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|11-27-2006, 05:52 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Ivy finds reason to love Pittsburgh
Ivy finds reason to love Pittsburgh
By The Associated Press
Monday, November 27, 2006
BALTIMORE - Until Sunday, Pittsburgh was a city that Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy associated with a life-threatening kidney ailment that almost derailed his season.
Now, after a breakout performance in the Ravens' 27-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ivy can think of the Steel City more fondly.
Ivy contributed a fumble-forcing sack that turned into a 57-yard touchdown romp by linebacker Adalius Thomas, then intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass to seal the win.
Not bad for a guy whose lacerated kidney forced the Ravens' team plane from Denver to detour and land in Pittsburgh on Oct. 10. Ivy was removed from the flight, transported to an area hospital and missed the next four games before returning to action last week against Atlanta.
"Actually, when I was in Pittsburgh, the doctors told me that I might have to sit out this year," Ivy said. "I immediately called the athletic trainer here in Baltimore, who said, 'Don't listen to them, it'll probably be four to six weeks.'"
Most of the time, Ivy is used as a fifth defensive back in passing situations. He's also a key performer on special teams. But whenever he plays, Ivy seems to draw raves for his dogged performance.
"He has a pit-bull mentality and he fits right into our defense," Thomas said. "Anything that you ask him to do, he's right there to do it."
That's because Ivy just wants to blend in with the Ravens' dominating defenders.
"I knew the mentality when I signed," said Ivy, who joined the Ravens as a free agent after spending 2005 with St. Louis. "I've always kept a close eye on Baltimore with Ray Lewis, Adalius Thomas, Ed Reed. I know they're an attacking defense (and) you always want to be a part of that."
Ravens coach Brian Billick appreciates Ivy's resilient style.
"I don't know that I've ever been around a tougher player than Corey Ivy," he said.
Super Bowl jinx?
Defensive end Trevor Pryce, who recorded two of the Ravens' record-tying nine sacks in Sunday's shutout, said the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers were at a disadvantage coming into what has become a lost 4-7 season.
"Everybody who wins the Super Bowl, the next season, more than likely 75 percent of them have problems," Pryce said. "If you become the Super Bowl champ, the season is so long and by the time you recover, it's June and you are staring training camp in the face."
That's why Pryce isn't surprised that the Steelers have only a slim mathematical chance of making the playoffs and defending their crown.
"That's the downside of playing in the Super Bowl," he said.
No sooner had the Ravens completed their rout of Pittsburgh before they began looking ahead toward Thursday night's matchup against division rival Cincinnati.
"The plane for Cincinnati leaves in about five hours, I believe," Billick said immediately after the game. "It's going to be quite a challenge for us, but these guys are up to it."
Billick may have been joking about the timing, but Baltimore's schedule allows only a scant break between games this week.
The Thursday night game has become a staple during the second half on The NFL Network.
After manhandling the Steelers and all but eliminating them from the playoffs, the AFC North-leading Ravens know they must forget the past and look toward the future.
"It's a short week," Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair said. "Tonight's the only night you're going to be able to enjoy it."
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