The Baltimore Ravens are currently preparing to face off against the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon in a game that could affect the AFC Wild Card picture, and Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees is making sure that his team won’t be caught off guard by any trickery from the Jets offense.
Earlier this season, the Ravens defense was caught off guard by the Pittsburgh Steelers when they broke out the Wildcat, so Pees wants to make sure his team is prepared for anything of that nature with Josh Cribbs now a member of the Jets.
“I think the shock has worn off finally,” Pees said, via Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun. “The wildcat isn’t dead. It’s just that the zone-read is kind of like the wildcat so the more you see all that stuff, the more you can defend it, the more it’s not a surprise.
“The first time we saw that thing up in New England, it was a surprise. And so I think the next time we played them, [two months] later, we beat them pretty good.”
With Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith struggling with consistency, it wouldn’t be out of the question for the team to look for a way to generate offense without risking mistakes. Cribbs ran a version of the offense when he was with the Cleveland Browns, so he is the man to keep an eye on.
“You can defend it, but it also depends on the guy who is running the trigger,” Pees said. “Because I ran that in college and Josh Cribbs was my quarterback and I told him, ‘Don’t read anything. That guy cannot tackle you. Just pull it.’ The better the athlete is at quarterback, . . .
“You can run zone-read with Peyton Manning and I don’t think it’s going to look like how it does with [Jets quarterback] Geno Smith. It isn’t so much the zone-read. A lot of times it’s the guy that’s running it.”
He is hoping to avoid the same fate this weekend.