O-line to face a fearsome foursome

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

After rough game vs. Steelers, Ravens unit will go against tough Titans defensive front

Ravens Weekend

October 03, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

The Ravens' offensive line will face another tough test Sunday, but it will be much different from the ones they prepared for recently.

Unlike the 3-4 defenses of the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans generate most of their pass rush from their front four.

The starting defensive line - ends Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch along with tackles Albert Haynesworth and Tony Brown - has 13 sacks and 31 quarterback pressures in four games.

"This is the best front we'll face all year," right guard Marshal Yanda said.

The Ravens' line has something to prove after its performance Monday night. The Steelers had five sacks and six hits on quarterback Joe Flacco.

"It's like anyone who has a bad day," right tackle Adam Terry said. "You just kick the photocopier and get back to work."

Landry improving

Strong safety Dawan Landry's cervical collar was removed yesterday, and he remains confident he'll play again this season.

The most difficult part recently was watching the Ravens play the Steelers on Monday. Landry had not missed a game in his three-year NFL career, playing in 34 straight.

"I've never been injured my whole life," Landry said, "so that was kind of rough [watching]."

Punching it in

Le'Ron McClain has rushed for three touchdowns, the most by a Ravens running back through three games since Jamal Lewis also had three in 2004.

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron acknowledged that he prefers to run the ball around the goal line, an area where the 260-pound back has flourished.

McClain has scored all of his touchdowns from the 2-yard line or closer.

"When you got big backs [with] a nose for the goal line, let them do their thing," Cameron said.

End zone

Running back Willis McGahee (rib) was the only starter who was limited in practice yesterday. "To me, he looks like he is full speed and ready to play," Cameron said. ... Troy Smith will dress for the first time this season, but the Ravens won't make a determination whether he'll be the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback until later in the week. Asked whether Smith would get on the field strictly as a quarterback, Cameron said: "You never know. If the guy is on the 53-man roster, we'll utilize whatever skill he has to try to help us win." ... Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said his twin brother, Rob, doesn't feel slighted for being passed over for the Oakland Raiders' head coaching job. "If they don't want him to be a head coach, that's fine," Rex Ryan said. "He'll be the second-best defensive coordinator in the league." ... Besides McGahee, the other players who were limited in practice were linebackers Antwan Barnes (shoulder) and Tavares Gooden (hip), cornerback Derrick Martin (shoulder) and returner Yamon Figurs (hamstring).

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