Ravens Q&A with Mike Preston

September 28, 2010

Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers a selection of reader questions about the Ravens 24-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Maceo: Mike -- Is Kelly Gregg a liability against the run? It just seem like he gets no penetration.

Mike Preston: He is definitely not a liability, and he's still one of the better defensive tackles in the league. He has good technique, uses good leverage and hustles. But just like everyone else in the front seven against the Browns, Gregg took a "whupping," in the words of Muhammad Ali.

Charles: Mike -- I love your columns and your analysis on the radio. Terrell Suggs definitely looks more explosive rushing the passer, but when he's not getting to the QB, no one else seems to consistently. I've heard you talk about the Ravens' inability to generate an interior push. Is Terrence Cody that player or is he strictly a run stuffer at this point?

Mike Preston: Cody is a run stopper at this point, but he has the potential and athleticism to collapse a pocket and get after a quarterback -- something the Ravens desperately need. If Cody decides to control his weight and get in the weight room, he could become one of the game's most dominant tackles. With Cody, it's all about desire. If he wants it, it's there for him to take.

Brian M.: What's the reasoning for Oniel Cousins or Tony Moll not starting at right tackle? I think Marshal Yanda at guard is a key to big success for our running game. Your thoughts?

Mike Preston: I agree. Marshal Yanda is a better guard than tackle. He doesn't have quick enough feet or the long arms needed to become a quality tackle. With that said, he is the best option the Ravens have right now. Both Moll and Cousins aren't ready to be starters. If either of them did start, it might be a sad, long day for the offense and quarterback Joe Flacco. Under the current conditions, both Yanda and right guard Chris Chester have been solid.

Jeffrey: Why do the Ravens tend to take Halota Ngata off the field on 3rd down, especially in passing situations?

Mike Preston: Ngata has to improve as a pass rusher. If he ever learns to collapse a pocket, he will become the best defensive tackle in the NFL. Ngata has worked hard on his pass-rushing skills the past two seasons, but he needs to improve on quickness and technique. Also, the Ravens just have some other defensive linemen who are better pass rushers.   Bob: I'm concerned that the Ravens don't have an alternative at fullback. I would like to see us try to wear down/slow down the rush by pounding the ball with [ Le'Ron] McClain behind the blocking of another bruiser. I think we should at least have one on the taxi squad. Any thoughts on this?

Mike Preston: I mentioned the same thing at the beginning of the year about obtaining another fullback. Right now, the Ravens don't have another one on the roster. If both Ray Rice and Willis McGahee cannot play Sunday, then the Ravens will make McClain the starting halfback, leaving them without a fullback. Or they might move Jalen Parmele to tailback and keep McClain at fullback. Regardless, the Ravens have little depth there. This situation could become ugly. The lack of a fullback might be an oversight by general manager Ozzie Newsome. Or maybe because the Ravens want to throw so much, they don't need a fullback.   Anonymous: Any explanation why the Ravens went for a pass on their second drive of the second half on 3rd and 1.5? Ray Rice had 9 yards in two plays, then we went for a pass and had to punt. ... I don't understand how Cam Cameron abandoned the run, especially in a short-yardage situation.

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