On long passes, secondary has short memory

Safeties burned two times on deep routes

Demps, Reed call them mistakes

Ravens Gameday

Browns 20, Ravens 3

September 13, 2004|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND - Ravens safety Ed Reed refuses to dwell on the past - even if the past happened about an hour ago.

Reed developed a convenient case of amnesia when trying to explain how the Ravens could give up completions of 46 and 51 yards to quarterback Jeff Garcia and a Cleveland Browns offense that otherwise accomplished little.

"I've got a bad memory," Reed said.

"None of us are perfect. The Lord was the only perfect one to walk this earth. We're going to make mistakes, and they capitalized on the mistakes."

The first completion went for a touchdown that gave the Browns a 10-3 lead late in the third quarter. It appeared to be the fault of Reed, who stared down Garcia in the backfield while Quincy Morgan broke behind the entire defense. Garcia lofted a high pass to Morgan, who hauled it in at the 23-yard line and raced into the end zone untouched.

"I ran the slant route and the DB jumped hard when Jeff made the pump fake and scrambled around to find me," Morgan said.

For the Ravens, it brought back bad memories of when the Philadelphia Eagles' Terrell Owens caught an 81-yard touchdown pass in the preseason.

"They've been together long enough and know how to communicate that," Ravens coach Brian Billick said of his secondary. "They shouldn't be in that position. We'll look at those things, why they happened and what caused those errors. We'll get them corrected.

"When we don't give up big plays, we're fairly effective. But it happened in preseason a couple of times, and it happened here in the opener. It goes beyond coincidence, nor can we just dismiss it and say, `That is the breaks of the game.' "

Browns receiver AndrM-i Davis' 51-yard catch could have been longer had he not stumbled while heading toward the end zone.

Davis, like Morgan, slipped behind the Ravens' defense while a defensive back - this time Will Demps - stood flat-footed as Garcia scrambled in the pocket. Davis, the fastest of the Browns' receivers, had to wait somewhat on Garcia's throw and could never fully regain his balance after turning for the catch.

Demps, much like Reed, acted like he did not know what happened afterward. The play set up a 25-yard field goal that put the Browns up 13-3 midway through the fourth quarter.

"They made a big play when they had to," Demps said. "We'll look at it on film and go from there. I'll have to watch the film and see what happened because it happens so fast."

Until that point, Garcia had done little to make anyone watching believe he could go downfield.

Garcia bounced the first two passes of the touchdown drive to receivers on simple hitch routes. He displayed little arm strength much of the afternoon but threw his best ball - a 21-yard completion to tight end Kellen Winslow - two plays before the touchdown. Before that, only five of Garcia's first 18 passes were to receivers.

All others were dumpoffs to running backs and tight ends. His longest pass covered 11 yards and was to running back William Green. Garcia finished 15-for-24 for 180 yards.

"He's a Pro Bowl quarterback, and you have to respect that," Demps said. "He made the plays he had to make and did what he had to do to win the game."

The Ravens, though, were far from worried afterward despite giving up big plays to a relatively weak-armed quarterback.

"We're going to go and watch film, correct it and get better from it," Reed said. "That's all we can do. That's why we play this game. That's why we have practice. I don't know if they were aggressive mistakes. I don't know what happened."

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