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Secondary Has To Forget, Move On

Posted Aug 14, 2012

After a tough showing against Atlanta, Dean Pees wants his group to start strong.


The Ravens first-team defense had a tough showing against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones in last week’s preseason opener.

Atlanta marched down the field in eight plays on their first drive, as Ryan carved up the Ravens secondary. Jones finished the day with six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown in just one quarter of work.

The task doesn’t get any easier this Friday, as the Ravens will welcome the Detroit Lions and arguably the NFL’s best receiver Calvin Johnson to Baltimore. The focus now for the defense is to simply leave the Atlanta game in the past.

“The biggest thing is you have to forget it and go on,” Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said.

Cornerback Cary Williams had a tough time stopping Jones, but Pees emphasized that all of the blame can’t be placed on the secondary. One area he would specifically like to see improved is the pressure on the quarterback, as Ryan had plenty of time to throw while he was in the game.

“I wouldn’t say it’s all secondary,” Pees said. “We need to put more pressure on the quarterback in those situations. It’s never one thing. You see a guy getting beat deep because that’s what you see.”

Williams, who is competing with second-year cornerback Jimmy Smith for a starting job, had tight coverage on Jones on some of the plays, but the big wide receiver was still able to come up with the ball. The touchdown grab came on a fade route to the corner of the end zone while Williams was right in Jones’ face, but he made an acrobatic play to stay in bounds.

“On the touchdown, [Williams] was close,” Pees said. “He was right there and the guy made a good catch and got his feet down in bounds.

“That’s football. Like I tell these guys, ‘They are on scholarship too– they are allowed to make plays.’”

The other focus going into this week’s game is to get off to a better start. The starters typically play a little more in the second week of the preseason, which will give the Ravens a better opportunity to assess the group, but Pees emphasized that he wants to make sure the group doesn’t come out sluggish.

“We need to get off to a fast start,” Pees said. “That’s the thing that disappointed us Thursday is that we got off to a slow start. We don’t want to let anybody drive the ball on us, let alone drive down and score on us on the first possession. Certainly not the way you want to start the game."


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