Ravens' blockers face stern test against Dolphins

OWINGS MILLS - One year ago, the Baltimore Ravens' blockers were overwhelmed by the Miami Dolphins' pass rush. <P> Between swift defensive ends Jason Taylor and Adewale Ogunleye bursting upfield past tackles Jonathan Ogden and Ethan Brooks in holding Baltimore to 157 yards of total offense, the Dolphins took a 26-7 win at Pro Player Stadium.

Quarterback Jeff Blake was sacked seven times as Ogunleye collected three sacks en route to AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. A Pro Bowl selection, Taylor had 1 ½ sacks and forced a fumble.

Dealing with the Dolphins' set of edge rushers hasn't decreased in importance or difficulty as Baltimore (5-4) prepares to play at Miami (5-4) on Sunday.

Ogunleye leads the Dolphins with nine sacks. Taylor has 3.5 sacks along with a team-high 26 quarterback pressures.

Ravens coach Brian Billick likened the tandem to what Baltimore is trying to accomplish with outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware as well as Tennessee Titans defensive ends Jevon Kearse and Kevin Carter.

"They are outstanding," Billick said. "Jason Taylor is as good as there is in the league. Like most good defensive teams, they look for good matchups and that means they move Jason Taylor around a little bit.

"We have a lot of confidence in Jonathan Ogden, obviously, but it is only smart to move your best pass rusher around. Last year, they seemed to take that as a slap against Jason Taylor, and it is just the opposite."

FRANK THE TANK: Even though Billick had ruled out receiver Frank Sanders because of a sprained right ankle, the veteran was upgraded from doubtful to questionable on Thursday. A Ft. Lauderdale native, Sanders was projected initially to miss two to three weeks.

INJURY UPDATE: Rookie quarterback Kyle Boller is out after undergoing surgery on his left quadriceps Tuesday. He immediately began rehabbing his leg.

"I am definitely a fast healer," Boller said. "I had surgery on my right shoulder my freshman year of college and I was back throwing the ball within two months, and that was a major reconstruction. I'm going to do everything the doctors tell me to do. We've got a timeline set up."

Tight end John Jones (leg) is doubtful. Wide receiver Marcus Robinson (leg), running back Chester Taylor (leg) and wide receiver Travis Taylor (chest) are listed as probable.

Billick indicated that Robinson, who has caught seven passes for 63 yards, will receive increased work outside along with Ron Johnson. "Marcus has been fine when he's been in there," Billick said. "We haven't been able to get the ball to him on a consistent basis. He's certainly going to have that opportunity to now impact the game just by the sheer number of reps."

SCOUTING REPORT: Newly-signed Ray Lucas quarterbacked the Dolphins last season in relief of Jay Fiedler. He went 2-4 as a starter, although he said he played with elbow and shoulder problems that required surgery after the season.

Upon signing with the Ravens, he accidentally gave away the fact that Anthony Wright would be starting at quarterback ahead of Chris Redman. Now, Lucas is supplying a scouting report on his former team.

"I work for the Baltimore Ravens now," Lucas said. "They sign my check, so I'll tell them anything they want to know. It's not really secret stuff. It's more like cadence, tendencies, plays they like to call, simple stuff.

"A lot of guys here already have a Super Bowl ring. I'm here to get one, so I'm going to do anything I can to help them win, on or off the field."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times


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