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Ravens set to debut new secondary against Steelers

Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Getty Images

With all of the attention in Baltimore on the tackle and wide receiver positions, it’s easy to forget how different their secondary is going to look compared to the group that played in last year’s playoff loss to Pittsburgh.

Gone are starters Josh Wilson and Dawan Landry.  It appears that Tom Zbikowski will take over Landry’s old starting job at safety.

Much more interesting: Baltimore’s youth movement at cornerback.

Cary Williams is expected to start at one cornerback spot. The fourth-year player has one career start in 2009.  It looks like rookie Jimmy Smith will probably start at the other cornerback spot, according to both Baltimore area newspapers.

That would leave Chris Carr as a nickel defender and Domonique Foxworth as an expensive insurance policy as he tries to get healthy. Lardarius Webb is also in the mix.

All of the above is subject to chance, but there’s no denying the Ravens are making an interesting gamble by getting younger and faster through the roster. The same is true at wide receiver and tight end.

We think the youth movement will pay off in the long run, but it could lead to some growing pains early in the year.

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56 Responses to “Ravens set to debut new secondary against Steelers”
  1. jredshoes says: Sep 5, 2011 9:48 PM

    Tiki is flabbergasted

  2. takingbacksundays5 says: Sep 5, 2011 9:53 PM

    By all accounts, Pollard is going to be taking over Landry’s spot. They like his ability as a thumper, and expect to see him used in blitz packages as well. Zbikowski is going to the bench.

  3. talkintrashallday says: Sep 5, 2011 9:53 PM

    Every player in the past names “Jimmy” has been a bust….
    Jimmy Williams, Jimmy Clausen, Jimmy Kennedy…and Jimmy Smith soon to follow

  4. lionsfan1990 says: Sep 5, 2011 9:54 PM

    Jimmy Smith is the next stud corner. Best corner in the draft.

  5. steelernationlolzatyouremptytrophycase6 says: Sep 5, 2011 9:55 PM

    We win games. We win BIG games. We own this league. We will leave this league after this SB run. We will start our own league and none of these loser teams will be allowed. Here we go Steelers, here we go! That’s right! Seven rings then off to the SFL where we might find a challenge by having Steel face Steel. Here we go Steelers, here we go!

  6. unbiased8383 says: Sep 5, 2011 9:55 PM

    Tiki and his 16 year old fiance know about growing pains.

  7. skinsguy47 says: Sep 5, 2011 9:55 PM

    Looks like I’m starting Big Ben for fantasy this week.

  8. boswivel says: Sep 5, 2011 9:56 PM

    The result should end up looking something like the new University of Maryland uniforms.

  9. doe22us says: Sep 5, 2011 9:58 PM

    I just told a friend of mine, Big Ben is about to air that stuff out. Smith couldnt handle Moss i just cant see him handling any of the Steelers Wideouts. I live in Baltimore, neither a fan of both teams but calling it us i see it.

  10. samoanjungle says: Sep 5, 2011 10:00 PM

    Good luck guarding Mike Wallace with THAT group.

  11. egls7 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:04 PM

    @talkintrashallday

    What about jimmy smith of the jags? He was pretty good

  12. ravensfreak00 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:12 PM

    Actually, Pollard is more likely to takeover Landry’s starting spot. And I have serious concerns about a rookie corner starting in a game that is decided by who makes the least amount of mistakes.

  13. titimium says: Sep 5, 2011 10:18 PM

    Ravens haven’t been in the AFC championship game for at least 2 years.

  14. boneyardbuc says: Sep 5, 2011 10:19 PM

    With all of the attention in Baltimore on the tackle and wide receiver positions, it’s easy to forget how different their secondary is going to look compared to the group that played the AFC Championship game. – Gregg Rosenthal

    Baltimore didn’t play in the AFC Championship game last year. Pittsburgh played the New York Jets.

    Where do I send my resume to become a PFT contributor??

  15. getweird4u says: Sep 5, 2011 10:19 PM

    @talkinalot…..
    jimmy smith wr was pretty good…

  16. apallace says: Sep 5, 2011 10:20 PM

    You must be too young to remember Jimmy Smith who played for the Jaguars.

  17. pdmjr says: Sep 5, 2011 10:20 PM

    Big Ben loves this Steelers will have a field day with that group.

