Defensive coordinator Dean Pees won't soon forget how the Ravens' defense was dissected by Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for seven touchdown passes during the opening game of last season.
Although the Ravens eventually settled down to finish 12th in the NFL in total defense following that 49-27 defeat in Denver, where they allowed 462 passing yards, Pees was still dissatisfied with how many big plays they surrendered.
And Pees hasn't liked what he's seen so far during the early portion of training camp, as quarterback Joe Flacco has repeatedly struck deep for touchdown passes to wide receivers Steve Smith and Jacoby Jones behind cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Lardarius Webb.
"One thing we've got to take care of is we can't give up big plays," Pees said Saturday. "That first game last year, we kind of didn't start out really good statistically. We gave up way too many big plays last year. I think we've given up too many so far in camp in the first three days."
Last season, the Ravens allowed 3,938 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes as they gave up 12.5 yards per reception.
"Look, Joe's a hell of a quarterback," Pees said. "We've got a hell of a group of receivers. We're going to see a hell of a group of receivers all year. It's going to happen. They're going to throw some comebacks on you. They're going to throw some balls underneath. What we can't do is give up balls over the top. I'm a little disappointed in the first few days. We've got to do better than that."
Vying for the nickel back job in a competition with Asa Jackson, Brown has had a particularly rough time. He's bit on several double-moves, overreacting to fakes and getting beaten on long throws.
Brown is filling in with the starting defense while Webb recuperates from back spasms that sidelined him Friday and Saturday.
"He's coming along," Pees said of Brown. "He's fighting for a job in there with the corners. They have their good days and bad days."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun