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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-31

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-31

Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-10-31
The Ravens placed Derrick Martin on injured reserve, ending the season of the team's most promising cornerback. Martin is the second Ravens player to be placed on injured reserve this week, joining receiver Demetrius Williams (who is expected to undergo surgery on a bone spur on his left ankle Monday).

Martin said it's possible he may need shoulder surgery. In August, he tore sutures in his shoulder stemming from a repair procedure during the offseason.

Suspended for the season opener for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, Martin finished the season with just one special teams tackle.

Rookie kicker Steve Hauschka was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster to take Martin's spot.

Cornerback Anwar Phillips, who was recently cut, was re-signed to the practice squad.


--QB Joe Flacco threw no touchdowns and two interceptions in his only game against the Cleveland Browns. In three road games, Flacco has passed for two touchdowns and three interceptions.

--TE Todd Heap has averaged 42.3 yards receiving in 12 meetings with the Browns. He has only scored three touchdowns against them.

--WR Derrick Mason has averaged 69 yards receiving and has scored three touchdowns in 13 games against the Browns. In the earlier meeting this season, Mason had four catches for 42 yards.

--RB Willis McGahee has averaged 93.7 yards rushing and has scored four touchdowns in four games against Cleveland. In the earlier meeting, McGahee had 64 yards and one touchdown.

--S Ed Reed has seven interceptions in 11 career meetings with the Browns. That's the most interceptions he's made against any team.

GAME PLAN: Just like they did earlier in the season, the Ravens want to control the clock with their running game. The Ravens have the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing attack, rotating between Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le'Ron McClain. The Browns have the league's 24th-ranked run defense. But Cleveland held the Jacksonville running attack of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to 53 yards rushing on 20 carries.

Defensively, the Ravens' banged-up secondary has held its own against the likes of the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders. But they'll be tested against receivers Braylon Edwards and Donte Stallworth. Browns quarterback Derek Anderson has thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions in his past three games. The Ravens need to get pressure on Anderson, who has been sacked three times in his past four games.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens run defense vs. Browns RB Jamal Lewis. The Ravens have dominated running backs this season. Only one back (the Colts' Dominic Rhodes) has gained more than 56 yards against the Ravens. Rhodes is also the only one to score a rushing touchdown. The Ravens handled Lewis in the earlier meeting this season (56 yards), but he averaged 4.7 yards a carry. If he gets 20 carries, Lewis could do some damage. He is starting to find his rhythm, gaining at least 79 yards in four straight games. Lewis could have a better-than-expected game against the Ravens.

Ravens RB Willis McGahee vs. Browns run defense. Even though the Browns have the NFL's 24th-ranked run defense, McGahee likely won't make much of an impact against Cleveland. He is averaging less than three yards a carry in three of his past four games. McGahee also didn't practice Wednesday because of an ankle injury. It'll be interesting to see how the Ravens handle Cleveland nose tackle Shaun Rogers. The Browns' run defense has been hit or miss all season. Cleveland limited the Jacksonville running attack of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew to 53 yards on 20 carries. Two games ago, Washington's Clinton Portis gained 175 yards and one touchdown against the Browns.

INJURY IMPACT: SS Dawan Landry (neck) is out and won't play for at least one more week. He will be replaced by Jim Leonhard.

--CB Chris McAlister missed his second straight practice and likely won't play. He could be placed on injured reserve by the end of the week.

--RB Willis McGahee (ankle) did not practice but it's considered precautionary. He likely will start but he won't be at full strength.

--TE Daniel Wilcox did not practice but he is expected to play.

--CB Samari Rolle returned to practice but did not take part in any contact (he wore a red jersey). Rolle had neck surgery earlier this month. He is likely a game-time decision.

--OT Adam Terry could start for Jared Gaither (neck) at left tackle. Terry missed last Sunday's game after having his knee scoped. He had started the season at right tackle.

--PR-KR Yamon Figurs (knee) returned to practice (although limited) after the swelling went down in his bruised knee. He has a shot at being the Ravens' No. 3 receiver.

--LB Brendon Ayanbadejo (ankle) was limited in practice but he is expected to play. He hasn't missed a game in his NFL career.

--OT Jared Gaither did not practice Thursday because of a neck injury. He could not participate in weight-lifting. This is not a good sign. Gaither might miss his first game of the season. He would be replaced by Adam Terry.

--TE Todd Heap (neck) was limited in practice but he is expected to start.

--CB Frank Walker (thigh) was limited in practice but should be the team's nickel back.

--RB Le'Ron McClain (ankle) had a full practice and will start.

--FS Ed Reed (shoulder and neck) had a full practice and will start.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 31, 2008

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Derrick Mason Name: Derrick Mason
Position: WR
Age: 34
Experience: 12 years
College: Michigan State
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