Tag:Chris Carr
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 11:49 am
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Film Room: Ravens vs. Jets preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Ever since Rex Ryan left Baltimore to become New York’s head coach, we’ve viewed these two teams as mirror images of one another – and understandably so. Both have young quarterbacks. Both have running backs entering their primes who are backed up by a sage veteran. Both feature an aggressive and deceptive 3-4 defensive scheme. And both talk abundant trash even though their respective rivals – the Patriots and Steelers – have all the rings.

Let’s take a closer look at these teams’ similarities.

1. Young quarterbacks
Something that stood out in Week 3 was how the Ravens and Jets heavily utilized play-action early on, but for different reasons.

The Ravens referred to it to allow time for downfield routes to unfold. They wanted to take advantage of a depleted Rams secondary that was starting undrafted second-year nobody Darian Stewart at safety and disintegrating Al Harris at nickel corner outside. (They succeeded, by the way).

The Jets referred to play action because they wanted to prolong the time that Raiders’ defensive backs had to hold up in man coverage. They also wanted to coax the Raider linebackers into running out of position. (They succeeded, but only in the first half.)

Same offensive tactic, but with vastly different inspirations. The Ravens were trying to showcase their young quarterback, while the Jets were trying to simply make life easier for theirs (nothing wrong with that). This makes sense. Flacco has been around a year longer than Sanchez and is clearly a year ahead of him development-wise. He has a stronger arm and, as of late, more refined tools. He has really improved his pocket movement, becoming more consistent in resetting his feet before he throws.

The Jets are working with Sanchez in this realm. Entering this season, the USC star had a habit of bringing the ball down while eluding rushers in the pocket. This compelled him to reset both his feet AND throwing mechanics, which is too slow of a motion for the NFL.

For what it’s worth, don’t expect such a heavy dose of play-action in this game. Both defenses have savvy linebackers and are too likely to blitz. Instead, the key will be which young quarterback does the best job at diagnosing coverages and pass-rushing attacks prior to the snap.


2. The running backs
Let’s get one thing clear: Ray Rice is a better football player than Shonn Greene. It’s not even close. If Rice were a Friday night, Greene would be, at best, a Wednesday afternoon. Rice runs with superb balance and strength, and his lateral agility is second to none (especially when he gets to the second level). What’s more, he’s a demon in the passing game, both as a receiver and blocker.

Greene, on the other hand, has been somewhat disappointing. He sits out most passing downs and has 1,440 yards rushing…in 32 career games. One issue is Greene’s more of a momentum runner than explosive runner. He excels on sweeps because those runs naturally allow him to hit the line of scrimmage going downhill. But sweeps don’t work against elite outside linebackers (like, say, Terrell Suggs).

Between the tackles, Greene’s vision and timing are very average. That’s why the Jets made LaDainian Tomlinson a prominent part of their offense last season. Tomlinson is off to a fantastic start as a receiving back this season (12 catches for 196 yards and a touchdown), but that’s in part because he knows how to outwit pass defending linebackers. On film, it’s clear L.T. has lost a lot of his speed and quickness. If the Jets are to go anywhere in 2011, they’ll have to ride Greene.

Same goes for the Ravens and Rice. Rice’s production is not a problem, though the Ravens were wise to bring in a supporting No. 2 back like Ricky Williams.

3. The receivers
Derrick Mason is the X-factor. He was Baltimore’s possession target last year and is now filling that role from the slot in New York. The crafty 15-year veteran is one of the few players in the league who does not need to get separation in order to be open.

Plaxico Burress is another one of those players. He’s been, for the most part, his same old self this season (which is remarkable when you really think about it). His matchup Sunday night against Carry Williams will be worth watching. If you asked God to make a cornerback specifically for defending Burress, you might get Williams. He’s only 6’1”, 185, but long and upright, he plays much bigger than that. He has an intriguing combination of physicality and change-of-direction ability, and if asked to play man coverage, he won’t be shy about using trail position technique (which will compel Burress to use his “speed” more than his strength).

