Rolle Eligible To Return Next Week

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Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle may begin practicing with the team next week after spending the first part of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

His addition could be a boon to one of the most-maligned units in Baltimore.

Rolle has been in and out of the Ravens' training facility as he recovers from two neck surgeries this offseason to repair a bulging disc. A report in the Baltimore Sun stated that Rolle had a second surgery about three weeks ago.

Players on the PUP list can return to practice from Weeks 7-9, during which the team must decide whether or not to place him on Injured Reserve.

Rolle's pedigree as a former Pro Bowler would bring veteran leadership in his 12th professional season.

Considering a pass defense that has ranked in the top 10 in five of the past six seasons, it is important to regain the Ravens pedigree, as well.

"I saw him in the building today, and that will be a report from the doctors we're looking forward to [getting]," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh of Rolle on Monday. "We'll see how he's doing."

The Ravens' secondary was exploited last Sunday by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, who threw for 271 yards and a game-winning 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Andre Caldwell at the end of a 17-14 Baltimore loss.

In fact, the NFL's 26th-rated passing defense is allowing 238.0 yards through five games.

That does not represent a group the Ravens believed they revamped in the offseason with the signing the speedy Domonique Foxworth and Chris Carr to match with Fabian Washington and Frank Walker, who were already in-house. Playmaking rookie Lardarius Webb is also waiting in the wings.

Still, Harbaugh believes the secondary has been solid.

"I think our coverage, overall, even though we've had some plays against us, our coverage overall has been really good, it's been really aggressive," Harbaugh stated in his Monday press conference. "There's been a penalty here, they make a play there, all that stuff happens, but we're not changing the way we're playing. We're very aggressive on the coverage part of it.

"From a coaches' and players' perspective, we're good with that. We're running to the ball, we're playing physical up front. Are there things we want to do better? Sure. We want to cover better. We want to get better pressure on the quarterback."

Pressuring the pocket has been a Ravens focus all season and the cause for much consternation among pundits and fans alike.

Members of the defensive front have admitted that they needed to make Palmer more uncomfortable, especially on a final drive where he completed 4 of 10 passes for 49 yards (the 80-yard clinching drive was aided by three penalties that cost 30 total yards).

"[Palmer] did a great job of finding the open guys, and we didn't get enough pressure," said defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. "As a defensive line, we definitely have to get better at that."

Regardless of how long the cornerbacks need to cover, however, they have shouldered the responsibility of fixing their own problems, which is critical with Brett Farve and the Minnesota Vikings looming on the schedule.

Foxworth is not worried about the secondary moving forward.

"We have to stick to what got us here, go back and get better," he explained after the game. "It's not time to throw out the whole package based on what happened [Sunday]. I mean, it's important that we work hard and stay humble.

"I think you have to wait until we go back in and look at the film and decide what individuals made mistakes because all of us make mistakes throughout the game and look at the game as a whole."

Upon looking at the film, Foxworth said the answer was simple.

"This may sound cliché, but we just need to go back to our fundamentals," explained the fifth-year veteran.

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