Both Stover, Hauschka to stay on

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

November 11, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

The Ravens plan to keep Matt Stover and Steve Hauschka on the 45-man game-day roster for the remainder of the season.

Coach John Harbaugh said retaining the reliable veteran in Stover and the strong-legged rookie in Hauschka gives the Ravens flexibility.

"The flexibility that a guy like Hauschka gives you as a kicker is another weapon," Harbaugh said. "We have a guy that can obviously kick the longer field goal, which was an advantage for us in the game. ... We're going to try to have them both active if we can."

By making a 54-yard field goal with 1:01 left in the second quarter of Sunday's 41-13 victory over the Houston Texans, Hauschka became the first kicker other than Stover to attempt a field goal since Aaron Elling left a 54-yard try short in 2005. Hauschka, who was signed by the Ravens after he was released by the Minnesota Vikings the final day of cuts in the preseason, became the first kicker other than Stover to convert an attempt since Wade Richey made a 56-yarder in 2003.

Stover is the third most accurate kicker in NFL history and bounced back from a 1-for-3 start to post a 12-for-16 mark through the Ravens' first nine games. But Stover is just 2-for-6 from beyond 40 yards, which includes a missed 50-yard attempt Sunday.

Harbaugh made it clear that Stover will attempt field goals within his range, determined during warm-ups before games.

"If it becomes out of Matt's range, we'll have to make the determination that you always make on a long field goal," Harbaugh said. "Is the risk worth the reward? Is the three points worth the potential field position that we're going to lose if we miss it, and really, what are the chances of making it? It may be within a kicker's range, but [with] long field goals, the chances of making it drop dramatically because the geometry changes. Plus you've got wind affecting it up top a little more. So it'll just have to be a gut decision."

Anderson loss would hurt

The potential loss of offensive tackle Willie Anderson could have ramifications beyond the starting front five.

Anderson has started the past five games at right tackle for the injured Adam Terry, but Anderson injured his left ankle midway through the third quarter of Sunday's game. Although Terry has recovered from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and could slide back into the starting role, the offense frequently used both Anderson and Terry in unbalanced sets.

"We're missing a starting offensive lineman if Willie can't go," Harbaugh said. "He's going to fight like crazy to get back. I know we say that about all of our guys, but there's a chance he will back."

Harbaugh said he did not have an update on strong safety Dawan Landry, who has missed the past seven games because of a spinal cord concussion and could be a candidate for injured reserve.

"We'll have to wait and see," Harbaugh said.

Hold those flags

After committing seven penalties for 55 yards in the first half of Sunday's game, the Ravens drew no flags the remainder of the contest.

"It was magic," Harbaugh joked. "We sprinkled magic penalty dust."

Harbaugh got serious when he talked about the team's avoidance of incurring a personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness since Oct. 19.

"The personal-foul penalties have evaporated," Harbaugh said. " ... I'm proud of that, and I think they are, too."

End zone

Harbaugh said Edgar Jones, a tight end-linebacker who split a sack of Texans quarterback Sage Rosenfels with rookie linebacker Jameel McClain, will continue to practice at both positions. ... The Ravens have been alerted that their 1 p.m. games at M&T Bank Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 23), the Washington Redskins (Dec. 7) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (Dec. 14) could be moved to Sunday night under the league's flex scheduling. ... After converting four of four scoring opportunities inside the Texans' 20-yard line, the Ravens are 15 of 29 (51.7 percent) in the red zone and improved to 17th from 25th in the NFL in red-zone efficiency.

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