It will be interesting to see what the Jets do with Darrelle Revis. The likely assignment will be Anquan Boldin, though last week, rookie Torrey Smith turned in a jaw-dropping three-touchdown first quarter that had the Rams redirecting their safety help concepts. Smith gets faster at the end of his routes, which is something all great deep threats do. Antonio Cromartie has the speed to run with him, so expect the Jets to trust that matchup. But expect the Ravens to readily go after it.

The weak link of both cornerbacking groups happens to be an ex-Boise State Bronco: Chris Carr for the Ravens and Kyle Wilson for the Jets. If it comes down to these ancillary matchups, the Jets have the overall advantage. Mason, their No. 3, is as reliable as they come. For the Ravens, newcomer Lee Evans (who now figures to be the No. 3 receiver) has not established any sort of a rhythm with Flacco.

4. The defensive lines
The Jets have a unique run-stopping approach with their three-man defensive line. Instead of asking their downlinemen to occupy blockers and fill two gaps, the Jets ask them to focus on physically manhandling the guy in front of them. The idea is this creates congestion through penetration and also defines the inside linebackers’ path to the ball (David Harris and Bart Scott are tasked with reading the defensive linemen’s action and attacking in the opposite direction that it’s drifting. More on that in the next section.)

The Jets are the only 3-4 team in the NFL that plays the run this way.

This unique approach is why general manager Mike Tannenbaum drafted a fist-fighter like Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round. Tannenbaum would probably give his right eye for a chance to have a guy like Haloti Ngata. The Ravens 335-pound defensive end/nose tackle is the most destructive front line force in the NFL today.

Ngata has the power of a tug boat and mobility of a clipper. Truly, he moves like a linebacker. Expect him to spend most of his time at defensive end this season, as last year’s second-round pick, Terrence Cody, has looked great at nose tackle.



5. The inside linebackers
These are the entertainers – the guys NBC cameras will fixate on Sunday night. The sagacious Ray Lewis and loquacious Bart Scott. Both back up their personas. Lewis no longer has elite sideline-to-sideline speed, but he compensates with instincts, ferocity and fundamentals.

He was a demon attacking Rams lead-blockers last week. The Ravens’ defensive style will always allow Lewis to be productive, as so much of their run approach is predicated on his teammates occupying blockers.

Scott, who is as aggressive downhill as any linebacker in the league, has both an easier and tougher job than Lewis. It’s easier in that he has a stellar running mate in David Harris. It’s tougher in that, as mentioned earlier, he must read the defensive linemen’s battles in front of him and pursue the ball accordingly.

The reason other 3-4 defenses don’t take this type of approach is it requires great intelligence and pursuit skills from both inside linebackers. Most defenses don’t have an inside combination like Scott and Harris.

So who will win? Check our expert picks for all Week 4 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: April 3, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: April 3, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Nakamura helps raise $60K for Japan relief

H. Nakamura helped raise $60,000 to help his countrymen (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear radiation package deal that has devastated Japan – and made big reverberations around the world – Ravens S Haruki Nakamura felt he had to do something for his heritage.

So, he, along with the Red Cross, organized a relief effort Saturday where players like Nakamura, QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, FS Ed Reed, DT Brandon McKinney, CB Chris Carr and former WR Qadry Ismail signed autographs in exchange for money that went to the Red Cross International Fund.

And it was a big-time success.

According to the National Football Post, $60,000 was raised.

"When we were pulling up, I had goosebumps," Nakamura said to NFP. "It was crazy. It's not what we expected. It was a small idea, and this is huge. It's awesome. It means a lot. It shows how much people really care."

More from Aaron Wilson’s story:

Some fans complained via Twitter that they were unable to make it through the long lines to get autographs, but emphasized that the event was for a good cause.

Reed traveled from Atlanta to be there. And Rice and Flacco drove in from New York and New Jersey, respectively, to support Nakamura.

"When you see things happen on the news, you realize it's not just about you," Rice said. "We're all a family. It's always great to come out to events like this when you've got a guy whose family is out there and is affected by things like this."

"That’s the American spirit," Carr said. "People want to help out those who are less fortunate, and that’s why we’re here. It's for a great cause."


