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Mike Preston's final grades: Secondary and special teams

Final grades of the 2009 season. The complete grades will run in Friday's Baltimore Sun:

SECONDARY: It would have been interesting to see how things turned out if cornerbacks Samari Rolle, Fabian Washington and rookie Lardarius Webb had remained healthy for the entire season. The secondary improved as the season went on, but it couldn't have gotten much worse. The Ravens still are in need of a big, physical shutdown corner. Safety Ed Reed had a good season, but not up to Reed standards because of injuries. If he retires, the Ravens are in decent shape with Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura. Webb was a stud, and cornerback Chris Carr played well in the second half of the season. Cornerback Domonique Foxworth played well at times, but not up to the lucrative contract he signed during the off season. Grade: C-.

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SPECIAL TEAMS: This group had a good run of games after the first half of the season, but couldn't maintain that consistency into the postseason. Several long returns were called back because of penalties during the season, and the Ravens shuffled returners like a deck of cards. A lot of snaps for field goals, extra points or punts were off target late in the season, and the only consistent player was punter Sam Koch. Grade: C.

Next: Coaching

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--Mike Preston

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