Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vincent Jackson is a beast!


All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates isn’t the only formidable weapon in the San Diego Chargers’ arsenal. The Baltimore Ravens also have to account for imposing Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.Jackson represents a challenge with his uncommon blend of size at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds and 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash.

"He’s a big receiver who can run and he’s always been a tough matchup for cornerbacks, especially the smaller corners," Ravens cornerback Fabian Washington said. "There’s always things you can do to make those matchups favorable. They’re going to do what they think they can do best, and we’re going to do what we think we can do best."

Jackson caught five passes for 56 yards, including an acrobatic touchdown catch, in the opening game against the Oakland Raiders. For his career, he has registered 135 receptions for 2,289 yards and 17 touchdowns. Last season, he caught a career-high 59 passes for 1,098 yards and seven touchdowns.And his size tends to create mismatches outside. So, the Ravens will need to generate a pass rush to disrupt Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers’ timing.

"It’s going to come down to technique," defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. "Poor corners, people think it’s them. You’ve got to pressure. They can only do that for so long. Our defensive line and our linebackers feel that same kind of responsibility."

The problem with defending someone as big and athletic as Jackson is he’s virtually always open just by the simple fact of his ability to muscle and out leap smaller defensive backs for the football.He’s a bully out there.

"I’ve played against him quite a few times and Vince has a ton of talent," cornerback Domonique Foxworth said. "I have a lot of respect for him. He’s definitely big and pretty fast for his size, but you can’t have it all. He can’t do everything. We have to use what we do better."

During a fourth quarter Kansas City Chiefs scoring drive against Baltimore last Sunday, the Chiefs drove 80 yards on six plays with every play coming through the air.Plus, the Ravens had a breakdown in coverage against the Chiefs when Washington allowed a 50-yard catch to Mark Bradley where he was a step behind and missed on a swipe at the ball.

"That play was tough from start to finish and bad on my end," Washington said. "I knew what I did wrong as soon as the ball was snapped. I didn’t get a hand on him. Then, I was stumbling the whole way. He made a good catch. I hate that it happened, but it happened."

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