    Sorry Flacco is not up to the task

  18. redlobster1984 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:22 PM

    Highly unlikely that Zbikowski plays more than pollard, he might get the “start” in the books but pollard is there to blitz and stop the run, with reed back in coverage and roaming.

  19. green18blue52 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:24 PM

    Talkintrashallday… your dad coulda used a “jimmy”

  20. vincentbojackson says: Sep 5, 2011 10:34 PM

    Two starting corners with one start between them?

    I knew Carr and Webb were bad but I didn’t realize they were so bad that a rookie and a guy with one start were better options.

    When the Steelers go four wide they will be facing three of the fastest receivers in the NFL. The fourth guy holds every Steelers receiving record.

    Good luck fellas!

  21. slickster35 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:36 PM

    How do people forget Pollard was released by the Texans, perhaps the worst secondary in the NFL in the last decade.

    The wiff machine that is Bernard Pollard isn’t going to save any teams secondary. Sorry for the reality check.

  22. fattypiper03 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:41 PM

    It’s going to be a great game. They will play like Ravens and the Steelers will play like Steelers. No matter what the end result, there will be a bunch of guys waking up the next morning in a lot of pain. Truley the best three games of the season 2 in the regular then 1 in the post. GO RAVENS!!!!

  23. charmcityalum says: Sep 5, 2011 10:42 PM

    Did you guys even do an research before writing this article or did you just guess?

    Bernard Pollard will be starting at SS
    Webb will be starting at Nickel

    I guess you guys tried to cover up your lack of knowledge of this team by saying that “all of this is subject to change” but the truth of the matter is that the lineup your reporting is nowhere near the correct depth chart.

  24. Bubby Brister says: Sep 5, 2011 10:49 PM

    Remember that time on MNF when Big Ben threw for 5 touchdowns in the first half? He’s going to match that on Sunday…

    … in the first quarter.

  25. thekingdave says: Sep 5, 2011 10:51 PM

    Pollard = Zero coverage skills

    Signed,
    Texans fan

  26. macadamia2010 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:52 PM

    And let the Stiller trolling begin!

  27. stairwayto7 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:52 PM

    Ben goes for 250 3 tds, Wallace goes over 120 and a TD Mendenhall get s80 an a td and final will be 31- 13 Steelers! Ray Lewis retirement tour will not begin yet!

  28. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 11:06 PM

    steelernationlolzatyouremptytrophycase6 blorted “Here we go Steelers, here we go!” Indeed, you did go, as in Go Away. Green Bay 31 Pittsburgh 25, XLV. If you can get to the postseason this year, see you there.

  29. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 11:12 PM

    Polamalu is a has-been. Heinz Ward? DWTS + 2 DUIs. Nice preparation. The Ravens look like they’re in trouble to me, so anybody could have a chance to whip them. Even the Steelers’ old man squad.

  30. minnysoda says: Sep 5, 2011 11:15 PM

    steelernationlolzatyouremptytrophycase6 says:
    Sep 5, 2011 9:55 PM
    We win games. We win BIG games. We own this league.
    ————————————————————
    Well not all big games and the Ravens case isn’t empty nor are alot of others LOL

  31. minnysoda says: Sep 5, 2011 11:16 PM

    The biggest lose Jimmy Carter

  32. waitingguilty says: Sep 5, 2011 11:28 PM

    @talkintrashallday

    Jimmy’s getting angry, and Jimmy holds grudges!

  33. mattdunks says: Sep 5, 2011 11:28 PM

    Zbikowski is a great compliment to Ed Reed. While Rees takes risks and is a natural ball hawk. Tommy Z is a by the books guy. Plays great and is a natural safety. Along with starting corners mentioned, I’ve said Williams and smith would start. They have looked most impressive preseason and Webb looked more like a nickel back than starting cb.

  34. ravens26 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:44 PM

    Let’s just see where we stand Sunday around 4 PM. Always a geat game.
    Note to Steelers fans: Dont take youth as weakness. Unless you dont count Mike Wallace etc. performing beyond expectations as rookies. Jimy Smith is the real deal. Cary Williams is big and physical and without us handing the game to you last year, you DONT play in the AFC championship game. Game on!!! See you on the field Sunday!!!

  35. stealersfannot says: Sep 5, 2011 11:44 PM

    Speaking as an unconditional Ravens fan, I think this is one of the most depressing years to watch and root for this franchise.

    I can’t help but feel that the front office has all but chalked this up as a “building year.”

