Team is trying to take the road less traveled

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

November 06, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

Their quarterback was Elvis Grbac. Their running back was Terry Allen. And their claim to fame was being Super Bowl champions.

That was the Ravens back in 2001, the last time they won three straight road games.

The 2008 Ravens will try to match that feat Sunday when they play at the Houston Texans.

Last season, the Ravens were 1-7 on the road. This year, they are 2-2 away from home after winning by double digits at Miami and Cleveland.

So, what's the difference this season?

"It could be the coach," linebacker Terrell Suggs said, referring to the switch from Brian Billick to John Harbaugh. "He does a good job the night before the game to get us mentally prepared. I think it's the atmosphere around the building, and he's got everybody ready to play."

After winning three consecutive road games in 2001 (at Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Jacksonville), the Ravens went 16-33 (.327) away from home the rest of the way under Billick.

"When you look at the teams that win on the road, they're good teams," Harbaugh said. "If you want to prove you are a good team, you got to win on the road."

Flacco recogized

Joe Flacco won his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week award, a milestone for the rookie quarterback as well as the Ravens.

It had been 52 regular-season weeks in the NFL since the Ravens had an Offensive Player of the Week (Kyle Boller in Week 14 of the 2004 season).

"I didn't really know until somebody said congratulations," said Flacco, who threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens' 37-27 comeback win at Cleveland. "It just shows you how far we've come as an offense."

Memorable moment

As the Ravens returned to work after two days off, they took time to address history.

Harbaugh brought up Barack Obama's election as America's first black president during a team meeting, and the players frequently spoke about it after practice.

Wide receiver Derrick Mason will remember when Obama came out with his two daughters before making his victory speech.

"You have two African-American girls walking out, and they can always say, 'My daddy was president,' " Mason said. "Then I look at my daughter and my son and say, 'You can be president one day regardless of what the situation is.' It shows you where our country is headed and where the world is headed."

End zone

Running backs Willis McGahee (ankle) and Ray Rice (chest) were limited in practice. "Willis looked good," Harbaugh said. "It should be a good week for him." ... Cornerback Chris McAlister (knee), who did not practice, is seeking another opinion from a specialist in Canada. Harbaugh said it's getting "close" to the time for the Ravens to make a decision on whether to place safety Dawan Landry (neck) on injured reserve. ... The Ravens re-signed No. 3 quarterback Todd Bouman and added safety Daren Stone, who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 28. The team waived wide receiver Ernie Wheelright and cornerback Anwar Phillips (who was put on the practice squad). ... Ray Lewis III, 14, the son of Ravens Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis, was the first player chosen for the inaugural Football University Youth All-American Bowl, which will be played Jan. 4. He plays for Lake Mary Prep in Central Florida.

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