For months, they've heard the talk about how they could be the weak link of an otherwise championship-caliber team. They've been reminded about their roles in blowing two 14-point leads in an AFC divisional playoff loss to the New England Patriots in January. They've dealt with injuries and change, and now the Ravens' secondary gets another challenge: Peyton Manning.
General manager Ozzie Newsome stood next to Jimmy Smith at the Ravens' training complex a week ago and broke into a wide smile moments after the cornerback signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension.
Darian Stewart's interception ended the Steelers' final trip into the red zone during the Ravens' 30-17 win in the AFC wild-card round at Heinz Field. And it gave the secondary a measure of redemption after the unit allowed six touchdown passes in the Ravens' 43-23 loss to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers on Nov. 2.
hen the Ravens face the Washington Redskins and their explosive wide receiver tandem of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon Saturday night at M&T Bank Stadium, their lack of cornerback depth will come into focus.
Before they left the visiting locker room at AT&T Stadium late Saturday night, the Ravens defense had reached a consensus in their evaluation of what had transpired over the previous three hours. The defenders believed that they had done some good things, but they also recognized that their play was nowhere near good enough.
Responding to a question about whether rookie safety Terrence Brooks could be an option in the nickel back role, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees' answer probably could have applied to several positions.
During Sunday's practice, the Ravens appeared to suffer their second serious injury of training camp at defensive end. Kapron Lewis-Moore was carted off the practice field in tears and obvious pain with what coach John Harbaugh later said appears to be a torn Achilles tendon.
Webb and Smith are entrenched as the team¿s top two corners but there are plenty of questions once you move beyond them. Brown and Jackson have all shown some flashes, but they are still unproven commodities who have battled inconsistency during their Ravens¿ careers.
The bond between Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is deep enough that the former Pro Bowl kick returner jokes frequently that Kubiak is his real biological father.
As veteran cornerback Aaron Ross covered receivers Tuesday during his minicamp tryout with the Ravens, the former New York Giants starter quickly realized how long it's been since he's played football.
Veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, nose tackle Haloti Ngata and defensive end Chris Canty are attending the Ravens' mandatory minicamp after being absent from all of the organized team activities.
The Ravens continue to monitor the veteran cornerback market and are among the teams that have reached out to former Pro Bowl selection Brandon Flowers since he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday, according to a source.