Defense goes with three safeties in nickel package

Reed, Zbikowski, Pollard lined up when Jets went to three-receiver set

October 03, 2011|By Edward Lee

The question of which personnel the Ravens would send out when the New York Jets went to a three-receiver set was answered fairly early in the first quarter when three safeties were employed.

Seven-time Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed lined up against the slot receiver, strong safety Tom Zbikowski backpedaled to the deep portion of the defensive backfield, and strong safety Bernard Pollard blitzed.

That package changed when Zbikowski sustained a concussion, which opened the door for reserve cornerback Danny Gorrer to join starting cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb in the nickel package. But Reed said every defensive back was prepared to play Sunday night.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that we all prepare like we’re starters,” Reed said. “We are all starters. Everyone who comes here – from the lowest guy on the totem pole to the highest guy – everybody has to prepare like a starter and be ready to play because you just never know when somebody’s going down. We lost Zibby in the middle of the game, so somebody else had to step in. we only have, like, five or six DBs. So everybody prepares like a starter.”

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