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Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:09 pm
 

Ravens say they didn't practice too much

Baltimore says John Harbaugh's practices got shorter as the season went on (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple days ago, the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston reported that some of the team’s players had an issue with the length of coach John Harbaugh’s practices during the week leading to the playoff game vs. the Steelers (ie: they were too long) and threatened to go to the union and the media to complain about it.

The organization has responded, writing that Harbaugh shortened practices as the season reached its end.

From the story:

“I am here for every practice, year-round, and John informs me about the structure of practices, including length and repetitions,” said general manager Ozzie Newsome, a Hall of Fame tight end, former coach and one of the most-respected GMs in the NFL. “I know practices were shorter, not only the week of the Steelers playoff game, but the weeks before, through our successful run to the postseason in December.

“The coaches made sure the players were ready to play at their best by gameday.”

After being reached by BaltimoreRavens.com, several players agreed with Newsome’s assessment

“I can’t speak for my teammates, but I can speak for myself,” said cornerback Chris Carr. “I think practices were scaled back from a week before the playoffs. In the playoffs, it was pretty much mental reps. It had nothing to do with why we lost. I just think it was the mistakes we made. I didn’t feel tired. Nobody out there was complaining that they were tired.

“I think the practices were definitely scaled back in our favor. It was beneficial, not a hindrance.”


The truth, I imagine, is somewhere in the middle.

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Posted on: January 13, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: January 13, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Steelers vs. Ravens: 7-Point Divisional Preview

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Baltimore Ravens (No. 5, AFC, 13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 12-4)

This is perhaps the best rivalry in the NFL today. No, strike the “perhaps.” It is the No. 1 rivalry for toughness, defensive struggles, bloody and broken noses and grit. We’re lucky enough to see these two AFC North squads play twice a year, but it’s always an extra treat to watch them face off in the playoffs.

These two had the same regular-season record, and when they met in Week 4 and Week 13, both contests were decided by three points – one win for the Ravens and one for the Steelers. LB Terrell Suggs said earlier this week that the winner of this game will triumph in the Super Bowl. He might very well be right.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



I hate going five out of five, but in the Divisional Playoffs, to get this matchup, there’s really no other choice.

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Ravens offensive line vs. Steelers linebackers

For the second straight week, Baltimore’s tackles will have to figure out how to slow down the opponent’s 3-4 defense linebacking corps. Last week, the Chiefs sacked Ravens QB Joe Flacco four times and put pressure on him throughout the game, and Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali made life very difficult for the Ravens offensive line.

Baltimore LT Michael Oher had a particularly tough time protecting his quarterback, and if he continues to struggle, Steelers LBs James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons will be happy to take shots at Flacco.

But it’s not just about pass protection. The offensive line also has to open holes for RB Ray Rice and Willis McGahee, and if they can’t get into the second level of the Pittsburgh defense, the Ravens are going to have big problems. The Steelers allow only 62.8 rushing yards per game – by far, the best number in the league – and the two times these two teams played this year, Rice combined for 17 carries and 52 yards.

If the offensive line can’t help him improve on those numbers, it’s going to be very tough for Baltimore’s offense to find enough balance to beat the Steelers.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

Those Troy Polamalu Head & Shoulders commercials are pretty hit or miss. Some are fairly funny; some are disastrous. But what I like best about them is that Polamalu is actually a pretty effective comedy actor. “You asked with your eyes, Trent. You asked with your eyes."



5. The Ravens will win if ...

QB Joe Flacco continues to hit TE Todd Heap every chance he gets. Flacco targeted Heap 13 times last week in Kansas City, and Heap caught 10 of those passes for 108 yards. If he finds the end zone a couple times vs. the Steelers, Baltimore could pull off its second-straight road playoff win.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

QB Ben Roethlisberger can pick apart the Ravens secondary. Which he should do. Aside from Reed, who’s still world class, and Chris Carr, Baltimore’s defensive backs corps is awfully mediocre.

