In a 33-30 overtime victory over the Ravens last season, Cribbs piled up 306 return yards with 245 yards gained on kickoffs. His 39-yard return in the final minute of regulation set up Phil Dawson’s game-tying field goal.
The Ravens are expected to engage in directional kicking tactics to try to prevent Cribbs from creating outstanding field position.
"We’ll do whatever we can to try to limit his production," said Ravens special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, who helped develop the former
Cribbs led the NFL last season with a 30.7 kickoff return average with two touchdowns. He also averaged 13.5 yards per punt return with
"Our whole game plan and the way I punt is directional," punter Sam Koch said. "We’re all going to be surrounding him, trying to gang-tackle him and make as many plays as we can."
Although there are faster return men in the NFL, Cribbs’ size and power at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds is a major asset.
"He’s a strong athlete," Rosburg said. "He’s a big, strong guy, and he’s got a great stiff arm. He’s a powerful player, he’s got powerful legs.
The Ravens will attempt to counter Cribbs with their own standout return specialist in Yamon Figurs.
Figurs is the only Ravens player to ever return a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same season, and he averaged 25.3 yards per kickoff return as a rookie.
Where Cribbs relies on his ability to break tackles, Figurs’ game is based primarily on his speed and elusiveness.
McGahee rushed for 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns last season, but missed the majority of the offseason minicamps and admittedly reported to training camp out of shape.
When asked how much he expected to play, McGahee replied: "I don’t know. Sunday, I envision myself running out there playing a regular game and trying to make plays. I’m going to play, regardless of if I’m sharing or not. The knee is good. It’s just the act of me going out there and playing on the football field, knocking the rust off."
TACKLE SHUFFLE: Veteran offensive tackle Willie Anderson is preparing to make his Ravens debut and is expected to rotate behind starter Adam Terry on the right side.
"We’ve got three tackles that we’ve got a lot of confidence in," Cameron said. "There could be some scenarios where Adam is in there at left and Willie goes to right. With Jared Gaither, it’s kind of a three-man situation.
Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (right ankle) and cornerback Corey Ivy (sprained right ankle) didn’t practice. Ayanbadejo is considered a question mark for this game.