Matchup To Watch

Ravens Vs. Chargers

October 01, 2006


George Kokinis, the Ravens' pro personnel director, sizes up a critical matchup against the Chargers:

The players

Vincent signed with the Ravens as a free agent from Pittsburgh before the 2005 season. He started nine games last season before a thigh injury placed him on injured reserve. An undrafted rookie out of Mississippi, Vincent was a backup for three seasons for the Steelers before becoming a full-time starter in 2004.

Pashos is in his first season as a full-time starter. He spent his rookie season in 2003 on injured reserve with a hand injury, then spent the next offseason in NFL Europe. Pashos rotated with Orlando Brown for the first half of last season and took over as starter in Week 11.

Castillo was the Chargers' "other" first-round pick in 2005, selected 28th overall, 16 spots after linebacker Shawne Merriman. Castillo moved into the starting lineup at left defensive end in the second game last season and finished with 3 1/2 sacks and 49 tackles. He has nine tackles and three quarterback hits this season.

What to watch

The game is going to be determined by the lines. In the Chargers' 3-4 defense, Castillo will line up at times in front of Vincent and Pashos. Castillo is a player who would fit in with the Ravens' defense because he plays strong, has an unbelievable motor and shows relentless pursuit. Castillo is a key player in San Diego's run defense, but he also plays in the nickel packages as a rusher. How the right side of the Ravens' line handles him is going to be a key. Vincent and Pashos never really got to play alongside each other until this year. With a full training camp, the preseason and the first three games, they're starting to play better as a tandem.

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