’t make open field tackles, this one could be ugly. Tight end Tony Scheffler is no slouch either, and he is coming on strong after a slow start. Scheffler had 10 catches for 146 yards over Denver’s last two games.

Rookie Knowshon Moreno and veteran Correll Buckhalter share the carries for Denver’s 7th-ranked rushing attack. Normally, we wouldn’t lose much sleep over these two, but with the Ravens allowing back-to-back 100-yard rushers, things are feeling a bit different in Charm City. The Ravens are healthy on defense at the moment, but need players like Kelly Gregg and Dawan Landry to be more active in stopping the run, lest Moreno and Buckhalter find some holes early and make things even easier for Brandon Marshall down the field.

Keep an eye out for #21 on the Ravens, Lardarius Webb, who has been getting more reps with the first-team defense in practice.

Former Ravens defensive coordinator and 49ers head coach Mike Nolan has taken over the defense in the Mile High city, and has his unit playing well above expectations. Some guy named Elvis Dumervil leads the NFL with 10.0 sacks, just two shy of his career high through only six games. With the Ravens’ offensive tackle situation suddenly re-muddied (Jared Gaither missed practice Thursday with an apparent setback to his neck injury recovery), Joe Flacco may again find himself under duress. Michael Oher stepped in admirably in Gaither’s absence, and would go at LT again if needed. Dumervil, however, lines up all over the field, and RT Marshal Yanda will also have to be on top of his game.

D.J. Williams leads the team in tackles from his inside linebacker position in Nolan’s 3-4, and one of the all-time great safeties of the game, former Eagle Brian Dawkins, roams the secondary along with perennial All-Pro Champ Bailey. Flacco, who threw “red zone” interceptions in back-to-back games against Cincy and New England, before his 2 TD 0 INT performance at the Metrodome, will need to be at his best against a Denver defense that features a lot of pre-snap movement and blitzes from everywhere. Against Pittsburgh’s similar scheme last season, Flacco struggled mightily. The Broncos may not have the big name personnel, or the defensive tradition that Pittsburgh does, but they have so far made up for it in execution. The Ravens face Green Bay, along with Pittsburgh twice, down the stretch, so there is no better time than now for Joe Cool to start executing against the 3-4.

Budding NFL superstar Ray Rice saw his lead in the league’s all-purpose yards from scrimmage category eclipsed by Adrian Peterson during the bye, but he will have plenty of chances to climb back on top this week. Willis McGahee has been relegated to afterthought in the B’More offense, while Le’Ron “Pain Train” McClain can only think back fondly on his days of double-digit touches. Rice will have to earn his yards, as the Broncos haven’t allowed more than 76 yards on the ground to any opposition running back this year.

During the bye, the Ravens had plenty of problems they needed to correct. Perhaps they even saw that some of those problems are not correctable with the present roster personnel. If the latter is the case, one can only hope that they recognized that they are no longer a defensive, run-first, grind-it-out type football team. They feature one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the NFL in Rice, and a quarterback who is coming into his own in his second season. Flacco has come up just short on potential last minute game-winning drives in two of the last 3 games. It would serve the Ravens well to come out on offense picking up right where they left off in the 4th quarter in Minnesota, when they scored 21 points in the game’s final 8 minutes, rather than trying to establish a running game and play field-position with the Broncos. Go up early and make the Broncos throw the ball – don’t let them eat up the clock and keep Joe Cool and Ray Ray Jr. (anybody got a real nickname for Rice yet?) on the sidelines.

Denver has never won in B’More. Sunday can not, and WILL not be the day.

Everyone tilt your head back with me and take a big ol’ swig of that purple Kool-Aid. With a victory Sunday, we can go ahead and refill our cups. Should the opposite happen, we may well find that the fridge is empty.

Ravens 24 Broncos 13

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Gooden

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Any Moves Coming in Ravens’ “Safety Dance?”

Posted on 26 October 2009 by Derek Arnold

With the Ravens’ pass defense currently floundering near the bottom of the league (23rd), it might be time for head coach John Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison to consider some personnel changes. Since the big play has been the downfall of this team on defense all season (the team has surrendered 6 pass plays and 1 running play of 40+ yards), the obvious scapegoats seem to be the safeties, who are getting caught out of position regularly.

I assumed it was Ed Reed who left Frank Walker 1-on-1 with Sidney Rice at the end of the Minnesota game, but after looking at the play on NFL Playbook (on the NFL Network), I saw that Reed was on the other side of the field, and it was strong safety Dawan Landry who watched Rice run right by him.

Landry has been a big disappointment this season. Despite his two interceptions, he often looks confused in coverage (as he did against Minnesota on Visanthe Shiancoe’s 2nd touchdown), and has been missing tackle after tackle in run support, an inexcusable sin for a strong safety. He is likely still hesitant after his spinal cord concussion suffered in 2008, but his trepidation is costing the Ravens on defense.

Ed Reed could stand to do a bit less freelancing, but let’s be honest – he isn’t going anywhere. So, is there anybody on the Ravens’ roster who can possibly step in and, if not start for, at least spell Dawan Landry from time to time? Let’s look at the candidates.

