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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-29

--CB Samari Rolle will try to practice after missing five games with a neck injury. Coach John Harbaugh said, "I don't know if we're optimistic, but there is a chance that he could play."

--SS Dawan Landry likely will miss his sixth consecutive game with a neck injury. Coach John Harbaugh said the team is pessimistic about Landry's availability.

--PR/KR Yamon Figurs is "iffy" to return after missing Sunday's game with a knee injury. Replacing Figurs, the Ravens used Jim Leonhard on punt returns and Ray Rice on kickoff returns.

--LB Brendon Ayanbadejo participated in Monday's walkthrough after leaving Sunday's game with a sprained ankle. "I don't think it's a given, but he should be OK," coach John Harbaugh said.

--CB Chris McAlister could miss his second consecutive game with a knee injury, but the Ravens expect him to return to the starting lineup at some point. Said coach John Harbaugh: "He's fighting through a knee issue. We want him on the field as much as possible. Unless something turns with the knee, he's going to be playing a ton of football for us."


PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Rookie QB Joe Flacco threw a 70-yard touchdown pass, caught a 43-yard pass and ran for a 12-yard score. It was the first time that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had a quarterback do all three since he coached Antwaan Randle El at Indiana University. But half of Flacco's 140 yards passing came on the touchdown pass to Demetrius Williams, who was wide open because of a breakdown in Oakland's coverage. Flacco has to improve on his intermediate passes. He missed some open receivers. Flacco didn't get sacked in a game for the third time this season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The Ravens finished with 192 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Third-string RB Ray Rice is an emerging star, rushing for a team-high 64 yards on eight carries. Willis McGahee had 58 yards, but they came on 23 carries (a 2.5-yard average). McGahee scored a touchdown for the second consecutive week. Le'Ron McClain finished with 32 yards on seven carries, but he isn't having the same impact as he did earlier this season.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Breaking out of its rut, the defense recorded four sacks (Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Haloti Ngata and Jameel McClain) and had eight quarterback hits on Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell. The Ravens had just three sacks in their previous three games. Frank Walker, who was replacing Chris McAlister, made his first interception of the season. The other cornerback, Fabian Washington, dropped an interception.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Ravens completely shut down Oakland's running attack. It helped that Raiders rookie RB Darren McFadden was inactive. The Ravens' front of Ngata, Justin Bannan and Trevor Pryce dominated up front. The longest run was 13 yards, and that was a scramble by Russell. The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 26 straight games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Jim Leonhard did a more-than-adequate job replacing injured returner Yamon Figurs. He averaged 15.8 yards on four punt returns. Sam Koch placed half of his six punts inside the 20-yard line. Matt Stover converted on two field goals (38 and 30 yards) and seems back in his rhythm.

COACHING: A -- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron added some unexpected wrinkles in the game plan. The Ravens used a two-quarterback package, put Ngata in their short-yardage offense and even had Troy Smith running the option. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is doing a good job with three backups in the secondary, but he still isn't calling as many aggressive blitzes as he had in previous seasons.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 29, 2008

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Mike Smith Name: Mike Smith
Position: LB
Age: 26
Experience: 3 years
College: Texas Tech
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