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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-12


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-12


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2008-12-12
The Ravens signed running back Jalen Parmele off the Miami Dolphins' practice squad, bolstering the depth of a banged-up group.


Ray Rice (bruised leg) and Willis McGahee (excused for personal reasons) both did not practice Wednesday.

Parmele, a sixth-round out of Toledo, pick was inactive for the Dolphins' first three games of the season before being waived. He was then added to their practice squad.

"We felt like he was the best player out there on practice squads that we could bring in," coach John Harbaugh said. "We've been kind of studying him all year. There is a chance that he can help us here the last three weeks with our injury situation at running back."

PLAYER NOTES

--RB Le'Ron McClain has averaged 78.3 yards rushing in his past three games. He has scored a touchdown in seven of 13 games this season.

--TE Todd Heap has averaged 3.6 catches and 38.5 yards receiving in 13 games against the Steelers. He has scored two touchdowns.

--LB Ray Lewis has averaged 12.7 tackles in 20 career meetings with Pittsburgh. His 5 1/2 sacks are his second most against any team.

--QB Joe Flacco has a worse quarterback rating at home (67.4) than on the road (91.1). In six home games, he has thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions.

--LB Terrell Suggs has registered seven sacks and one interception in 11 career games against the Steelers. Of his seven sacks, three have come in Baltimore.

GAME PLAN: The Ravens will try to keep a balanced offensive attack, but they know it will be tough to run the ball. That means Joe Flacco will need to throw the ball downfield and the Ravens have to find a way to protect him. In the last meeting with Pittsburgh, the Ravens allowed five sacks, the most they've given up all season.

Defensively, the Ravens need to find a way to pressure Ben Roethlisberger, who has a career 4-2 record against them. In his four wins, he has thrown 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Historically, the Ravens have had no trouble shutting down the Steelers' running attack.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens pass defense vs. Steelers WR Santonio Holmes. Most of the Ravens' attention is focused on Hines Ward, who has been accused of cheap shots by several Ravens. That has allowed Holmes to go under the radar. But Holmes has hurt the Ravens more than Ward recently. In five meetings, Holmes has averaged 78 yards receiving and has caught four touchdowns. Earlier this season, Holmes beat Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington for a 38-yard touchdown. Expect another solid game from Holmes, who had 82 yards receiving last Sunday against Dallas (his fourth-best total of the season).

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Steelers pass defense. Mason leads the Ravens in catches (65), receiving yards (871) and receiving touchdowns (four). But he isn't the same player at home. In six games at M&T Bank Stadium this season, Mason has averaged 37.8 yards receiving -- which is nearly 30 yards per game below his season average. He has only scored one touchdown at home. In fact, Mason has scored just three touchdowns in his past 22 home games. The Steelers have clamped down on receivers, allowing two touchdowns through the air in their past four games.

INJURY IMPACT:

--OT Jared Gaither did not practice Thursday with a shoulder injury after being limited on Wednesday. This isn't a concern because Gaither started last Sunday after not practicing all week. He will start at left tackle.

--K Matt Stover missed his second straight practice, but this is precautionary. Stover expects to kick on Friday and be ready to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But he is not at 100 percent. His right ankle is still sore.

--WR Derrick Mason did not practice for the second straight day with a shoulder injury, but there should be no cause for concern. Mason hasn't missed a game since 2002.

--WR Mark Clayton was limited in practice Thursday with a knee injury after missing Wednesday's practice. He is expected to start.

--FS Ed Reed was limited Thursday with a hamstring injury after missing Wednesday's practice. He will start.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 12, 2008

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Chris Chester Name: Chris Chester
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Age: 25
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