By Samuel Njoku

The Baltimore Ravens are preparing to battle the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night as they look for their first win of the season. With a record of (0-3), this is officially the slowest start in the 20 year history of the franchise. The sense of urgency is real in the city of Baltimore.

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Don’t Expect Ravens To Underestimate Michael Vick

Michael Vick doesn’t carry the same presence on the field as Ben Roethlisberger — at least not anymore. But that doesn’t mean the Ravens are going to overlook the veteran quarterback all together. With zero wins under the win column for Baltimore, the Ravens can’t afford to underestimate anyone. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh knows exactly what Vick can bring to a football team.

“They’re going to run their system the way they run it,” stated Coach Harbaugh. “I’m sure that Michael Vick is very well-versed, and we’re working hard on what he brings to the table as a player and athlete. He’s really good at certain, specific things. He’s dangerous in the pocket; he’s dangerous out of the pocket – just like Ben [Roethlisberger] is.”

If Michael Vick has success against the Ravens, it will be because of the talent he possesses, not because Baltimore thought of him as simply a backup QB.

Technique, not communication, to blame for poor showing on defense

>After the game against the Bengals, the Ravens secondary blamed their shortcomings on communication. Having A.J. Green run almost untouched on a play-by-play basis would lead one to believe that this is the case. But based on what Ravens Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees told the media on Tuesday, communication is not an issue.

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“They know where they’re supposed to be,” said Dean Pees. “There weren’t any blown coverages on Sunday at all. It’s just technique. We’re not doing very well in technique.”

Pees has been under fire as of late due to the poor play of the defense. But he is one of the more candid coaches in the NFL. Watch the defense play for more than 5 minutes and it’s clear that this has a lot more to do than communication. Technique is a fixable issue, especially for a defense with talent throughout the roster. But if they want to help turn this season around, they’ll need to fix this issue in a hurry.

Could Ravens be in the market for another wide receiver?

It’s no secret that Ravens WR Steve Smith has been one of the best at his position so far this year. But there’s no way the veteran wideout can continue at this pace, especially with players like Marlon Brown and Kamar Aiken failing to make a presence of their own on the field on a consistent basis. With the defense struggling, Baltimore may be interested in bringing in a wide receiver from outside the organization to help out. With Breshad Perriman still nursing a knee injury, Flacco’s reliable targets have been limited.

The Chicago Bears have made it known that they are in the business of selling veteran pieces as they’ve already traded away veteran pass rusher Jared Allen and linebacker Jonathan Bostic. There’s no question that the Bears would be willing to give up a player such as Alshon Jeffrey if the price is right. But many things work against the Ravens in that regard. For starters, Baltimore only has around $3.3 million in cap space to work with this season. And though Jeffrey is still under his rookie deal, both sides would like a long term deal in place before any trade is finalized. The other problem is that Baltimore has far greater concerns on the defensive side of the ball at this point. The Ravens may be more inclined to spend that type of money to shore up their porous secondary or add an additional pass rusher.

But adding a talented veteran wideout may still be in the best interest for Baltimore. It’s no secret that Steve Smith is retiring following the end of this season. And there won’t be a player of Jeffrey’s caliber available during the offseason in 2016. It’ll be up to the front office to decide what’s best for the franchise, but it would surprise no one if Baltimore made a move of some kind prior to the end of the trade deadline.

Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.

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