Secondary a step behind vs. Bills

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Billick encouraged by Ogden's play

Ravens

October 23, 2007|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN REPORTER

Corey Ivy didn't understand the question.

Asked after Sunday's 19-14 loss in Buffalo about the big plays the Ravens' secondary surrendered, Ivy seemed indignant.

"Big plays? I don't know what game you were watching," the veteran cornerback said as he dressed by his stall in the visitors' locker room at Ralph Wilson Stadium. "They had two so-called big plays."

While the Ravens allowed Bills quarterback Trent Edwards to throw for only 153 yards - 23 more than the average of the NFL's second-worst pass offense - the secondary and Ivy were undressed by the Bills, especially in the third quarter.

During that quarter, Edwards found Josh Reed for a 25-yard gain in front of Ivy to help set up one of Rian Lindell's four field goals. On the Bills' next possession, Edwards went to work on Ivy again, hitting Lee Evans for a 54-yard gain down the middle. He later threw to Reed in the end zone, drawing a pass-interference call against Ivy.

"It's football, and things like that happen," said Ivy, who started in place of the injured Chris McAlister.

Safety Ed Reed said the Bills were well prepared.

"They had two weeks to scheme for us, and we knew they were going to come out quick and try to strike fast, which they did," Reed said.

The secondary also produced one of the few bright moments for the Ravens on Sunday. It came when Edwards inexplicably threw a short curl pass to Evans on third-and-10 from the Bills' 8-yard line. Cornerback Samari Rolle intercepted, and the Ravens later scored on 15-yard pass from Kyle Boller to Derrick Mason.

Reed said McAlister's injury shouldn't be used as an excuse.

"When any guy goes on the team, it hurts," he said. "Having J.O. [Jonathan Ogden] gone, having Chris out, when Samari was down, it hurt. You still have guys playing hurt."

Ogden taking it slow

Ogden, who missed five straight games after spraining his foot in the season-opening loss in Cincinnati, returned against the Bills. The perennial Pro Bowl tackle, who also missed most the preseason recovering from a hyperextended toe suffered last season, was in the game for about 12 plays.

"He played well," Ravens coach Brian Billick said during his news conference yesterday in Owings Mills. "Jonathan said he didn't know if he could have gone the whole game, but that has to do with being in playing shape, it wasn't the foot. Jonathan feels very good about where he is today, and how he came out of the game. That's encouraging for the Pittsburgh game."

Billick praises Boller

Though Boller is expected to return to his No. 2 spot behind Steve McNair going into Pittsburgh after the bye week, Billick said the fifth-year quarterback showed him something when he played for McNair the past two games.

"When you look at the film and you look at the circumstances Kyle played with and the pressure he was under in a number of instances because of the young line, you can't help but come away and feel like Kyle played very well given the circumstances," Billick said. "He made a couple of incredible throws with guys in his face."

End zone

Devard Darling's 10-yard catch in the third quarter was the fourth-year wide receiver's first since catching two passes as a rookie in his third game in 2004. ... Willis McGahee's 46-yard touchdown run was the second longest of his career. ... Billick said he expected many of his injured players to return for the Steelers game Nov. 5 except for tight end Daniel Wilcox.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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