    Both the recieving and secondary corps have almost completely been gutted, and not necessarily in a reassuring way.

    Jimmy Smith was a no brainer in the draft, but having seen what turns out to be mediocre talent and lack of cerebral ability, he’s a below average prospect. Pollard is a bruiser, basically a guy with a MLB mentality and secondary speed, with abysmal covering ability. And Ed and Ray arent getting any younger.

    Cameron continues his dim-witted, predictable “run on first, run on second, pass on third and hope for the best, and punt” -approach to play calling. Flacco, after three years at the helm, seems to be playing even sloppier than before.

    It just doesn’t seem to be a team with much promise this year. But who knows?

  36. steelcurtainn says: Sep 5, 2011 11:46 PM

    Big Ben passes for his first 300yd game of the season. Ravens secondary is “Dead Meat”

  37. thetooloftools says: Sep 5, 2011 11:59 PM

    Rothlisburger is going to school these birds and clip their wings.

  38. talkintrashallday says: Sep 6, 2011 12:35 AM

    So everyone keeps saying Jimmy Smith (WR) for the Jags…yea he was good. and he’s old now. so WHO ELSE is there…..

  39. buckybadger says: Sep 6, 2011 12:43 AM

    Hope Tommy Z can keep the starting job. As an ex-boxer myself I will always cheer him on, even if he is from Notre Dame.

  40. lutazanderman says: Sep 6, 2011 12:44 AM

    The Texans tried the “kiddie corners” approach last season. (With Bernard Pollard included)

    Didn’t go so well.

  41. wacco4flacco says: Sep 6, 2011 12:47 AM

    @ steelernationlolzatyouremptytrophycase6

    every time you post on this site it reminds me once again one of the many reason I hate Steelers fans

  42. dmravens says: Sep 6, 2011 12:58 AM

    It’s ironic that steel trolls are all over the article about Ravens secondary, considering that Ravens’ Foxworth, #5 corner on the roster ( Lardarius Webb is clear #3/nickel corner) is probably better then Pitt’s #1 corner Ike Taylor or any other corner on the roster.
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to see how the big corners do against the steelers fast receivers, as well as how they progress throughout the year. Last year Ravens decided to go small at corner, Wilson, Car, Web, Washington and Foxworth before he got heart are all 5-10. This year they completely reversed course with 6-1 and 6-2 corners, with Web at nickel.

  43. freedomispopular says: Sep 6, 2011 1:30 AM

    CAN’T WAIT

  44. bsputnik says: Sep 6, 2011 3:24 AM

    Being a Steelers fan, I am sometimes ashamed of the comments made by my fellow fans. Specifically steelernationlolz…..just shut-up dude. Talk like that makes you no better than a d-bag from Boston.

  45. onemic42 says: Sep 6, 2011 4:11 AM

    What about Jimmy Johns? Their sandwiches are delicious.

  46. blitzburghgator says: Sep 6, 2011 5:25 AM

    Yeah bsputnik, our Steeler brethren embarrass me too at times. Then again, all teams have their idiot fans. I mean just take a look at dmravens post right before yours… lol

    And just for the record, JIMMY WALKER is the single finest actor in television history!!!

  47. ravenator says: Sep 6, 2011 7:32 AM

    Ha ha! I can’t wait for the Squealer fans to go, “Who’s that Williams guy? Damn, Jimmy is fast, wish we had him. ” The receiver play of the steelers will be shut down by these corners (1 combined start means nothing). You will see when Wallace / Ward is shutdown. I’ll give Brown a long reception or two as the slot receiver but you Squealer fans will see in due time. I hope you are all out in full force when the Ravens win this one.

  48. supashug says: Sep 6, 2011 7:33 AM

    the article is incorrect on many levels, and the trolls on the board talking about Pollard are forgetting one thing

    Pollard was hired for one reason only, taking out Ben

  49. boothisman says: Sep 6, 2011 7:53 AM

    Steelers 24 Ravens 10

  50. jetlionlove says: Sep 6, 2011 8:15 AM

    I thought I heard Lardarius Webb was going to be a star? And why did they sign Chris carr to an extension if the he’s not going to start? When/if Foxworth gets healthy he’s going to get into the mix for that salary.

    I agree with the poster above. I am generally a Ravens supporter but since they released Heap, let Dawan landry go (Who was VERY underrated), & traded McClain for Leach in FA I don’t see where they are going.

