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Depth, technique issues to watch on Ravens' 'D'

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Posted Oct. 20, 2012 @ 12:31 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

One of the Ravens’ enviable strengths on defense, even with Baltimore’s stop unit struggling to begin the season, was its CB depth. In Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith, the Ravens had three starter-caliber cornerbacks — a nice luxury in a league that passes more than it throws.

Now, with Webb out for the season, Smith moves into the lineup opposite of Williams, with Corey Graham, most known for his special-teams prowess, becoming the third option at the position. Second-year pro Chykie Brown, who we’re told has shown improvement this season, is the next option behind Graham.

How the Ravens’ ILB depth fares with Ray Lewis (triceps) out of the mix also should be watched, with Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes the reserves behind Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe.

Another issue to keep an eye on, especially with less starpower in the mix, is the Ravens’ defensive technique, which coordinator Dean Pees has said needs to improve.

 “One of the things that we have to do — and we have to do a better job of it as a staff, it goes across the board, it's the players, but it's the staff just as much and it falls on me — is just do better fundamentals,” Pees said leading up to Week Seven, according to the club. “It isn't about the calls. If you don't play the call fundamentally correct, it doesn't really matter what the call is.”

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