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RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Lack of awards recognition doesn't faze Ravens

Cameron a winner again in Miami

Nfl Playoffs

Ravens Gameday

January 05, 2009|By From Sun staff reports

MIAMI - Of the three rookie head coaches who led teams to the NFL playoffs, the Ravens' John Harbaugh is the only one to advance to the second weekend. Harbaugh also is the only one who did not receive a single vote in the Associated Press Coach of the Year balloting.

"OK. That's how I feel about it," Harbaugh said straight-faced after yesterday's 27-9 AFC wild-card victory over the Miami Dolphins. "We've got the best coaching staff in the league - how about that?"

The Atlanta Falcons' Mike Smith, whose team was eliminated by the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, beat runner-up Tony Sparano of the Dolphins by one vote from among the 50 AP football writers and broadcasters polled. The Tennessee Titans' Jeff Fisher received three votes, and the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick got one.

"We'll let everybody else get the individual awards," Ravens defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs said, mindful that quarterback Joe Flacco was also shut out in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. "We're looking for a bigger team one."

Cam's back

A year and a day after he was forced out of Miami, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had no qualms about returning a second time this season.

"I think all that stuff's in the past. A playoff win in the National Football League is always special," said Cameron, who was fired last January after just one season as Dolphins head coach. "Everyone here has bought into the team. Anyone putting something personal ahead of that wouldn't be helpful to the team. Everyone's done a great job of putting that stuff behind them."

Cameron and the Ravens also won here Oct. 19, which means with yesterday's win, Cameron managed to post more victories in Miami this season as a Ravens coordinator than he did all last season as the Dolphins' head coach. That team finished 1-15.

Cameron's offense had just one turnover and out-gained the Dolphins 286-276 yesterday. He was impressed with the Ravens' other unit.

"I can't say enough about our defense. Those guys are amazing," Cameron said. "We had kind of a slow start on offense, but our guys kept hammering."

Short memory

When running back Le'Ron McClain lost a fumble at Miami's 39-yard line on the Ravens' first possession, he took full responsibility.

"I got down on myself," he said. "I was really ticked at myself. I told [teammates], 'I'm going to make up for it,' and I kept saying it. And I did."

The second-year fullback-tailback did by pounding the Dolphins for 75 yards and a fearsome 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that opened a 20-3 lead for the Ravens.

"I knew they weren't ready for a game like that," McClain said. "[Derrick] Mason was telling me they don't want to tackle, they just want to strip the ball. I ... kept running north and south, doing my thing."

McGahee 'chilling'

Running back Willis McGahee stirred up some mild controversy last week when he said, "I'm just going to go out there and play for me." The Miami native finished with 62 yards on seven carries as a backup, breaking a 48-yard run on the Ravens' final touchdown drive.

After the game, he chose his words more wisely.

"I don't want to get into trouble for saying anything," he said. "Every time I say something, it comes out different. I'm just chilling. I'm just happy we got a win."

Worthwhile trip

Reserve linebacker Nick Greisen made the trip here twice this weekend - the second time after he returned to Baltimore for the birth of his daughter.

Greisen traveled with the team on its Saturday flight. Upon arriving, he learned his wife, Carolyn, had gone into labor, and he immediately flew back to Baltimore. Their first child was born shortly after Greisen got back at 10 p.m., and she weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

Greisen spent the night in Baltimore, then caught an early morning flight yesterday. According to a team official, Greisen attended the team breakfast at 9 a.m.

Anderson wants more

Willie Anderson won the first playoff game of his 13-year career, but the offensive tackle wasn't celebrating in the locker room.

"I'm happy we won it, but I'm not about to get overjoyed [about] it," said Anderson, who spent the first 12 years of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. "We're going to have to win a lot more games before I get real, real happy."

End zone

The Ravens improved their postseason road record to 4-1. The last sixth seed to win a playoff game was the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, who went on to win the Super Bowl. ... The Ravens have gained more than 140 rushing yards in 10 of their 12 victories this season. The ground attack produced 151 yards yesterday. ... Running back Ray Rice (lower leg) was active but did not play. ... No new injuries were reported. Cornerback Samari Rolle left the sideline late in the first half with dehydration but returned for the second half. ... Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps attended the game, in Ravens attire. ... The last time the Dolphins committed more turnovers in a playoff game than yesterday's five - seven, in a 62-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in January 2000 - it marked the end of Dan Marino's and Jimmy Johnson's NFL careers.

Baltimore Sun reporters David Steele, Jamison Hensley and Ken Murray contributed to this article.

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