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Total Titans questions for a Ravens writer

Thanks again to Mike Zoran. who writes at MVN’s Baltimore Ravens site, Ravens Roost, for participating in this question and answer exchange with Total Titans. Following are my questions for him, with his answers.
Total Titans: I believe that Ray Lewis and Chris McAlister are the only two current defensive players who played on that great 2000 Ravens defense. Despite all the turnover, I see a lot of similarities between the current and the 2000 defenses. How would you compare and contrast the two? Which positions or groups are better, which are not as good, and which are about the same? It seems like Ryan likes to mix things up a little more, is that so?
Ravens Roost: The 2000 squad was special, as was the 2006 squad. This defense probably resembles the 2006 version the most as most of the players are the same. But it is the same style, pressure the QB and hit hard. Last season when both CBs went out, we lost that constant pressure on the QB. The LBs had to drop back too often to fill the gap and we lacked pressure at the line. Now Samari Rolle is out so my fear is that it will revert back to the secondary of last year, though we did shore it up a little in the offseason. Fabian Washington really impressed me in preseason, but he was burned a few critical times in Pittsburgh. Most notably on the Santonio Holmes TD where he dove for the ball. Ryan likes to hide his blitzes so you never know where they are coming from. The same with his coverages. I also get the impression that he likes his secondary to be real aggresive and attack the ball. This leads to the turnovers, but also can lead to being burned as I said before. We all love a good interception, but we hate to see an easy TD.
TT: How much would it concern you if Willis McGahee is unable to play, is limited, or is ineffective because of his rib injury? It looks as though the running back-by-committee is working pretty well, with LeRon McClain and Ray Rice.
RR: While McGahee brings a certain style of running and element to the offense, McClain has really shown his talent ths season so far. He is capable of leading the ground attack. Ray Rice is still on the rise, but is a great complement to whoever it up front whether it be McGahhe or McClain. Also do not forget about Lorenzo Neal. So I am not really concerned about the running game.
TT: The Ravens have attempted the fewest passes in the league. How conservative has the offense been with a rookie quarterback under center? What are your general impressions of the offense and of Joe Flacco?
RR: I agree that the passing offense has been rather conservative. They did make the attempt to air it out a little more against Pittsburgh which really showed Flacco has a way to go in his development. I feel he holds the ball too long on the deeper passes. I do see more passes being completed over the 15 yard mark. Overall though, I have been thouroughly impressed with Flacco’s demeanor. Nothing seems to really shake this kid. He fumbled the ball on National TV giving up the go ahad TD 15 seconds after watching the Steeler offense score a TD. How did he respond? 9 plays and 76 yards for a TD. That is impressive. But he is still learning this tempo and the NFL game. He will make mistakes, but he seems to be smart enough to learn from them.
TT: Do you have any worries about a short week after a physical game Monday night? What are your expectations for Sunday, along with a prediction?
RR: I think with this coaching staff that John Harbaugh put together, preparation will never be an issue, short week or no short week. I hate to say it, but I really beleive the Ravens will win this one. I see them stopping the run as usual and puting it on the shoulders of Kerry Collins to pull it out on his own. That is when Ryan will step up the pressure on Collins and the Ravens defense will create a key turnover or two. Score: 21-10