Garcon's speed gives secondary pause

Garcon's speed gives secondary pause
December 7, 2012, 9:00 am
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Be patient, because it takes a while to find a Washington Redskins receiver among the NFL’s rankings at the position.

It isn’t until scanning down to No. 74 that Josh Morgan can be found with 39 catches for 399 yards. Leonard Hankerson is ranked 109th with 398 yards on 30 catches.

The Ravens, who face the Redskins on Sunday, won’t pay much attention to those numbers.

Pierre Garcon has missed six games with a foot ailment, so he only has 23 catches for 350 yards.

Garcon’s big-play ability, however, has the Ravens' tattered secondary on edge. He has touchdowns in each of his last two games, with a long of 59.

"I’ve played against Pierre Garcon a few times. I respect him," Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said. "The guy wants the ball, he’s going to block, he’s going to do whatever he can."

Because of blown coverages, the Ravens allowed five plays of 20-plus yards to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had a third-string and aging quarterback, last week. In Week 2 at the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ravens gave up nine plays of 20-plus yards. 

They didn't have Chris Johnson for the nickle packages as he missed his second game in a row with a hamstring strain. Chykie Brown took his place. Corey Graham snagged his second interception filling in for Jimmy Smith while starting at cornerback opposite Cary Williams.

Garcon figures to have his chances to make something happen against a secondary that isn't anywhere near optimum health. That puts more pressure on Pollard and safety Ed Reed to make sure Garcon stays contained.

"It’s going to be a track meet. That’s what they have," Pollard said. "You look at everything now, you see why they were so aggressive with the receiving corps in the off-season. They complement each other. They all can go."