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Ravens cornerback Frank Walker has recently taken a beating in the media for his recent play, but the Ravens still have confidence that he will contribute this year.
That is, as long as he can fix the things for which he has recently been penalized.
Last week in a 33-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Walker logged two critical pass interference penalties.
One gave the Vikings a 39-yard gain that landed on the Ravens’ 2-yard line. The other, while declined, still resulted in a 58-yard catch from wideout Sidney Rice. Both helped along scoring drives.
Walker takes full ownership of the plays. He is also moving past them and looking to improve.
“You can’t ponder on that,” he said on Wednesday. “As far as being close to the receiver, you just have to make the play. Each one of those aided a drive and eventually cost us the game. They put them in a position to get points.”
Walker is adhering to the mantra NFL cornerbacks ascribe by which says one must have a short memory in order to move forward, while still keeping part of that memory to get better.
“They say you have to have a short memory, but you still remember those things,” he explained. “The thing you have to do is work on those specific things to improve. You can’t change it. Those plays already happened, so you correct it.”
Walker was inserted with the starters in the second half for Fabian Washington to match up with the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Rice.
On Walker’s first pass interference, he got his hands tangled with Rice as they were both going for the ball. On the second, it was a jersey grab.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has been supportive of Walker and thought the corner couldn’t do much on one of the two.
“I think the one interference on Frank that he was diving into the end zone, I don’t know how you fix that because he’s going to make the play on the ball,” Harbaugh said. “That’s one that’s just technique, and to me, that’s all he can do is try to make a play on the ball. And he was playing the ball. The one where he grabbed the jersey, yeah, you can fix that one. I mean, [if] you’re in better position, [then] you don’t have to grab a jersey.”
Here’s the thing about Frank. He is energetic and aggressive on the field. He is candid and introspective off it. And, he is fiercely loyal to his coaches and teammates.
Walker told me as much when I talked to him on Tuesday.
“I told coach after training camp that I appreciated him having my back, and that’s why I always try to put my best foot forward,” said Walker. “It was a letdown to myself and to – we feel like we’re a family here – my family. It was a letdown for them.
“No matter what, he’s always had my back, and I’m going to work to deserve that.”