The Ravens' problems in the secondary have raised questions about second-year cornerback David Pittman. He started two games in the preseason, and played well, but has played only on special teams during the regular season. Will he get out on the field against the 49ers, possibly replacing cornerback Corey Ivy?
"We'll see. I think everybody who's up is going to play," said Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. "It depends on their situation, how many receivers they want to put in the game. If they want to play with one receiver, which they do sometimes, then obviously one or two [corners will play]. But, he could get in there."
Linebacker Bart Scott is playing a different role compared to a year ago, but he might get back to being his old self once defensive end Trevor Pryce returns from a wrist injury. "I'm not blitzing as much, and dropping more into coverage," Scott said. "I'm not attack blitzing, just more run blitzing. I've got like a bull's-eye on my chest cause teams are sliding their lines to me because they know I'm the attacking linebacker. We'll see what happens when Trevor comes back because he'll draw a double team, and it will free some people up."
Frank Gore is the key to San Francisco's offense, and he leads the 49ers in rushing with 254 yards on 68 carries. But he has been known to fumble, and the Ravens are aware.
"Hopefully, we can find out," Ryan said. "I think he accounted for almost 50 percent of their total offense last year. The thing is, if you're just worried about trying to get the ball out of his hand, then he'll run you over. I think the big thing is getting a lot of hats on him, and obviously, if you get an opportunity to put your helmet on a football, or you get a chance to rip the ball out, then you're definitely going to go for it."