Ravens Notebook: “Rough night” for Frank Walker

Street Talk Ravens Notebook: “Rough night” for Frank Walker

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It didn’t take perfect eyesight, or the training of an NFL scout to identify what happened to Baltimore Ravens veteran cornerback Frank Walker against the New York Jets on Monday night.


He got absolutely barbecued as the Jets used him for target practice.


"A blind man can see it was a rough one for me," Walker said in the locker room following the Ravens’ 24-23 win at M&T Bank Stadium.


For Walker, it was a case of being repeatedly picked on by the Jets’ receivers.


He allowed a 28-yard touchdown pass to David Clowney on a fade pass from Kellen Clemens. And he nearly allowed a second touchdown pass, but it was dropped.


When a cornerback finishes with five tackles and one pass deflection, it’s not a good sign.


"They weren’t doing anything special," Walker said. "It was just a rough night. I’ve got it from the guys already. I’m pretty sure my phone is full with text messages from my boys back at the crib. It was a rough one."


And the Jets pressed their advantage, intentionally directing the football in Walker’s direction after the initial strike to Clowney.


Walker remains one of the Ravens’ strongest cornerbacks in terms of tackling and bumping receivers at the line of scrimmage, but his coverage against the Jets and in recent practices has been shoddy.


“The touchdown was tough,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They caught us, and they checked to a fade there and we were in press coverage. Sometimes, they’ll make that play on you. I thought it was a great throw and a great catch.


"The coverage was pretty good right there. Frank was stripping in the pocket, and they made a play. Frank was battling and competing in there, and they got him a couple of times, and he’d be the first to tell you that. We still have a lot of confidence in Frank.”


Walker, who used a few choice expletives to describe his performance, said that he’ll rededicate himself to studying film with secondary coach Chuck Pagano to learn from this bad outing.


At least Walker didn’t lack accountability.


"It was a bad night," Walker said. "You definitely understand what the game is about and you have to approach it different. I blew a lot of coverages. It’s all on me.


"I’ve got a lot to work on. You can’t say, ‘Well, the preseason doesn’t count.’ All the games, all the practices count. You always want to put your best foot forward."


GREGG INJURES SHOULDER: Nose guard Kelly Gregg had a magnetic resonance imaging exam conducted on his shoulder. The nature and extent of the injury wasn’t immediately clear.


Gregg missed all of last season with a left knee injury, undergoing microfracture knee surgery. He has started both of the Ravens’ first two preseason games.


ON THE SPOT: Reserve inside linebacker Prescott Burgess’ hurry on Jets quarterback Erik Ainge disrupted the timing of the two-point conversion throw in the final seconds, and rookie cornerback Lardarius Webb batted it down to ensure the win.


"They called a blitz for me and I knew I had to get there so he wouldn’t have enough time to throw the ball," Burgess said. "I had to make a decision and commit to get there. I shot the gap. It was wide open and Webb did a great job of covering his man."


REDEMPTION: For Webb, his pass deflection on the throw intended to Marcus Henry made up for the rookie’s earlier mistake.


In the third quarter, Webb fumbled. And that turnover set up a Jets touchdown.


So, Webb was overjoyed to make the game-preserving play.


"It was a great feeling, the best feeling I’ve ever felt," Webb said. "It happened at a perfect time. I had fumbled the ball in the third quarter, and I was feeling down. I was trying to make a play throughout the game, and that play came at the perfect time."


DISPLEASED: Ravens backup quarterback Troy Smith completed just 4 of 9 passes for 84 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.


He was also sacked three times and finished with a 38.4 quarterback rating.


"I’m definitely in a place where improvement is needed," Smith said. "If anybody is going to be the hardest critic of myself, it’s definitely going to be me. You want to be at the elite at your position. That’s my dreams and aspirations.


"Along the way, you’re going to have some bumps in the road. You’re going to have trials and tribulations. You have to realize that everything is not always going to go the way you want it to. They did a tremendous job of applying pressure. My hat goes off to them."


Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.
Photo by Sabina Moran.

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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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