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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-16

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-16

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-09-16

--QB Troy Smith has been cleared to resume light conditioning work. He will not be placed on IR at this point. Smith probably won't be promoted beyond backup.

--NT Kelly Gregg appears extremely questionable for Sunday's game at this time. He didn't practice at the end of last week, showing he has had a setback. He is one of the keys to the Ravens' running game. He would be replaced by Justin Bannan.

--CB Fabian Washington is questionable because he didn't practice all last week. He is the team's nickel back and would strengthen the pass defense if he does return. He is an improvement over Corey Ivy, his replacement.

--WR Demetrius Williams needed this impromptu break. He was questionable for Sunday's game after injuring his hamstring late last week. But this rest should get him close to full strength for this Sunday's game against the Browns.

--OT Willie Anderson will be active for Sunday's game but his role is undefined. Asked if Anderson would start at right tackle, coach John Harbaugh said, "I don't know. He's in the mix."


PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will probably experience growing pains, but he has already shown more poise than previous first-round pick Kyle Boller. The game -- and situations -- just don't get too big for him. He also has shown more mobility than many expected. The next step is delivering more big plays and looking downfield. The offensive line has to continue its solid pass protection.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Willis McGahee has returned slower than expected from a knee injury. But the Ravens have found viable alternatives with Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain. This area has to be an area of strength to keep pressure off Flacco. The Ravens can run in between the tackles because the interior of the offensive line is tough.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Ravens will be able to slow the best passing teams as long as cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle stay healthy. Rolle is still quick enough to cover the fast receivers, and McAlister is physical enough to handle the big wide-outs. The Ravens got stronger with the return of safety Ed Reed, who is still less than full strength with a neck injury.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Ravens remain stout up front, which is not a surprise because their run defense has been one of the best over the past decade.

Ray Lewis isn't as dominant as in previous years but he can still chase down running backs. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata should be a Pro Bowl performer this season. Once the Ravens get back nose tackle Kelly Gregg (knee), it will be hard to establish any ground game against this defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Yamon Figurs is a dangerous returner but he is battling a hamstring injury. Matt Stover is one of the consistent kickers in the NFL, even though he missed a field-goal attempt in the season opener. Punter Sam Koch is getting more distance on his kicks.

COACHING: B -- John Harbaugh has instilled a tough mindset, which showed up in the season opener. He is preaching a team-first mentality and more discipline, which was absent at times under former coach Brian Billick. Cam Cameron and Rex Ryan are two of the most creative coordinators in the NFL.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 16, 2008

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Jason Brown Name: Jason Brown
Position: OG
Age: 25
Experience: 4 years
College: North Carolina
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