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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-10

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-10

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-10

--RB Willis McGahee is expected to return as the Ravens' starting running back. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he was "confident" about McGahee coming back this week from a knee injury. But McGahee's playing time could be reduced because of the success of rookie Ray Rice and especially Le'Ron McClain.

--NT Kelly Gregg could return to the starting lineup this week, coach John Harbaugh said. Gregg was the only starter on defense who was inactive Sunday. He had arthroscopic knee surgery during training camp.

--LB Brendon Ayanbadejo could be sidelined this week after sustaining a leg contusion Sunday. He was injured in the second half and did not return. He is one of the Ravens' best special teams players.

--TE Todd Heap sustained a back contusion but he is expected to start Sunday. He was injured in the second half but returned after missing a few plays. Heap, however, moved around slowly so he likely won't be at full strength.

--CB Corey Ivy said he expects to play Sunday with an ankle injury. The nickel back was on crutches after the game. On Monday, Ivy said it was a minor sprain and he would play the next game.


PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco didn't play like a rookie. He finished with a less-than-stellar stat line: 15-for-29 passing for 129 yards and a 63.7 passer rating. But the key was he didn't turn the ball over and turned up the intensity when it was required. Flacco was helped by his offensive line, which didn't give up a sack.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The Ravens didn't play Willis McGahee because of a knee injury, and they didn't need the starting running back. The Ravens turned early to rookie Ray Rice (64 yards on 22 carries) before going late in the game to Le'Ron McClain (86 yards on 19 carries). The Ravens' 229 yards rushing was the sixth-most in team history. It ranked as the most since the Ravens' 2000 Super Bowl season.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- With an assortment of blitz packages, the Ravens sacked Carson Palmer twice and hit him countless more times. Palmer's passer rating of 35.2 was a career low. The Ravens moved linebacker Bart Scott at times on receiver Chad Johnson to set a physical tone. Johnson was limited to one catch for 22 yards. Chris McAlister had an interception deep in Ravens territory.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Even without nose tackle Kelly Gregg, the Ravens' front seven dominated the Bengals. In his first game since taking over for Rudi Johnson, Chris Perry was held to 2.1 yards per carry. Ray Lewis and Haloti Ngata made great short-yardage stands.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus -- Yamon Figurs' punt return for a touchdown was called back because of a penalty, and the Ravens allowed a 44-yard kickoff return. Matt Stover missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt that sailed wide left. Punter Sam Koch netted 46 yards on five punts.

COACHING: A -- John Harbaugh had a successful debut as the Ravens' head coach, establishing a new physical tone with the team. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron kept a smart game plan with Flacco, using quick-hitting passes to limit the rookie quarterback's decision-making. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan confused the Bengals with several complicated blitz packages.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 10, 2008

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Adam Terry Name: Adam Terry
Position: OT
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: Syracuse
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