Preseason 1 - Presented by PrimeSport.
Thursday, 08/08/13, 7:30 PM - Raymond James Stadium (65,908)
TV: WBAL Ch. 11 | WJLA | WHTM | Comcast SportsNet Baltimore (delayed broadcast)
Radio: 98 Rock | WBAL-1090 AM
Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Stan White (analyst), Qadry Ismail (analyst)
Jersey Color: Purple
Referee Crew: Scott Green
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The Ravens will kick off the 2013 preseason with a trip to Tampa Bay, where fans will get their first look at the defending Super Bowl champions.
This year’s squad doesn’t match the team that won in New Orleans on Feb. 3, however. After widespread changes, including retooling the defense, Thursday will offer a glimpse at the new pieces.
The Ravens are looking to get them on the same page, as well as give some players battling for roster spots a chance to show what they can do in game situations. First and foremost, the Ravens are looking to stay healthy after already losing tight end Dennis Pitta for the year.
Matchups To Watch
CB Lardarius Webb vs. WR Vincent Jackson
It’s unknown how much playing time cornerback Lardarius Webb will get considering he doesn’t go all the way through 11-on-11 Ravens practice drills. But if he gets any snaps, it will be Webb’s first game back from his torn ACL. Jackson, who made 72 catches for 1,384 yards and eight touchdowns last year, has been reportedly tearing it up at training camp.
Ravens run defense vs. RB Doug Martin
The Ravens run defense is expected to be much better this year. But how good? Martin, who ran for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, will be a great test. Martin isn’t expected to see much time, but any of his carries will be interesting to watch.
LT Bryant McKinnie vs. DE Da’Quan Bowers
McKinnie ended last postseason on a tear. Will he pick up where he left off after the offseason? He’ll face an up-and-coming pass rusher who notched three sacks last season in Bowers. McKinnie could be a player that gets more playing time considering it’s important he be in top game shape.
Keys To The Game
Establish a rhythm
The first-team offense will likely see a quarter or less of action. During that time, it would be good to get on a bit of a roll and prove that their work in practice will actually pay off in a game. It’s good to build some confidence in the preseason. Scoring isn’t as essential, but moving the chains is important.
Get on the same page
The defense has a lot of new pieces, which requires a lot of communication. At one point during a practice, Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees chided his men, saying he wouldn’t be able to line them up on game days. It will be interesting to see how well the unit has gelled thus far.
Knock off the rust
Most of the Ravens talked about looking forward to hitting somebody else and taking one themselves. As quarterback Joe Flacco said, it reminds him that he plays football. It’s been just over six months since the Ravens suited up for a game. It’s important for them to get back in that mindset again.
2012 Review: Tampa Bay was one of three teams (Carolina and New Orleans) in the NFC South to finish with a 7-9 record. After beginning the season 6-4 under first-year head coach Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers dropped five of their final six contests, missing the postseason for the fifth-straight season.
Greg Schiano: Schiano served in his first NFL head-coaching capacity in 2012, improving the team by a three-win margin from the previous year. Under Schiano, seven of Tampa’s nine losses were decided by one score or less, while his seven victories were the second-most by a Buccaneers’ first-year coach. Prior to joining Tampa Bay, he was Rutgers’ head coach for 11 seasons.
Offense: The Bucs set franchise marks with 5,820 yards of offense (ninth in NFL) and 389 total points. QB Josh Freeman set franchise standards with 4,065 passing yards and 27 TDs. Rookie RB Doug Martin earned Pro Bowl honors, as his 1,454 rushing yards were the NFL’s fifth most. WR Vincent Jackson enjoyed his first campaign with the team, posting the club’s second-most single-season receiving yards (1,384 – fifth in NFL) en route to making the Pro Bowl.
Defense: After finishing with the NFL’s No. 32 run-stop in 2011, Tampa’s defense ranked first in the league vs. the rush in 2012. The worst-to-first turnaround in one season was the first of its kind since the 1970 merger. DT Gerald McCoy anchored the unit, earning his first-career Pro Bowl. Conversely, the Bucs produced the NFL’s lastranked pass defense, permitting 297.4 yards a contest.
• Teams have never met in preseason
• Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was the Buccaneers’ QBs coach in 2001, while current Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington (1998-2002) was in his fourth season as a player in Tampa Bay.
• CB Danny Gorrer appeared in 11 games for the Ravens in 2011, recording 5 tackles. Gorrer also played (2009) under current Ravens senior defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo when Spagnuolo was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2009-11).
• Ravens S James Ihedigbo (2007-10) and Buccaneers CB Darrelle Revis (2007-12) played together as members of the Jets’ secondary from 2007-10.
• Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell (1986-92) and secondary coach Teryl Austin (1991-92) coached alongside Bucs head coach Greg Schiano (1990-95) in various roles at Penn State.
• Several Ravens players hail from the state of Florida: LB Albert McClellan (Lakeland); OLB Elvis Dumervil, CB Moe Lee, WR Tommy Streeter (Miami); RB Anthony Allen (Tampa); G/T Jah Reid (Haines City).
2012 NFL RANKINGS
PRESEASON QUICK HITS
• The Ravens are 40-27 all time in preseason play. Under head coach John Harbaugh (since 2008), Baltimore has compiled a 13-7 mark in the preseason.
• Baltimore has won 12 of its last 16 preseason games.
• The Ravens are 19-14 all time in preseason road games, producing victories in five of their last eight contests.
• Among NFC South teams, Baltimore has never faced Tampa Bay in the preseason. The Ravens have played Atlanta nine times, Carolina five times and New Orleans once.
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