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News » Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-01-02


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-01-02


Baltimore Ravens Strategy and Personnel 2009-01-02
With Ray Rice still questionable with a bruised calf, Willis McGahee will remain the Ravens' No. 2 running back. Le'Ron McClain has a hold on the starting job after leading the Ravens in rushing the past five games.


If either starting cornerback can't go -- Fabian Washington (toe) or Samari Rolle (ankle and foot) -- Frank Walker would replace them. Corey Ivy remains the nickel back.

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Derrick Mason has scored one touchdown in 10 playoff games. He has averaged 32.8 yards receiving in those contests.

--TE Todd Heap has averaged 29.7 yards receiving in four playoff games. He has one touchdown in the postseason.

--DE Trevor Pryce has 11/2 sacks in 12 playoff games. He has recorded 27 tackles in the postseason.

--FS Ed Reed has three interceptions in two playoff games. He has broken up two other passes in the postseason.

--K Matt Stover has connected on 15 of 20 field goals (75 percent) in the playoffs. His longest postseason field goal was 51 yards two seasons ago against Indianapolis.

GAME PLAN: The Ravens will try to force turnovers against a Dolphins offense that protects the ball. The Ravens have playmakers like Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed who can disrupt offenses. Expect the Ravens to attack because they don't fear Chad Pennington throwing over top of the defense.

Offensively, the Ravens will run early to set up the play-action. They try to draw the defense close by pounding running back Le'Ron McClain. Then, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco will look for single coverage and throw deep. He had five passes over 25 yards last Sunday.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Ravens run defense vs. Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown -- The Ravens contained Brown earlier this season, holding him to 27 yards on 13 carries. His 2.1-yard average was a season-low. In the last three games, Brown has been held to under 70 yards rushing and no touchdowns. The Ravens rank third against the run.

Ravens WR Derrick Mason vs. Dolphins pass defense: Mason produced 87 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting in Miami. This shouldn't be a surprise because Mason has played better on the road this season. In eight games away from home, he has averaged 88.8 yards receiving and has scored four touchdowns.

INJURY IMPACT:

--CB Fabian Washington said he intends to play in Sunday's AFC wild-card playoff game between the Ravens and the Miami Dolphins.

Washington, who was traded from the Oakland Raiders for a fourth-round pick in April, said the toe has improved since he sat out Sunday's 27-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It helped a lot," he said. "I did nothing last week other than rehabbing it and getting treatment. This week, it's still sore, but I'm definitely positive about it, and I think I could play Sunday."

--CB Samari Rolle missed his second straight day of practice Thursday with an ankle and foot injury. He is considered a game-time decision. Frank Walker would replace Rolle.

--WR Derrick Mason returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He has been limited for the past month because of the injury but has continued to play.

--FS Ed Reed returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a hamstring injury. He has paced himself through practices the past month and continues to play at a high level.

--DT Justin Bannan returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a foot injury. Bannan is expected to start.

--WR Mark Clayton (knee) did not practice. He is expected to start.

--LB Antwan Barnes (chest) was limited in practice Wednesday. He is a game-time decision.

--G Chris Chester (back) was limited in practice Wednesday. He is expected to start.

--RB Ray Rice Ray Rice, who compared his left shin bruise to a high ankle sprain, said missing the past three games has aided the healing.

"It took its course, and now it's getting progressively better," said Rice, who was limited in practice this week but said he is "90 percent sure" he will play Sunday. "I'm able to do some stuff in practice, and I warmed up before the last two games before the coaches made the call. If I do this stuff, I think I'll be fine.".

--K Matt Stover (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday. He is expected to play.

--SS Tom Zbikowski (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday. He is expected to play.

--LB Jarret Johnson (calf) did not practice Wednesday. He is expected to start.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 2, 2009

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Ed Reed Name: Ed Reed
#20
Position: S
Age: 29
Experience: 7 years
College: Miami (FL)
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