Tavares Gooden

Gooden

“But isn’t Tavares a linebacker?” I hear you saying. Well yes, he is. However, according to Baltimore Sun rabble rouser columnist Mike Preston, he may be more suited to safety in the NFL.

“I wonder if the Ravens ever considered moving linebacker Tavares Gooden to safety? He has great football instincts and hustle, but after watching him in the first four games, he isn’t very physical.

It’s a good move by the team to use Gooden as well as Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain in a rotation. Ellerbe is a bull and McClain is a good pass rusher. Gooden has to spend more time in the weight room and become stronger. Or, the switch to safety might not be a bad idea.

Physically, I’m not sure he can hold up as a linebacker for a year.”

Two Saturdays ago, as I was sitting at Byrd Stadium with WNST Ravens analyst Glenn Clark watching the Terps embarrass themselves against Virginia, I asked him if he agreed with Preston. “Certainly,” he replied, although he was quick to point out that asking a player to switch positions midseason would be pretty drastic, and growing pains would be expected.

Haruki Nakamura

Nakamura

Currently listed as the Ravens’ backup strong safety is 2nd year player Haruki Nakamura. Haruki has seen action in all 22 games over the past season plus, but hasn’t made much of an impact. Former coordinator Rex Ryan seemed to prefer using Nakamura to blitz rather than to help out in coverage, but he has yet to register his first sack in the NFL. Nakamura picked up 2 tackles each in the New England and Minnesota games.

At 5’10” 200 lb, Nakamura compares, physically at least, favorably to such starting NFL strong safeties as Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu (5-10 207), Indianapolis’ Bob Sanders (5-8 206), and Landry (6-0 210). Now, maybe it’s just me, but he sure doesn’t look that big out there.

Tom Zbikowski

Zibby

Another 2008 draft pick, Tom Zbikowski is currently listed as the backup free safety on the Ravens’ depth chart. Zibby is also plenty big enough, at 5-11 210, and has the right attitude for the Ravens’ defense, being an amateur boxer. He was deactivated for the San Diego game, but has played in every other contest in 2009, after playing in all 19 games in 2008. However, he has contributed more to the Ravens in the punt return game than he has on defense.

According to CDS’s draft profile, Zibby had the following strengths and weaknesses coming out of Notre Dame:

“Strengths

Unbelievable football player who just has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Solid technique and tackling abilities. Really versatile, with enhanced value coming from his return abilities. Strong, smart, aware. Will be a leader on the field and in the locker room. Very productive. Takes good angles and overcomes his limitations with smarts. Never gave up during Notre Dame’s very tough 2007 campaign. A warrior.

Weaknesses

Not a safe bet in coverage. Will need to be a SS paired with an elite coverage FS to be succesful at the next level. Lacks make up speed.

On the bright side, Ed Reed definitely qualifies as “an elite coverage FS.” Unfortunately, “not being a safe bet in coverage,” isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered at the moment.

Lardarius Webb

Webb

The Ravens’ new unquestioned kickoff return specialist, Lardarius Webb is quickly becoming a household name for Ravens fans (which is why I’m finally spelling his name right). Although listed as a CB, Webb can play safety as well, as his NFLdraftscout.com profile attests:

“Lardarius Webb, a cornerback drafted in the third round, was compared by some analysts to Bob Sanders. He plays bigger than his size (5-10) and is versatile. He can make an impact as a cornerback, safety or returner. Webb has intriguing upside.”

And, from CDS:

“Strengths:

A versatile athlete who has played quarterback for one game,as well as: wide receiver, kick return punt return, safety, and corner.

A playmaking ballhawk with superior hands, ball skills and he loves to hit. His natural position is safety but can play nickel and corner because he can cover in man. Also a good punt blocker and gunner on the punt team.

He has the range and everything else except the frame you’d like to see, he can be a reserve right away at any position in the secondary. In addition to 4.46 40 speed his 6.77, 3-Cone and 4.1 in the short shuttle all illustrate his quickness.

Weaknesses

Lean frame, I have seen him listed at 205, but I just don’t see it. I think he’s much less than that: 190-187 at most. He also needs to be as good at and solid in reading play action as he is is in other areas. Like most top CB/safety prospects at this level he is very nosy and can get out of position trying to do too much.

He weighed in at 179 at the combine to be a FS he’ll need at least 10-15 lbs. ”

That bit about being too “nosy” and getting out of position gives us hesitation, but Webb still seems like the best bet of the four to see increased playing time after the bye. It is more likely to be at corner though , where the Ravens’ are also obviously having plenty of problems. Whether in place of Dawan Landry or Chris Carr, or as something completely different, Greg Mattison NEEDS to figure out ways to get Webb on the field.

In summary, there is no “quick fix” when it comes to the problems at safety. Dawan Landry has proven himself to be a very capable player in the past, and perhaps he can improve on his early season play in coming weeks. If he can, and if Lardarius Webb (or Nakamura or Zbikowski) can emerge as playmakers on defense, the much maligned secondary may slowly climb back into the top half of the league in pass defense.

If not, well…just hope you have Ray Rice and Joe Flacco on your fantasy team.

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