Ravens reined in penalties since last facing Monday's officiating crew

September 11, 2010|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

The Ravens had better be on their best behavior Monday, when they reunite with referee Walt Anderson.

The last time Anderson officiated a Ravens game was last year at Green Bay, where a total of 23 penalties were called for 310 yards (the second-most in NFL history). There were a combined nine pass interference penalties in the game.

"That crew calls a lot of penalties; there's no doubt about it," coach John Harbaugh said. "That's kind of one of their things. They call it the way they see it. They call it very tight. I think that's going to be a big advantage for us."

The reason why it's an advantage is because the Ravens have made impressive strides in reducing their penalties.

Last year, the Ravens led the NFL with 1,094 penalty yards. In four preseason games, they ranked 22nd with 189 penalty yards. In fact, the Ravens were flagged just once for defensive pass interference (Cary Williams in the preseason finale) and weren't penalized at all for defensive holding.

"I've been very pleased and impressed with the way we play technique throughout the preseason," Harbaugh said. "I fully expect that to continue throughout the regular season."

Webb, Cousins are probable

Lardarius Webb is considered a game-time decision by Harbaugh, but the Ravens cornerback is listed as probable after practicing all week.

Harbaugh remained vague on Webb's availability, saying, "That's one we're leaving up in the air for you."

He was more optimistic about offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, who is probable. Cousins sustained a concussion on Aug. 18 and hasn't played in a game since. .

The bigger question is whether Cousins will start at right tackle. With Jared Gaither out with a back injury, the Ravens have to decide whether to start Cousins or move Marshal Yanda from right guard to tackle. The Ravens could lean toward using Yanda at right tackle and start Chris Chester at right guard.

Defensive end Paul Kruger (shoulder) is also probable.

Houshmandzadeh should 'play a lot'

New Ravens receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh will be an important part of the offense after only four practices with the team.

Houshmandzadeh was signed by the Ravens on Tuesday after being released by the Seattle Seahawks. He is likely the team's No. 3 wide receiver behind Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason.

"He's going to play a lot," Harbaugh said. "He's ready to go."

End zone

The Ravens have won five straight against the New York Jets. … Mason needs nine catches to surpass Terrell Owens for the most Monday night receptions among active players.

jamsion.hensley@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article

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