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

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-10

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-10
Ravens NT Kelly Gregg was officially placed on injured reserve after having arthroscopic microfracture knee surgery Tuesday. Justin Bannan will remain the starter for the rest of the season.

The Ravens signed Brandon McKinney, a third-year defensive tackle who started two games for the San Diego Chargers last season. He was released by the Chargers on Saturday.

Gregg joins Dwan Edwards (back injury) as the second defensive lineman to be placed on injured reserve this season.

"These are two very good players but we expect both back next season," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "Kelly is expected to be ready for the start of our organized team activities in the spring."


--RB Ray Rice has been phased out of the offense. He has one carry in the last two games. The Ravens have certain packages for him, but they haven't used them in games. He could get a few carries against Indianapolis because the Ravens will run the ball close to 40 times.

--WR Derrick Mason has averaged 6.5 catches and 74 yards in eight regular-season meetings with the Colts. But he has just scored one touchdown against Indianapolis.

--PR-KR Yamon Figurs had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in his only game against the Colts. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in his career and the fourth in Ravens history.

--LB Ray Lewis has 74 tackles in six games against Indianapolis. He also has two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

--RB Le'Ron McClain is second in the NFL in fourth-quarter rushing with 141 yards. He trails only Tampa Bay's Earnest Graham (172 yards).

--RB Willis McGahee rushed 22 times last game, the first time this season that he has received the most carries in a game. He is expected to receive between 20 and 25 carries each game for the rest of the season.

--CB Frank Walker likely will make his first start for the Ravens. He would replace Fabian Washington, who is doubtful with a dislocated shoulder.

GAME PLAN: The Ravens will try to run the ball on offense, which serves two purposes. It controls the clock to keep the ball away from Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. It also exploits the Colts' run defense, which ranks last in the NFL. The Ravens' offensive line is gaining a reputation for its physical play. Defensively, the Ravens have to contain Manning. Last season, Manning threw four touchdown passes against a depleted Ravens secondary. This season, the Ravens will be banged up again in the defensive backfield. It will be critical for Terrell Suggs and Trevor Pryce to get pressure on Manning.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens pass defense vs. Colts QB Peyton Manning -- Manning has been one of the few quarterbacks to have success against the Ravens, and this trend will likely continue. In six games against the Ravens, he has thrown 13 touchdowns and averaged 283 yards passing. The Ravens rank first against the pass this season, but this is deceiving because this secondary is banged up. CB Samari Rolle is out with a shoulder injury, and his replacement, Fabian Washington, is nursing a shoulder injury. Look for Manning to pick on either Washington or the Ravens' nickel backs (Corey Ivy and Frank Walker).

Ravens TE Todd Heap vs. Colts linebackers -- Heap had more catches last game (four) than he did in his first three games combined (three). But there is no sign that Heap will become an integral part of the passing game anytime soon. He is still being utilized as a blocker for half of the Ravens' pass plays. Plus, Heap has never been an impact player against the Colts defense. In four regular-season games against Indianapolis, Heap has averaged 2.7 catches and 35.7 yards receiving. He has scored just one touchdown.


--RB Willis McGahee had a full practice Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. He is on course to get 20 to 25 carries. Said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: "He's healthy. He's not 100 percent ... but he's healthier this week than he was last week."

--CB Fabian Washington missed his second straight practice Thursday. He is doubtful to play Sunday against the Colts with a dislocated shoulder. If he plays, he would need a harness. Washington would be replaced by Frank Walker.

--OT Adam Terry missed his second straight practice Thursday, but he remains optimistic that he'll play. Even the coaching staff believes Terry will start. Said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: "He looks a lot better today than he did yesterday. He's getting ready to play."

--WR Derrick Mason has shown no signs of being limited with a hand injury. He has practiced all week. Mason has at least four catches in the first four games but he has not scored a touchdown.

--WR Demetrius Williams is getting limited looks as the third receiver. He has caught just one pass in three of four games this season. He is healthy again, so he could break out over the next couple of weeks. But he isn't a consistent receiver at this point.

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

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Willis McGahee Name: Willis McGahee
Position: RB
Age: 26
Experience: 6 years
College: Miami (FL)
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