Each week, Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley will answer fans' questions about the Ravens. To submit a question, e-mail email@example.com. Write Hey, Jamison! in the subject field and provide your name, the city you live in and phone number so we can verify the e-mail.
HEY, JAMISON: : Who put the pressure (and how much was necessary) on [Greg] Mattison to get him to dial up the pressure on the QB? And, is this a "new" and permanent philosophy?
Richard Greenberg DallasHEY, RICHARD: : I was sworn to secrecy on this. But since this is a follow-up question from last week, I will let you know who caused the change - it was me. During the bye, I bought the latest "Madden" game and tinkered with different zone blitzes and multiple fronts. I even drew up the scheme that led to Jarret Johnson's sack on the first play of the game. After I shut down the Broncos, I decided to pass on some pointers to the Ravens.
If you want the "official" reason the defense played better, it was that the players executed better. The players worked on their technique during the extra week and won their one-on-one battles against Denver. Even Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer said he didn't see much difference in the Ravens' defense from the Vikings game to the Broncos one.
I can't tell you how much I agree with what coach John Harbaugh said Monday about the constant need to pressure the quarterback. Based on how the officials are calling pass interference after seeing the slightest contact, the only way to slow passing attacks is to hit the quarterback. Well, to be exact, hit the quarterback from the shoulder to just above the knee. Don't want to draw an unnecessary flag.
HEY, JAMISON: : I understand the raven is the official logo of the team but it seems very difficult to find Ravens gear with the shield on it these days. I love it, like many of my friends, and would like to see more merchandise. It shows our pride for the team and the great state we live in. When it first came out, we had a lot to choose from; now it's almost impossible to find anything. Do you know the reason?
Ric Buchanan MiddletownHEY, RIC: : Team spokesman Kevin Byrne said the people who make the products don't believe the shield sells as well as the other logos. To be honest, I agree. But I'm not a fan of shields. I wasn't a fan of the flying "B" crest with wings on the Ravens' original helmets. I wasn't even a fan of "The Shield" television series that ran for years on F/X.
Still, you have to respect that shield with the "B" and "R," along with the colors of the Maryland state flag. It's one of the few elements that have survived the uniform changes over the years. The profile view of the Ravens' head has replaced the flying crest on the helmet, and hopefully those black pants with the large white stripe down the side have been permanently retired and/or burned.
HEY, JAMISON: : With George Kokinis and Phil Savage being fired from Cleveland, do you see any chance of them resurfacing with the Ravens? Before their Cleveland tenures, they were considered fairly solid front-office types, weren't they? However, the Browns are more than welcome to keep Corey Ivy.
Glenn E. Peacher AbingdonHEY, GLENN: : Kokinis and Savage are great talent evaluators. Savage put together some of the greatest drafts during his time with the Ravens. Kokinis quietly made the same impact on the pro personnel side. For the Browns to unceremoniously jettison both of them just shows that this team won't turn around with the current decision-makers.
As for their chances of coming back to the Ravens, I don't see that happening immediately. Bringing back Savage could make it uncomfortable for Eric DeCosta, who has since been promoted to Savage's former title as player personnel director. The Ravens also can't do the same with Kokinis because Vince Newsome has moved into Kokinis' role as pro personnel director. The only way I see the Ravens bringing back either one is if DeCosta gets a general manager job.