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Booker Blog: Risky Ravens


Last week's tie feels like a loss at first just because we know we should have beat them. When you take a couple days and look back, it almost feels like the game didn't happen. You can't feel too bad because you didn't lose, but then you can't feel too good because you didn't win. It's almost like it didn't happen. It doesn't really help you or hurt you. I think it does more for us as far as a win as it does a loss. You got to kind of feel neutral. You can't feel too good or too bad.

It looked like we made mistakes at crucial moments and then it took us a while to get going. We've done that the last couple of weeks. I want to go back to starting fast. Again, there's been times where we start fast and we don't finish that way, so it's kind of like we just have to put it together for four quarters. We haven't done that since the first two games of the season, where we really played good offensive ball from the first quarter to the last quarter. We got to get that going again. I don't think we've played a game yet where offense, defense and special teams all showed up on the same day. If we can get that to happen, we shouldn't lose to anybody.

The Ravens' defense has athletes everywhere. But usually when you are playing a team with a bunch of athletes, they tend to take a lot of risks or a lot more risks than a normal team would as opposed to just putting guys in position and saying, "This is what you do. Don't let anybody beat you in this area." Kind of like a zone defense. But when you get a team with a lot of talent, they like to man-up a lot. I remember it being like when my Florida State Seminoles played the Miami Hurricanes.

Even though the Ravens have a lot of talent, I feel like there are more opportunities for big plays because they'll take more risks. So you just got to hope you hit them one of those times when they're vulnerable. In terms of statistics or run statistics here and there, it's hard to pay attention to any of that. You go into a game and just like they have confidence that they're going to stop you, you have confidence that they're not. It's about who believes it more in the end. But hopefully you get the running game going a lot earlier than we have.

Any running back will tell you it's hard to get a rhythm unless you're getting carries on a pretty consistent basis. We went three-and-out forever. I think when you get Brian and Correll involved early, they tend to have better games on the long haul because by the time the third quarter comes, you've already developed that rhythm and it's time to turn those 8-15 yard runs into 35-40 yard runs.

We haven't run the ball as many times as we probably know we could and should in the last few ball games. Maybe the Ravens are anticipating us coming in and having the same type of game plan. If you come in running the ball, I think it kind of throws them off a little bit because they're not expecting us to come in and really, really commit to it early on probably. In the end, when you're able to do both things, it only makes you more dangerous because it keeps them on their toes. I think that's one of the main things that makes New York so dangerous. If you can run the ball on somebody as effectively as a team like that, then you pretty much could do whatever you want to.

Running the ball on somebody takes more of a toll than anything. I mean, that's a nosebleed every play. You got to come and you got to bring everything you have. When you have a team that can run the ball and puts their linebackers in that type of situation, then once you do play-action and you have the weapons we have at receiver, you can't defend both. You can't bring a safety up to stop the run, and then think you're going to guard receivers like DeSean, Kevin and Reggie on the perimeter one-on-one all game, it's just not going to happen.

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