7. Prediction: Steelers 16, Ravens 10



Posted on: January 8, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Chris Carr says Ravens NFL's most talented team

Posted by Andy BenoitC. Carr

Ravens defensive back and player rep Chris Carr recently won the team’s Good Guy award, which is essentially an honor bestowed on an individual who best exemplifies good guy qualities in his interactions with the media. Carr said his honesty is what likely won him the award.

Carr showcased some of that honesty this week by saying the Ravens are the most talented team in the NFL – yes, even more talented than the Patriots.

"If you look at our roster from top to bottom, I think it’s fair to say,” Carr said, according to Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun. “I’ve talked to people who have played on other teams, who are on other teams, and I talked to Prince Miller – who was in New England for a week and came back here – and saying the talent level that we had compared to them... So, when you have the most talent, it should be a disappointment if you don’t win the Super Bowl."

For what it’s worth, the Ravens tied for the second most original Pro Bowlers (five) in 2010. The Patriots led the AFC with six; the Falcons led the NFC with seven.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2010 11:42 am
Edited on: December 26, 2010 12:17 pm
 

Week 16 AFC Inactives

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, those who ARE active: Jaguars WR Mike Sims-Walker, Ravens CB Chris Carr, Jets QB Mark Sanchez (who is starting), Colts RB Joseph Addai, Browns NT Shaun Rogers.

Now, those who are NOT active:

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars:
We figured this was coming, but still, it’s important to note that this is the first time Jones-Drew has missed a game due to injury. Rashad Jennings will take over, and he should be fine today.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots:
The rookie TE who has been so impressive this season didn’t travel with his team to Buffalo, so this isn’t a surprising. Look for Rob Gronkowski to get even more action.

Todd Heap, TE, Ravens:
He's been dealing with a hamstring issue, and after an inconsistent week of practice, he's sitting down today.

Karlos Dansby, LB, Dolphins:
Miami will miss one of its best linebackers, but Dansby is dealing with a toe injury and didn't practice all week.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals:
Apparently, Ochocinco tweeted today that he was inactive. With this guy, though, I would wait until the official inactive list comes out to confirm it.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 7:19 pm
 

Analyzing the "Josh Wilson to Baltimore" trade

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Ravens added some much-needed depth to their secondary by sending a fifth-round pick to Seattle for cornerback Josh Wilson. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the pick could become a fourth-rounder depending on Wilson’s playing time.J. Wilson

Wilson was Seattle’s second-round pick in 2007. He started 12 games in both the ’08 and ’09 seasons. In ’09, coaches wanted him to play the slot, but Ken Lucas struggled too mightily to maintain the No. 2 cornerback job. Ironically, the Ravens had Lucas in for a tryout this past summer but decided to pass. That decision to pass, in part, indirectly led to the decision to trade for Wilson.

Wilson is a decent athlete, but he has a strong tendency to give up spacing late in routes. If Lardarius Webb is healthy, the Ravens will likely use Wilson in a No. 4 role. (Of course, given Wilson’s experience in covering the slot, his addition could be an indication that Webb is not as healthy as the Ravens would like). It’s also not entirely out of the question that Wilson could challenge Chris Carr for the No. 2 cornerback job; Carr is better suited as an inside zone defender.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 12:20 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2010 12:57 pm
 

Ravens' Webb activated off PUP

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Ravens got some good news today for a secondary corps in desperate need of some help.

CB Lardarius Webb, eight months after tearing the ACL in his right knee, passed his conditioning test this morning and the Ravens activated him off the Physically Unable to Perform list.

According to the Baltimore Sun , Webb made significant progress during the last week, when the Ravens increased his workouts to twice a day and “looked strong and fast while cutting, leaping and sprinting.”

He’ll join Fabian Washington, also coming off a season-ending injury, in the secondary. Since Baltimore is without Domonique Foxworth, who tore his ACL last month, Chris Carr also will get significant playing time while Webb is eased back into the lineup.

Still, the secondary won’t truly recover unless FS Ed Reed can return from his hip injury. Without him, the secondary most likely will continue to struggle unless the Ravens can somehow find another standout playmaker.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com