Ravens' offense needs Ray Rice back
EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Thursday, three days before Sunday’s road game against the Bills.
Two-minute topic: Can the Ravens’ pass rush unnerve Bills rookie quarterback E. J. Manuel?
OWINGS MILLS - After a solid first two starts, Manuel is coming off his worst game against the Jets, completing just 19 of 42 passes. The Jets sacked Manuel eight times, producing the kind of relentless pressure the Ravens hope to bring Sunday.
The Ravens are saying all the right things about Manuel, and he can be dangerous as both a runner and a thrower. But Manuel only has three games of NFL experience, and Ravens linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are among the NFL’s premier pass rushers.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone is well aware that if the Ravens’ pass rush starts to percolate, Manuel could have problems.
“It’s a concern for anyone that plays against them,” Marrone said. “Terrell Suggs is outstanding. He’s got power, speed, he has an entourage of moves. Inside, they have a tremendous amount of power. You see guys even in this league, that are really stout, knocked back. It’s always a challenge against them to be able to protect the passer.”
A challenge the Bills will have to deal with on Sunday.
Morning thought: “He’s an outstanding person. And he’s a very, very good football player. He can run, he can hit, he can cover. He’s a three-down type of guy in a league that specializes at that position. I have a lot of respect for him, both on and off the field.”
Marrone on Ravens LB Daryl Smith, who Marrone has known since Smith was in high school.
Hitting the Links