Mike Preston: Sorry, Steven. "Puddin" is the nickname former Ravens offensive lineman Wally Williams has given Paul Kruger. But we can't just isolate Cody. Defensive linemen Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee haven't gotten it done either. These guys just don't get off blocks. They lay on people. I think it's a combination of several things, from lack of intensity to using the proper technique. It's hard watching these guys get knocked off the ball and back into the linebackers week after week.
It has to change if the Ravens are to get better.
James: Is Cary Williams as bad a corner as I think he is? I really think he's the worst DB I’ve ever seen play. I’d be willing to bet if you looked at the numbers, literally 80 percent of the time his receiver is targeted, the result of the play is a completion, and that 20 percent left over is usually due to a bad throw. Please tell me that although he gives up a lot of completions, he's doing something I’m not noticing for the defense.
Mike Preston: James, if you think Williams is that bad, go back a few years and remember Frank Walker, Ike Booth or DeRon Jenkins. They were some sorry corners. Williams got picked on early in the season because he played opposite Lardarius Webb, and few teams went after Webb. The good news is that with Jimmy Smith filling in for Webb, Williams won't get picked on as much. The bad news is that teams can now attack the entire field again.
Williams hasn't played well, but he might improve if the Ravens could get a consistent pass rush.
Mark A. Frazier Sr.: Why do the Ravens corners play so far off of the other team’s receivers? They don't seem to get close until after they catch the ball. Why don't we play press coverage?
Mike Preston: They can't press, Mark. They are too soft and don't jam receivers off the line of scrimmage. It's not a physical group. At the beginning of training camp, the secondary was expected to be the strongest defensive unit. Now it's just as bad as the others. I think if the Ravens thought they could be physical at the point of attack, they would be. Apparently, the Ravens don't believe that.
Right now, I'll just settle for them not getting beat by double moves.
Joe (Boston): Are we at a point now, after the Texans and Dallas games, that we have to conclude that the fundamental flaws of the current Ravens team started with an overestimation of the existing talent on the team that led to one too many offseason free-agent departures? I can’t help but wonder if we really needed to keep at least Ben Grubbs and preferably Jarret Johnson in order to compete.
Mike Preston: That's hindsight now. The Ravens have been one of the best drafting teams in the NFL for more than a decade and they've usually had good transition periods with veterans leaving and the youngsters playing. So far this year, it hasn't turned out that way, but there is still a slim chance.
I think the Ravens can do a better job drafting, but overall I'd take their staff over 90 percent of the others in the NFL when it comes to selecting college players.
Scott in N.C.: As Ravens fans we are accustomed to the young draft choices stepping up and performing well in years two and up, thereby filling in gaps when the veterans seek big bucks elsewhere and move on. This necessary strategy has worked well, but top defensive picks since 2008 haven't lived up to expectations. Is the magic of picking defensive players in the draft gone? Our most recent top defensive picks have been Terrence Cody, Jimmy Smith, Arthur Jones, Paul Kruger, Sergio Kindle and Tavares Gooden. We need the magic to return.
Mike Preston: Drafting players is a gamble. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. If I were a betting man going to Vegas, I'd sure like to have Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta on my side. Sure, some of the guys you have mentioned have not panned out for the Ravens, but only Smith is a first-round pick and he is only in his second year.
I would say some of the magic has faded, but like I mentioned earlier, things in the NFL work in cycles. I believe the Ravens will fix the problem even though it might take a year or two.