Ravens Notebook: Team focused on stopping losing streak

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: Team focused on stopping losing streak

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OWINGS MILLS — Revenge isn’t consuming the Baltimore Ravens one year removed from a humiliating defeat to the Miami Dolphins.

The Ravens (2-3) have more pressing matters on their minds than dwelling on how they were the only team to lose to the Dolphins last season. A current three-game losing streak is of paramount concern.

"We know this is our season right here, so it’s got to be taken that this could make or break our season," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "Everybody thought maybe it was the
Pittsburgh game or the

game. It was neither one of those.

"This is it. You lose this one, you’re going to get guys starting to wither off and starting to jump off the bandwagon. So, we’re trying to keep everyone on."

After being routed 31-3 by the Indianapolis Colts, the Ravens have reached a crossroads.

That’s their focus instead of a 22-16 overtime loss to the Dolphins on Dec. 16, 2007.

"They deserved to win last year," wide receiver Derrick Mason said. "This is a new year, so we’ll just see how it pans out."

Last year’s loss to Miami may have sealed former coach Brian Billick’s fate as he was given a vote of confidence by team owner Steve Bisciotti days before kickoff. Then, he was fired a few weeks later.

"Of course, going down there last year thinking it was a shoo-in, anything can happen on any given Sunday," center Jason Brown said. "They are a better team than they were last year. Our preparation has to be on point this week and it will be."

ANGRY DOLPHINS: In making a supportive comment about offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who coached 

to a 1-15 record last season before being fired, Ravens coach John Harbaugh inadvertently fired up the Dolphins’ locker room.


"Cam’s going to be a great match as a football coach for every situation," Harbaugh said during a conference call with
South Florida reporters. "He can coach. Everywhere he’s been, he’s been a very effective coach.
"He was an effective coach in

last year, even though the results weren’t what people were hoping for. He did a great job there, with what he had to work with."

The last sentence of his quote is apparently what set off Dolphins players, who were informed of Harbaugh’s remarks by reporters.

"With what he had to work with, I guess that’s the key, huh?" Dolphins defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday said. "There’s not much I can say about that. It definitely was a tough season last year. What I would say is, what did we have to work with as players?

"I’m surprised he would say that, a little bulletin-board material. I think that’s just a young coach, a young head coach. And I think he’ll look back on that comment and wish he didn’t say that.

Wide receiver Greg Camarillo said he took it as a personal insult.

Running back Ronnie Brown had a similar take.

"With what he had to work with, huh? Brown said. "Personally, for myself, it is added motivation. I was on the offensive side of the ball and I feel like he’s talking about us to a certain extent. All I can do is show him and do what I do and that’s play the game. That’s how I talk I guess."

INJURY REPORT: Harbaugh stressed that offensive guard Marshal Yanda should be ready for spring minicamps. He’ll undergo surgery to repair three torn ligaments.

"He should be practicing at full speed," Harbaugh said.

Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Tavares Gooden is scheduled to undergo a sports hernia surgery and a hip surgery.

"I had two different things going on there," said Gooden, a third-round pick from the

University of
. "I felt it was time to get it fixed. I’ll be fine for next year. I’ll probably be even faster."

Cornerback Samari Rolle had neck surgery two weeks ago and is no longer wearing a cervical collar after having a bulging disc repaired.

"It was a good surgery, but I don’t know when I’ll be back," Rolle said. "I feel like I can run now. I just have to be cleared medically. That’s up to the doctors."
Rolle said it’s not a career-threatening injury.

"It wasn’t that bad," he said. "I had the problem and I didn’t even know it. I’m just glad I got it fixed."

Strong safety Dawan Landry (spinal cord concussion) is on the mend and has increased his activity recently.

"Dawan has been recovering very rapidly," Harbaugh said. "He’s a big, strong guy, and that aids his recovery. He’ll be back sooner rather than later."

Return specialist Yamon Figurs (knee contusion) didn’t practice and safety Ed Reed and wide receiver Mark Clayton caught punts.

Also not practicing: offensive tackle Adam Terry (sprained right knee, lateral meniscus) and wide receiver Demetrius Williams (ankle).

Harbaugh said that the Ravens got "decent news" from magnetic resonance imaging exams on Figurs and Williams, but wasn’t definitive on whether either will play.
The promotion of wide receiver Ernie Wheelwright to the active roster from the practice squad may be a telling sign that at least one, if not both players, could be out.

Cornerback Fabian Washington (dislocated right shoulder), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (neck stinger) and safety Tom Zbikowski (shoulder) were limited, and defensive tackle Lamar Divens (illness) participated fully.

QUICK HITS: Linebacker Bart Scott had 9 1/2 sacks in 2006 to lead all NFL inside linebackers, but has registered just a total of two in 2007 and 2008. Scott isn’t involved as much in blitz packages as he was in the past. "Measuring guys in terms of just pure stats is dangerous," Harbaugh said. "When you watch the tape, Bart is a real physical player and he makes his presence known in that way. Whether it’s taking on fullbacks, making tackles, even in coverage, Bart has played very well. There are many things he can do better, and he’s working to be better at those. From a technique standpoint, he needs to continue to improve and he’s doing that." … The Ravens spoke with several teams, but didn’t come close to making a trade prior to Tuesday’s NFL deadline. … Dolphins fullback Casey Cramer (ankle) didn’t practice. Cornerback Will Allen (knee) participated fully.

Aaron Wilson covers the
Baltimore Ravens for the
County Times and the


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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