Tuesday Rat Report

Well, well, well. Baltimore is feeling pretty darn clever after beating those fearsome Raiders. Let's see what happens when the Browns get a second crack at 'em...

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said "The Suggs Package" -- the team's two-quarterback alignment that stole the attention in Sunday's 29-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders -- will be a "viable part" of the offense for the rest of the season.

"We could see using that package every game," Harbaugh said at his day-after news conference. "People playing against us are going to have to be prepared for it every week. We're just scratching the surface of the things that we have in."

Under the direction of coordinator Cam Cameron, the Ravens put quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Troy Smith on the field at the same time five times, producing a total of 65 yards.

Only once did the Ravens throw out of the package. Smith floated a pass to Flacco for a 43-yard connection.

Asked if it represented more of an injury risk by using Flacco as a receiver, Harbaugh said, "I think it's worth it."

When the Ravens played Miami's "Wildcat" offense -- which splits out Chad Pennington as a receiver -- Harbaugh said they tried to throw the Dolphins quarterback into the Gatorade on the sideline.

"Joe has got to understand that when you line up as a wide receiver, you're fair game," Harbaugh said, "and you're going to have to protect yourself out there and be a football player."

Harbaugh doesn't want to stifle the unpredictability of the offense.

He revealed that the Ravens have practiced with defensive players lining up at receiver.

"Maybe they'll see it or maybe they won't," Harbaugh said. "There's a lot of other things that we're practicing that we're going to show as time goes on. We think we're creative. We think we have a chance to be an exciting offense."

Harbaugh said Cameron is a master at utilizing personnel, both on offense and defense.

"We want to use every guy that's active that we can," Cameron said. "We've told our guys, 'If you're active and there's something you can bring to the table to help us win, we're going to try to do that.'"

Just don't say Cameron has gimmicked up the offense.

"We're not going in trying to gimmick anybody; we're not going trying to trick anybody," he added. "We think anything we do gives us a better opportunity to win. We're not trying to keep anybody happy."

Smith, a former Heisman Trophy winner, was elevated to the No. 2 quarterback before the Oct. 19 game after a severe bout with a tonsil infection. Cameron and Harbaugh said the package created for him had been in the works before linebacker Terrell Suggs declared that Smith ought to be the starting quarterback.

The pass to Flacco that set up a third-quarter field goal was Smith's only pass of the game. But there's more to come.

"Hue Jackson (quarterbacks coach) and Cam Cameron do an incredible job with putting us in situations to make plays," Smith said. "Obviously their countless hours of film study have been beneficial for this team. So we just want to continue to grow up, not take any steps back, and continue to win games."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Recently retired OT Jonathan Ogden was the first player to make his way out of the Ravens' tunnel during pregame introductions, and he was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime. Ogden, who joked that he almost pulled a hamstring while running out of the tunnel, acknowledged that he nearly lost it during the halftime ceremony.

"I almost broke down, but I didn't," the 11-time Pro Bowl selection said. "I held it together. But it's just really nice that all the hard work over all the years, people appreciate it. That's what that meant to me."

--The Ravens celebrated the victory by showering defensive coordinator Rex Ryan with Gatorade. Ryan's twin brother, Rob, is the defensive coordinator of the Raiders.

"Rex is not going to make a big deal about the family aspect of the game, and Rob is a great coach," coach John Harbaugh said. "So a little sibling rivalry. Both defenses played pretty well. It means more to him than he probably wants to admit."

--CB Fabian Washington could flash only a rueful smile after dropping what likely would have been an interception and a 95-yard return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against his former team.

"I can't drop those," he said. "I've got to be more of a playmaker and take that to the house."

--Filling in for injured Yamon Figurs (knee), SS Jim Leonhard averaged 15.8 yards on four punt returns. His 46-yard return set up Willis McGahee's 1-yard touchdown run, and a 22-yarder led to a 38-yard field goal by Matt Stover.

PLAYER NOTES

--CB Samari Rolle will try to practice after missing five games with a neck injury. Coach John Harbaugh said, "I don't know if we're optimistic, but there is a chance that he could play."

--SS Dawan Landry likely will miss his sixth consecutive game with a neck injury. Coach John Harbaugh said the team is pessimistic about Landry's availability.

--PR/KR Yamon Figurs is "iffy" to return after missing Sunday's game with a knee injury. Replacing Figurs, the Ravens used Jim Leonhard on punt returns and Ray Rice on kickoff returns.

--LB Brendon Ayanbadejo participated in Monday's walkthrough after leaving Sunday's game with a sprained ankle. "I don't think it's a given, but he should be OK," coach John Harbaugh said.

--CB Chris McAlister could miss his second consecutive game with a knee injury, but the Ravens expect him to return to the starting lineup at some point. Said coach John Harbaugh: "He's fighting through a knee issue. We want him on the field as much as possible. Unless something turns with the knee, he's going to be playing a ton of football for us."

REPORT CARD VS. RAIDERS

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Rookie QB Joe Flacco threw a 70-yard touchdown pass, caught a 43-yard pass and ran for a 12-yard score. It was the first time that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had a quarterback do all three since he coached Antwaan Randle El at Indiana University. But half of Flacco's 140 yards passing came on the touchdown pass to Demetrius Williams, who was wide open because of a breakdown in Oakland's coverage. Flacco has to improve on his intermediate passes. He missed some open receivers. Flacco didn't get sacked in a game for the third time this season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The Ravens finished with 192 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Third-string RB Ray Rice is an emerging star, rushing for a team-high 64 yards on eight carries. Willis McGahee had 58 yards, but they came on 23 carries (a 2.5-yard average). McGahee scored a touchdown for the second consecutive week. Le'Ron McClain finished with 32 yards on seven carries, but he isn't having the same impact as he did earlier this season.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Breaking out of its rut, the defense recorded four sacks (Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson, Haloti Ngata and Jameel McClain) and had eight quarterback hits on Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell. The Ravens had just three sacks in their previous three games. Frank Walker, who was replacing Chris McAlister, made his first interception of the season. The other cornerback, Fabian Washington, dropped an interception.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Ravens completely shut down Oakland's running attack. It helped that Raiders rookie RB Darren McFadden was inactive. The Ravens' front of Ngata, Justin Bannan and Trevor Pryce dominated up front. The longest run was 13 yards, and that was a scramble by Russell. The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 26 straight games, the longest current streak in the NFL.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus -- Jim Leonhard did a more-than-adequate job replacing injured returner Yamon Figurs. He averaged 15.8 yards on four punt returns. Sam Koch placed half of his six punts inside the 20-yard line. Matt Stover converted on two field goals (38 and 30 yards) and seems back in his rhythm.

COACHING: A -- Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron added some unexpected wrinkles in the game plan. The Ravens used a two-quarterback package, put Ngata in their short-yardage offense and even had Troy Smith running the option. Defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is doing a good job with three backups in the secondary, but he still isn't calling as many aggressive blitzes as he had in previous seasons.



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