Thursday, October 15, 2009

Midweek Ravens News and Notes

Coming off of another heartbreaking loss, the Ravens feel a long way off from that "Number One" team everyone was talking about a few weeks ago. With the loss to Cincinnati, the Ravens lost their post as the leader in the AFC North, and Joe Flacco finally looked average. So now standing at 3-2, the Ravens are in a precarious position-- do they win and regain positive momentum? Or do they move to 3-3, and start to look like an average team that just got off to a hot start? Here are some thoughts on some things that might have an impact on just which direction the team takes.

The Tyree signing was fantastic, and not because he's famous. David Tyree was made famous by his legendary catch in the Giants' Super Bowl win, but he's made his living on ace special teams play. Signing Tyree gives the Ravens an immediate upgrade at gunner for special teams coverage, neatly taking the place of Brendon Ayanbandejo who was lost for the season. And certainly this week, against the electric Percy Harvin, the Ravens need that kind of performer.

Derrick Mason takes responsibility for his catchless Sunday. It might've been Joe Flacco, it might've been the play calling, but Derrick Mason finally did the right thing in taking responsibility for his catchless game on Sunday. While the Ravens can't afford for Mason to not show up in the passing game, they even more cannot afford for him to start grumbling as he has in past seasons. Mason is the leader for this receiving corps on and off the field, and this unit needs his fighting attitude to be effective. He rallied the receivers around the negativity coming from the national media early in the season, and he needs to rally again.

Ladarius Webb needs more playing time. I know that he's very unpolished, but the Ravens' soft cornerbacks are getting beaten up consistently and other offenses are taking advantage. Don't put him into complex zone coverage, but every now and again, he could be used very effectively in tight man coverage and jam receivers at the line. Maybe it's change for the sake of change, but this secondary needs it.

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