throughout the last decade, the Ravens have gotten the reputation for being one of the toughest, hard hitting defensive teams in the NFL, which makes any news about them crediting an offensive player for being tough interesting.
This week, the Ravens will play the Cleveland Browns for the second time this season, and will be forced to try and tackle rookie Trent Richardson for 60 minutes. Ravens’ players have compared him to Maurice Jones-Drew and their own Ray Rice, two small, quick and powerful running backs who are tough to take down with one man. Ravens nose tackle Terrence Cody told Ravens.com that they’re going to need to gang tackle Richardson.
“He doesn’t go down with one person tackling him,” nose tackle Terrence Cody added. “We’re going to need multiple guys around the ball every time he touches the ball.”
The last time the Ravens played Cleveland, they held Richardson, who was battling a rib injury, to 47 yards on 14 carries. However, the Ravens’ run defense has fallen off in the three games since seeing Richardson allowing 214, 227, and 181 yards in those games. Richardson has since improved rushing for 122 yards last week against the San Diego Chargers.
The Ravens have been refocusing their practice efforts on tackling fundamentals to help slow down running backs. They might have a little extra motivation behind keeping Richardson at bay as well. During the scouting combine, Richardson told reporters that he wasn’t scared of Ray Lewis saying he would go right back at Lewis should they confront each other on the field.
Lewis is out for the rest of this season with a triceps injury, but safety Ed Reed hasn’t forgotten about those comments.
“With everything we’ve done [as a run defense] in the past couple weeks, we definitely have a focus on him for what he did the first game and said,” Reed said.
“We don’t forget stuff, man. You’ve got to be conscious about what you say across this league. We’re definitely up for this challenge and looking forward to it.
Richardson has definitely gotten the Ravens attention this season with the way that he runs, that much is clear. However, we’ll have to wait until Sunday to see whether or not those comments will be backed up.