The show of support from the Ravens players and coaches for cornerbacks Corey Ivy, Derrick Martin and David Pittman was a nice gesture (the team stood on the numbers on their side of the field while Ivy, Martin and Pittman went to midfield for the coin toss), but it wasn't enough to help those guys in the first half of tonight's game against the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers.
Martin got beat on Ben Roethlisberger touchdown strikes to Nate Washington and Santonio Holmes. Holmes hauled in a touchdown catch between Pittman and free safety Ed Reed, and Corey Ivy was flagged for pass interference. Not the kind of showing Ravens fans had hoped from an embattled secondary forced to play without Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle.
And things could get worse if Reed, who was injured in the waning seconds of the half, doesn't return for the second half.
*Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was invited to Ravens training camp before the start of the 2004 season, has had a huge hand in the first-half demolition of the Ravens. His sack, strip and fumble recovery of quarterback Steve McNair on the Ravens' first series led to Roethlisberger's first touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller. Harrison then popped Reed on a punt return, causing a fumble and contributing to Holmes' touchdown reception. In the second quarter, Harrison sacked and stripped McNair again, driving the Ravens back until they were forced to punt from their own 2-yard line. Harrison then stepped in between a pass from McNair to wide receiver Demetrius Williams and returned the interception 20 yards. Finally, Harrison and linebacker Clark Haggans combined for another sack.
*Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, not defensive end Trevor Pryce, started alongside Kelly Gregg and Haloti Ngata, earning his fifth start in the last six games. Pryce, who has not played since fracturing his left wrist in Week 2, may still be working off the rust, which may explain how Roethlisberger was able to slip out of Pryce's sack attempt before finding tight end Heath Miller for a 17-yard touchdown strike in the first quarter.
*There may be a hidden meaning behind Reed standing in as a punt returner for rookie Yamon Figurs. Perhaps the coaches are worried that Figurs, who has been charged with three fumbles, might lose another one in the rain.