Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time for Cam Cameron to become Inspector Gadget?

Some believe that the Titans during Week 16 showed the world how to beat the Steelers’ defense. Many have concluded that the Titans did the same this past Saturday against the Ravens, offering clues on how to move Ray Lewis & Company backwards. The fact of the matter is on Sunday, the Ravens and Steelers know each other extremely well. It boils down to execution and making plays. There will be no surprises.

Or could there?

"I'm sure there will be new wrinkles on both sides and a lot of the same on both sides," John Harbaugh said yesterday. "When we played the Titans the second time, there were a lot of new wrinkles and a lot of the same. It's going to be a football game. Whoever plays the best and makes the most important plays is going to win the game."

Might those new wrinkles include some gadgetry?

The Ravens have executed some gadget plays against inferior opponents with a relatively high degree of success. Yet they seem timid about the slight of hand when playing tougher defenses. Against teams like the Titans, Steelers, Eagles and Cowboys, the Ravens have played it very close to the vest and it begs the question, “Why run gadgets against teams that you can beat straight up if you are never going to use them against the teams that are more difficult to score on?”

I have spoken to defensive players and scouts about gadget plays and almost to a man they will tell you that such plays do linger in the back of your mind. They make you think a bit more. They make you hesitate for a split second just to be sure that you aren’t being sucked in and that slight hesitation could be the difference between a successful basic offensive play and an unsuccessful one. He who hesitates allows for separation and as we’ve seen so many times, football is without question a game of inches.


Jerry B said...

I seem to recall the Ravens dominating the Steelers in Pittsburgh earlier this year to the point where the Pittsburgh fans were booing their beloved team! That was until Rex Ryan decided to take the heat off of Big Ben and "allow" him time in the pocket to move down field. While more offense would be desireable, the Ravens are built for defense and, if they can dominate again for a full 60 minutes, they can beat this team.....finally!