Ravens Secondary: Must Buckle Down
Early in the season and the Ravens secondary has been dealt with some injuries. Chris Carr hamstring, Dominique Foxworth not at full speed since off-season knee surgery and finally rookie Jimmy Smith high ankle sprain.
It’s not time to panic, however if you look at the stats the Ravens are ranked 28th in passing yards per game, allowing an average of 302 yards per game. Versus the run the defense is ranked 4th (70.0 yards per game) which is excellent. As great as the Ravens looked getting at the quarterback in game one, they still gave up chunks of yards in the passing game. Obviously game two the cornerbacks were taken to task by Tennesee’s receivers as well.
Pagano: Might Get More Aggressive
One thing that may have caused the Ravens to back off a bit in Tennessee is that the receivers were having early success. Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano may have played it on the side of caution with calling less blitzes and more coverage packages. It seemed that the defense was on it’s heels, rather than the aggressor.
Something tells me Pagano will try not to let that scenario happen again and he will be much more aggressive early in the game. Obviously it will help the secondary if the front can disrupt the timing of the quarterback and accumulate sacks. Speaking of pressure, it might be time to activate outside linebacker Sergio Kindle. Kindle has speed off the edge and it would be great to see him thrive in Pagano’s defense.
Cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb seem like they are giving the receivers a little too much space; playing tighter coverage along with Pagano dialing up more pressure schemes might be a recipe for success.
Jimmy Smith: Needed
Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith came with some red flags, but he still may be one of the better rookie cornerbacks. It looks like he may return in a few weeks (high ankle sprain) and he may be the most important rookie for the defense this season. He is badly needed to sure up the corner position.
Foxworth: Needs More Time
Cornerback Foxworth is not comfortable after his knee procedure. He doesn’t look aggressive and he sure doesn’t look confident out there. Coach Harbaugh had mentioned that he might sit Foxworth indefinitely in order for him to get one-hundred percent. How the Ravens will counter act losing another cornerback is a big question.