Reed Reexamines The Secondary

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With a few days to watch the tape from Baltimore's 31-26 win over the San Diego Chargers, safety Ed Reed isn't concerned with the secondary he leads.

"They just executed their game plan to a 'T,'" he said on Wednesday. "I wouldn't say it was communication. Sometimes, we had perfect calls and guys were in perfect position. I went back and looked at the tape, and we're in position. They just knew exactly what they wanted to do.

"Some of the time, they knew how to occupy the safety. That game will help us get better, secondary-wise, to take care of how people are going to attack that."

And that could be the key to this weekend's matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

The Chargers took deep strikes downfield to take advantage of the sheer size of 6-foot-5 receiver Vincent Jackson, 6-foot-2 wideout Legedu Naanee and 6-foot-4 tight end Antonio Gates when they saw one-on-one coverage with Baltimore's 5-foot-10 cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Fabian Washington.

With strong safety Dawan Landry moving down in the box at times, Reed was the only help over the top, forcing the former NFL Defensive Most Valuable Player to cover the back end himself.

While the cornerbacks were very active against their larger opponents, many times, there simply wasn't much they could do.

"We can play the coverage in a more together fashion and help those corners out a little bit better than we did, and the corners will come up and make some plays," head coach John Harbaugh noted. "'Fabe' was all over the last one and had his hand right in there, and they came down with the ball. That's a case of a guy being covered and him still making the catch. There are a lot of things we can do to get better."

The Ravens did manage to keep San Diego out of the end zone on four tries from the red zone, but the Chargers freely moved the chains through the air, totaling eight pass plays of 20 or more yards.

"Giving up over 400 yards is a lot to a good quarterback and receivers, but it wasn't anything we've ever seen before," said cornerback Frank Walker. "We're not going to panic or anything like that. As a defensive back, they say your memory has to be cleaned out. Of course, there are things that are in your mind, but for the most part, you have to let it go."

That is not to say the players have completely moved past it. Foxworth was notably down on himself immediately following the game, but was cheered when he went back to the film.

"Right after the game, I thought I was the worst corner ever," the Baltimore native admitted. "But then I realized that for all the double-moves and all the fakes, none of that tricked us. Teams make plays from time to time, but that won't be happening anymore."

The Browns have a big receiver in Braylon Edwards (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), who is another long-ball threat. Edwards is currently leading Cleveland with seven catches for 104 yards, including a 24-yard reception.

Walker, who made a stellar play on the Chargers' final series when he out-jumped Naanee in the end zone and deflected a potentially game-clinching touchdown, said the Ravens have a plan.

"Guys were in the right position [against the Chargers]," he explained, "but now we just have to focus on being a little more reckless when the ball arrives, as far ripping the receiver's arm and getting the ball."

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