    Yes the team appears to be getting young but the players it pays the most are going to goto waste of they don’t win NOW – Boldin, Evans (just traded for), Lewis, Reed, Suggs.

  51. 3octaveFart says: Sep 6, 2011 8:29 AM

    wacco4flacco says: Sep 6, 2011 12:47 AM

    “@ steelernationlolzatyouremptytrophycase6…”

    The guy’s clearly a troll.
    And you fell for it…again.

  52. ppdoc13 says: Sep 6, 2011 10:05 AM

    to the two “Ravens fans” who posted bemoaning the Ravens and how they just aren’t really going to be any good, I really wonder if you are who you say.

    If you can honestly say that you think McClain is a better FB than Leach you know ZERO about football. All you had to do is look at the holes he was clearing out for Ray Rice in preseason despite our unsettled line.

    If you think that Dawan Landry was underrated, then you are just plain stupid. The guy was the most overrated safety in the league and all because he played next to Ed Reed. He never could cover because of his lack of speed. What he did was hit, but after his neck injury he basically stopped tackling. Pollard is a huge upgrade because he can hit and isn’t playing scared. My one bitch about the Ravens is that they are starting Zibby over Haruki. I just think Haruki covers better than Zibby, but I can live with it.

    This team got younger, faster and hungrier. And while you can never predict the Steelers games, all of the idiots who think this is going to be a blow out need to start taking their stelazine. They have to stop getting signals from the radio through the aluminum foil cap they made with the little antennae on the top.

    And finally, to the Steelernation….. miscreant that says the same thing over and over and over. The last time I checked you lost the Superbowl to Greenbay. Do you realize just how stupid you sound saying the same trip over and over. It isn’t particularly funny. It doesn’t really bother us real Raven fans. All it does is give credence to the thought that there is too much inbreeding in western pennsylvania. Having read the posts of competent steeler fans and yes there are many of them I can not overgeneralize.

    And this miscreant ladies and gentlemen is the prime example of what happens when the condom breaks, the diaphragm slips and mommy was too stupid to use a spermacide figuring that vaseline would work just as well.

  53. beelicker says: Sep 6, 2011 10:31 AM

    >>> boneyardbuc says: Sep 5, 2011 10:19 PM Baltimore didn’t play in the AFC Championship game last year <<<

    Yeah, but the game he's referring to is the 2009 AFC game won by the stillers 23-14.

    Try to keep up & don't submit any resume's just yet ….

  54. steelerfannomatterwhat says: Sep 6, 2011 12:11 PM

    What good will a new Raven secondary do to the Steelers when the Steelers offensive line still cannot block well enough to give Ben enough time to hit the receivers?

  55. corvusrex96 says: Sep 6, 2011 7:43 PM

    Wow could we even have picked a worse week to trot out a new secondary and new o-line?

  56. jsalis13 says: Sep 7, 2011 11:03 AM

    Cary Williams has looked solid enough in the preseason, including an outstanding game against Dwayne Bowe (who is a far better receiver than anything the Steelers have). While Pollard is awful in coverage I have a feeling that he is there less to play coverage as he is for run support and blitzing, 2 things he excells at.

    as for Jimmy Smith, I expect he will show his inexperience but that doesn’t change the fact that his natural talent is off the charts and if need be Webb can cover Wallace (as he has in the past very effectively given his speed).

    What no steelers fan will admit to is that Joe Flacco could easily turn in a 200+ yard multiple pass TD game against that secondary. Bryant McKinney may be new, but that hardly changes the fact that he is a talented Left Tackle, and Oher is a pro-bowl caliber tackle when he is on the right side. The middle of this Offensive line Feature 2 top 10 guards in Marshall Yanda and Ben Grubbs. At center Birk is a very good leader and was one of the best at his position last season.

    On the outside Flacco has something in Evans he has never had before-a legitimate deep threat receiver. With Evans and Smith manning the 1 and 2 spots and Boldin working his magic over the middle I like this receiving corps to score against the Steelers poor secondary.

    In the Superbowl Green Bay showed everyone the formula for beating Pitt. Since their strength lines in the Linebackers, make them take them off the field. Spread them out in 3 wide sets and force the Nickle package. Watch Palamoulu and exploit the likes of Gay, Taylor, and Mcfadden all the way to the endzone.

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