The Ravens picked themselves up and dusted off after the forgettable Week 1 performance in Denver, and rebounded to defeat the Cleveland Browns last week by a score of 14-6. It was, obviously, far from the bounce-back beat-down that Ravens fans were hoping for, but in the end the Purple Birds are 1-1 and tied with Cincinnati for the lead in the AFC North.
This week the Houston Texans bring their 2-0 record to town, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s been easy for them, either. Gary Kubiak’s squad came back from a 21-point deficit in San Diego in Week 1, and were forced to overtime last week at home against division rival Tennessee.
The Ravens could have a bit of revenge on their minds, as the last time these two met, last season at Reliant Stadium, the Texans won 43-13, in a game that wasn’t even that close. That was the first time in their history that the Texans had ever gotten the best of the Ravens, as Baltimore now leads the all-time series 6-1 (including 1-0 in postseason).
Ray Lewis will be inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor at halftime, and Ed Reed could be suiting up for his new team for the first time, so emotions will be running high in Charm City. Hopefully the home team can use that amped-up crowd to their advantage.
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“A leadership role is something I definitely don’t mind taking on now, because I was mentored by one of the greatest leaders probably ever to play the game in Ray Lewis. A lot of his leading was by example, and when he spoke, everybody listened, because they had that respect for him. So, I think being a leader comes with how much respect people have for you. These guys look at the way I work, and they understand that my actions are going to show on the field.” – RB Ray Rice on being a leader for the Ravens
“When you can look to a leader who’s in the Hall of Fame and has two rings that he won with two different coaches and two different quarterbacks, whatever he thinks it takes, you can’t question.” – Fox Sports analyst Brian Billick on his respect for Ravens general manager & executive vice president Ozzie Newsome
“I don’t want to compare it to Coke’s secret recipe, but we compare it to Coke’s secret recipe. We try to treat the process as one of the most competitive things that we do all year. Besides the games [themselves], undrafted free agency is when you’re competing against the other 31 teams for a very small amount of players with a very small amount of money. … For us, it’s critically important.” – Assistant GM Eric DeCosta on the Ravens’ scouting process and signing of undrafted free agents
“We’re not going to miss a beat from a leadership standpoint. Direction, these guys are going to know what direction to go in. I think this is a great opportunity for guys like [Terrell] Suggs to step up and Joe [Flacco] to step up. It’s coming along exactly the way I figured. Ray Lewis is a once-in-a-generation guy. And you saw guys like Terrell Suggs – who was a Defensive Player of the Year [in 2011] – in the offseason, and as the season started last year, he was still deferring to Ray Lewis. And it’s just interesting. When you have someone of that iconic level, it was hard to step out of his shadow, and they really didn’t try to. They knew that they were seeing something special, and that they were fortunate to be a part of it.” – Owner Steve Bisciotti on the Ravens’ veteran leaders after the departure of LB Ray Lewis and S Ed Reed
“He reminds me of the Lorenzo Neals in the day, those 1990s fullbacks that were just big, raw, mauler-type guys that have no neck, just head and shoulders, and they are going one way.” – Saints LB Jonathan Vilma on FB Vonta Leach
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Lardarius Webb
What did you take most from your time with Ed Reed?
“Just being a professional – how to come out to work every day, how to practice hard, and most of all, how to study film. He studied film all the time, and that was one aspect he always put on me.”
Do you ever take anything from watching other cornerbacks?
“My favorite is Asante Samuel; I love watching him. He gambles, but he gambles right a lot. I have favorites, but I don’t take too much from them. I just take on my game from what I study.”
What’s more important, reading the receiver’s eyes or the QB’s?
“Reading the eyes of the receiver. I was always told by Ed Reed, ‘If you see the quarterback throw the ball, you’re going to see the receiver catch it. Certain defenses allow you to watch the QB, but that’s more for the safety to watch the quarterback’s eyes. For a cornerback, you need to keep your eyes on your man.”
What does it mean to you to be a Raven?
“I want to be here for the rest of my career. I love the organization. I’ve got a good relationship with the head coach. Just being around here in this atmosphere, it’s the place to be. I don’t know if it can get any better in the league, so I would love to be here for the rest of my career. I love the community and the support of the community.”
Which teammate is the…
“The guy from Harvard – Juice [Kyle Juszczyk].”
Most likely to be a coach:
Most likely to be President:
“Torrey Smith, because he’s the most political. He knows how to go out and get votes.”
What pops into your head when you hear the following?
Your thoughts on John Harbaugh?
“If I ever become a coach, I want to be just like him. I want to coach just like him. Sometimes he can be hard on you, but I want to be just like him. He’s hard on us, but he’s hard on us for good reason. He’s always trying to get the best out of me. I love that guy, I do.”
Sacks in the Bank
Opposing quarterbacks pee themselves a little when they see “at Baltimore” on the schedule.
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections
Texans S Ed Reed (2002-12) was originally selected by the Ravens with the 24th pick in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. Reed is the Ravens’ all-time leader with 61 career interceptions, which rank 10th most in NFL history. His 1,541 interception return yards are the most in NFL history.
Ravens WR/RS Jacoby Jones joined the Ravens in 2012 after spending the first five years of his career in Houston, where he was selected in the third round of the 2007 Draft. With the Texans, Jones totaled 127 receptions for 1,741 yards and 11 TDs, also adding 243 returns (punt and kick) for 3,310 yards and 4 TDs (3 PR and 1 KOR).
Ravens FB Vonta Leach spent four seasons (2007-10) as a member of the Texans, totaling 65 receptions for 457 yards and 3 TDs. In addition, Leach led the way for Texans RB Arian Foster, who topped the NFL in rushing yards (1,616) during the 2010 season.
Ravens assistant O-line coach Todd Washington played for the Texans from 2003-05, making a career-high 14 starts at LG in 2003.
Texans pro scout Larry Wright completed a scouting internship with the Ravens in the summer of 2000.
Texans “D” coordinator Wade Phillips was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys (2007-10) while current Ravens DE Chris Canty (2005-08) and DE Marcus Spears (2005-12) were with the team.
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT THE EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT