D-line sees little to exploit in Ravens' protection

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by NewsGrabber, Jan 10, 2009.

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  1. NewsGrabber

    NewsGrabber Guest

    <em>Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky<img src="http://a.espncdn.com/i/teamlogos/nfl/med/ten.gif" alt="" width="80" height="80" align="right" /><img src="http://a.espncdn.com/i/teamlogos/nfl/med/bal.gif" alt="" width="80" height="80" align="right" /></em> <p>NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=962" target="_new">Jonathan Ogden</a> era ended barely a year ago, but the <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=bal" target="_new">Baltimore Ravens</a> had been gathering the pieces of a solid offensive line since 2005.</p> <p>The group, left to right -- <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=10705" target="_new">Jared Gaither</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=10473" target="_new">Ben Grubbs</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8538" target="_new">Jason Brown</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=9642" target="_new">Chris Chester</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=966" target="_new">Willie Anderson</a> -- is one of the best the Titans have seen all year, according to defensive end <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2582" target="_new">Kyle Vanden Bosch</a>.</p> <p>"They are really good, it's difficult for us to find many plays where they get beat," Vanden Bosch said. "They do a lot of different things protection wise to make sure <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11252" target="_new">Joe Flacco</a> has time and doesn't get hit very often."</p> <p>KVB was hurt early in the regular season matchup, which was one of two games in which Tennessee did not record a sack this season.</p> <p>Planning for this line is different than some others.</p> <p>"We spend a lot of time finding cracks in protection, trying to take advantage of matchups," Vanden Bosch said. "They don't really have very many weaknesses. It'll be a good challenge for us. It seems like they are going to have a good line for a while."</p> <p>Jim Washburn's line usually heads into a game with four or five things it thinks that it can really exploit on big third downs.</p> <p>"Against these guys, we just go back to things that work well for us, whatever we do well, just make it work," Vanden Bosch said.<br /> <br /> The Titans will also see max protection formations, including some where tackle <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8478" target="_new">Adam Terry</a> works as an extra blocker.</p> <p>"They do a lot of seven-man protection," <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=3543" target="_new">Albert Haynesworth</a> said. "We don't really blitz a whole lot, so it's going to be hard. We've been working on some things to try to beat that."</p> <p>Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch anchor a proud group that doesn't want -- or very often need -- any help when it comes to rushing the passer.</p> <p>According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Titans blitzed only 18.7 percent of the time this season, second-least in the league. The Ravens, by contrast, bring an extra rusher or more 34.5 percent of the time.</p> <p>Out of the Titans' 44 sacks this season, 39.5 came from defensive linemen, the highest such total in the NFL.</p> <p>"It's a big deal, it's what we talk about more than anything," Vanden Bosch said. "Obviously we take a lot of pride in your run defense, but sacks are how people judge you and it's something we spend a lot of time on, fine-tuning our pass rush and getting to the quarterback."</p> <p>The Titans have 224 sacks at home, the most of any team in the league other than Baltimore since 1999.</p>

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