The Ravens are proving that each of their calculated risks in the 2009 Draft were right on the money. In a Sunday night rivalry showdown with the yellow towel Steelers, 3 rookies showed their skill and their bright future in a 20-13 victory.
Hollywood might have devalued Tubbie on the Line, Michael Oher's football knowledge base (he has been playing ball since he was but we may need to get him some dancing shoes for all of his quick fancy foot work he displayed on the line blocking the formidable Steelers D. CC (Cam Cameron) got creative last night and we saw Oher moving around the line from LT to RT and even a spot as a blocking TE (next time you have to tell Mr. Ed Hochuli that you are reppin' the TE position to avoid the penalty). If it weren't for Vikings WR Percy Harvin, Oher would run away with the Rookie of the Year. Now if the rest of the line could keep QB Joe Flacco upright, it would be bliss.
Speedy return and cover man, Lardarius Webb snatched the kickoff return job from Chris Carr and was the starting CB last night with Fabian Washington out for the rest of the season with an ACL tear. Webb has been upping his game in both positions and last night only saw him give a stable performance. He only had one potential long play to WR Mike Wallace, a fellow rookie, but Wallace couldn't hang on to the rock. Webb also proved why he is on the defensive side of the ball and not a WR, with a dropped interception from QB Dennis Dixon in a basket like attempt at the ball.
DE Paul Krueger has yet to see significant time as a rookie, but his stock and star is on the rise with his beautiful interception in overtime. Matty (Greg Mattison) decided to take a play out of Dick LeBeau's playbook and call a zone blitz on the Steelers only possession in OT. Krueger was on the line, but the key to this play was that he was to drop back into pass coverage as the linebacker plowed through the line. Krueger played the call perfectly, watched Dixon's eyes and intercepted the ball. Krueger even managed to showcase some good foot speed with his happy feet return. Easily the play of the game, this led to the field goal that clinched the game for the Ravens.
Yes, there were four quarters of football played but with Ed Hochuli's arm hurting and running out of breath from whistle blowing over 130 total penalty yards, this was not a game of two potential playoff teams. Both teams left a lot on the table, but the Ravens youngens were making their presence known and felt as their stars shined the best.
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Written by Lea Anderson