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Ravens improved secondary but not significantly

The necessary moves made by the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday improved their secondary. It's just not a significant upgrade.

The Ravens knew their coverage wasn't going to get any better with Dominique Franks and Chykie Brown. It was time to cut both of those cornerbacks after they combined to give up 29 catches for 479 yards and four touchdowns this season. Quarterbacks had a passer rating of 115.9 when throwing at Franks and Brown.

In replacing them, the Ravens upgraded by claiming Danny Gorrer off waivers from the Detroit Lions and promoting Tramain Jacobs from the practice squad.

Gorrer was the nickel back on a Lions' pass defense that ranked No. 5 in the NFL, although he wasn't very effective. He was seen as expendable after giving up 10 catches for 119 yards.

The Ravens are hoping Gorrer, who played 11 games for the Ravens in 2011, can be a better stopgap in the starting lineup until Jimmy Smith recovers from his foot injury. There's a chance that Smith will only miss one more game if he can return following next week's bye.

As for Jacobs, the Ravens believed it was time to give him a shot because he offered more upside than Brown. Jacobs had problems with penalties in the preseason, but the Ravens' coaches think he has the potential to develop into a No. 3 corner in future years.

How did the Ravens get themselves in this situation? The Ravens couldn't match the $4 million per season deal that the Buffalo Bills to Corey Graham. Instead of adding a cornerback in free agency (and there weren't many options) or drafting one, the Ravens gambled that either Asa Jackson or Chykie Brown would step up and become the nickel back. Jackson had his struggles before injuring his toe (he's on short-term injured reserve now), and Brown was benched after giving up the winning, 77-yard touchdown to A.J. Green in the season opener.

It's safe to assume that cornerback is going to be among the Ravens' priorities this offseason.