Notebook: Suggs licking his chops

OWINGS MILLS -- The game film was pretty ugly, at least from the Houston Texans' perspective. It was a textbook case of how a veteran outside linebacker can exploit a rookie offensive tackle.

One week ago, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison repeatedly bolted past Houston Texans rookie offensive tackle Duane Brown to sack quarterback Matt Schaub three times.

Schaub threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.

Baltimore Ravens two-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs would like nothing more than to duplicate that performance.

The Ravens harassed Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer in a 17-10 win, sacking him twice and hitting him several times. Now, the Ravens want to prevent Schaub from getting comfortable enough to hit Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson on fly patterns.

"It's very important that we do the same thing that we kind of did last week with Carson Palmer," Suggs said. "You don't want to give any quarterback in this league an ample amount of time to find his receivers, especially when you've got Andre Johnson.

"They call him the man-child. Sometimes, he can be a man amongst boys, so he's definitely something we're going to have to deal with."

In a narrow victory over the Texans in 2005, Suggs recorded three sacks while matched mostly against Chester Pitts. He has since moved inside to guard.

"In this league, everybody gets better," Suggs said. "If you had a good game against them last time, they'll do everything in their power.

"I'm just kind of anxious to see how they're going to block it up this week, especially with the game James Harrison had. It's going to be interesting."

INJURY REPORT: Nose guard Kelly Gregg was downgraded on the injury report Thursday due to his surgically-repaired left knee and didn't practice after participating on a limited basis the previous day.

Prior to the workout, defensive coordinator Rex Ryan had praised Gregg's progress.

"I thought he looked great to me," Ryan said. "His technique is probably better than everybody else's, like it normally is."

Meanwhile, return specialist Yamon Figurs didn't practice due to a hamstring injury after being limited Wednesday.

Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (leg contusion), quarterback Troy Smith (tonsil infection) and cornerback Fabian Washington (neck) didn't practice.

"I've never missed a play in my career until Sunday," Ayanbadejo said. "I wouldn't want to snap my streak. Hopefully, I'll be ready to go."

Defensive end Trevor Pryce (back) was added to the injury report, but practiced on a limited basis.

Ryan sounded pessimistic about the availability of Washington and cornerback Derrick Martin (shoulder).

"If they're back, that would be great," Ryan said.

The Ravens expect to have some more information about Smith by today.

"We're going to know more Friday," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That's kind of a day where he's going to have some tests and things done, but he looks better."

SPECIAL EMPHASIS: Ravens kicker Matt Stover is still puzzling over his missed field goal from 47 yards against the Bengals.

The third-most accurate kicker in league history, Stover has converted 83.7 percent of his career attempts after converting one of two field goal tries last week.

"Matt and I have been spending a lot of time on it," special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "Matt, as you know, is a veteran, a professional. He's been diagnosing that kick to a very small degree.

"I think he saw something that perhaps he can improve on and he'll adjust to. I think you'll see Matt back in his regular form this week."

Rosburg is also concentrating on another nagging issue from the last game: kick coverage.

The Ravens allowed the Bengals to average 29.5 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 44-yarder.

Accomplished Texans kickoff returner Andre' Davis averaged 18.7 yards on six returns last week. He scored on successive returns last season.

Stover is scheduled to handle kickoffs, according to Rosburg.

"I don't think we covered kickoffs particularly well last week," Rosburg said. "I think the numbers show that. I think our kickoffs were good enough to cover, and I just don't think we did a real good job of covering them.

"We've been looking through that, and we're analyzing that. We need to be a lot better this week against this returner."

QUICK HITS: Free safety Ed Reed (nerve impingement) was upgraded to full participation after practicing on a limited basis earlier this week. Reed had three tackles and a pass deflection against Cincinnati, but didn't test his aching left shoulder. He didn't hit much and wasn't involved in the blitz package. "Hopefully, he doesn't have to do that because he primarily is our high safety," Ryan said. "So, his tackle total isn't going to be where fantasy owners want him to be, but, hopefully, he'll make some picks and all that to make up for it." ... The Ravens signed kicker Steve Haushka to the practice squad and cut defensive tackle J'Vonne Parker. … The Ravens expect to play against former West Virginia running back Steve Slaton instead of Ahman Green, who hasn't been practicing because of a foot injury. Slaton rushed for 43 yards on 13 carries last week. "I would think it would be Steve Slaton, judging by the tape," Ryan said. "No disrespect to Ahman Green, but that kid looks pretty good out there. He hits the hole fast. He's a little undersized, but he gets after it pretty good." … The Ravens didn't have any trouble with the new defensive helmet radio against Cincinnati after struggling with the new technology during the preseason. "Fantastic," Ryan said. "It was great because during the preseason we definitely had our doubts. Our first game, it was right on."


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