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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-03

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-03

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-03
Ravens nose tackle Kelly Gregg will be sidelined for the fourth straight game.

The Ravens, who had ruled out Gregg through Monday night's game, will continue to evaluate Gregg on a week-to-week basis. Gregg has missed the entire preseason and the first three games of the season because of a cartilage issue in his knee.

"We're sending his MRI pictures to a couple other doctors," coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a very unusual injury from what I'm told. It's responding somewhat. We just want to get another feel for what it is. We should know something this week."

Gregg had not missed more than two games in a season since becoming a starter in 2002. He will be replaced by Justin Bannan, who is seventh on the Ravens with 12 tackles.

As far as the Ravens secondary, cornerback Samari Rolle will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury. He will be replaced by Fabian Washington.


--TE Todd Heap has surprisingly been missing from the offense, making three catches for 37 yards. He has been limited in the passing game because the Ravens have used Heap as a blocker to better protect rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. "We wanted him involved from the get-go," coach John Harbaugh said. "Sure, we want him catching more balls and we're going to keep working on it to make sure that happens."

--RB Willis McGahee has only played the Titans once, but it was a successful game. He gained 95 yards and a touchdown in 2006.

--LB Ray Lewis has averaged 13.1 tackles in 12 meetings with the Titans. He also has three sacks and one forced fumble.

--WR Mark Clayton has nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown in two games against Tennessee. His 65-yard touchdown in 2006 ranks as the second longest of his career.

--K Matt Stover has gotten back on track, making two field goals on Monday. He ranks as the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history (83.6 percent).

GAME PLAN: The Ravens will look to attack quarterback Kerry Collins, who was roughed up by the Ravens in the Super Bowl eight seasons ago. Collins has only been sacked once this season. Baltimore will look to get the Titans to become one-dimensional by taking out the running game. The Ravens allow 3.1 yards per carry, which is fifth-best in the NFL.

Offensively, the Ravens will try to establish the run with Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain. The Titans allow just 3.7 yards per carry but they have given up four rushing touchdowns in four games. There will be a priority on protecting rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. After getting sacked five times last game, Flacco will face a Titans defense that has 15 sacks in four games.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens pass defense vs. Titans QB Kerry Collins. Don't expect much out of Collins against the NFL's top-ranked pass defense. In two home games, the Ravens have roughed up quarterbacks. In the season opener, Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals produced the worst passer rating of his six-year Pro Bowl career. In Week 2, Derek Anderson produced the second-worst passer rating of his four-year career with the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens won't be at full strength because cornerback Samari Rolle (shoulder) is expected to miss his second straight game. But the Ravens have four interceptions in two home games this season.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Titans cornerbacks. The Titans have the eighth-best pass defense, but that doesn't matter for Mason. Tennessee is expected to put a lot of pressure on Flacco, much like the Pittsburgh Steelers did. That means Flacco will be looking to get rid of the ball quick and will target his security blanket in Mason. On Monday night, Mason caught half of Flacco's completions. Mason leads the Ravens with 16 catches, which are 10 more than anyone else on the team. The problem is Mason doesn't get many yards after the catch or score touchdowns. Mason has just 10 touchdowns in his 51-game Ravens career.


--DT Kelly Gregg (knee) is out and could miss the rest of the season. He will be replaced by Justin Bannan.

--SS Dawan Landry (neck) is out and might need a few more weeks before returning to practice. He will be replaced by Jim Leonhard.

--CB Samari Rolle (neck and shoulder) is out and might be out another week. He will be replaced by Fabian Washington.

--LB Antwan Barnes (shoulder) was limited in practice. He is questionable and could be a game-time decision.

--WR Yamon Figurs (hamstring) was limited in practice and is not at full strength. He likely will play but not be as effective.

--RB Willis McGahee was limited for a second straight practice because of a chest injury (bruised ribs). But he is expected to start and receive around 15 carries. "To me, he looks like he is full speed and ready to play," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said.

--CB Derrick Martin (shoulder) was limited in practice but should play special teams.

--LB Nick Greisen (thigh) had a full practice and should be the top backup at linebacker.

--QB Troy Smith will dress for the first time this season, but the Ravens won't make a determination whether he'll be the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback until later in the week. Asked if Smith would get on the field strictly as a quarterback, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said, "You never know. If the guy is on the 53-man roster, we'll utilize whatever skill he has to try to help us win."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 3, 2008

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Quinn Sypniewski Name: Quinn Sypniewski
Position: TE
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Colorado
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