Ravens coaching staff uses time off to focus on problem areas

November 16, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

In what amounted to a second "bye" week for the Ravens, John Harbaugh and staff took advantage of the extra three days' down time after the Atlanta loss to do more self-analysis.

What that introspection produced will not be known until Sunday's game in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers — if then. But Harbaugh left no doubt during his Monday meeting with the media that there was a lot to review. He stopped short of identifying the team's problem areas, but you can assume some of it had to do with the pass rush, pass coverage and slow starts on offense.

"There are a lot of specific things, really," Harbaugh said when asked where the team needs to get better. "It's many, many specific things in each phase, at each position group. And those are the things that we spent a long time Friday as a staff going through with a fine-tooth comb.

"All the position coaches, I think, and the coordinators were on top of it, but we went through it all as a staff and kind of diagnosed what all those things are. We took it to the team [on Monday], and the players already know. The players, they're very introspective. They know their issues, and then we kind of work it out together. We work on scheme, we work on technique, we work on a lot of things."

All NFL teams do self-analysis during their bye week to change trends and address weaknesses. The Ravens made some changes during their Week 8 bye, and now they've taken the next step.

"We had three days basically to do some things we normally don't do," Harbaugh said, "so [it was] kind of a mini-bye week that way."

As for where they stand, Harbaugh doesn't spend time on what might have been, only on what is and what might be.

"Are we happy with 6-3?" he asked. "No, but that's what we are. We are on top of the division, and we have our fate in our own hands … We can accomplish whatever we want and whatever we're able to accomplish this year. We're going to try to do it."

No third quarterback

In what amounts to a tragicomedy in Miami, the Dolphins lost their first two quarterbacks to injuries on Sunday and will have to go with their third quarterback in a short week when they host the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. But that bleak scenario hasn't led the Ravens to reconsider their decision to keep only two quarterbacks — Joe Flacco and Marc Bulger — on the roster.

"We're not going to react to what happens around the league," Harbaugh said. "If we do that, we'd be back and forth all the time. We made a decision with the way we wanted to go. If we were to lose both of our quarterbacks in a game, that'd be a problem. But we've made a decision to balance out the fact that that's so highly unlikely — although it can happen — that we'd rather have an extra player on the roster.

"But if that happens, we'd probably go with [wide receiver] Anquan Boldin and try to win a football game and make our way next week or however we had to."

Boldin played quarterback until his freshman year at Florida State. Asked about Boldin's skills in the passing game, Harbaugh didn't miss a beat.

"He's dynamic, he's dynamite," the coach said, drawing laughs from reporters. "He's zipping it all around. He shreds our defense on a regular basis."

Ravens now at 4:15 in Week 12

The Ravens' Nov. 28 home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been moved to a 4:15 p.m. start in accordance with the league's flex-scheduling rules. The game was originally scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Also moved to 4:15 on Fox in Week 12 is the Philadelphia Eagles-Chicago Bears game.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

Baltimore Sun reporter Edward Lee contributed to this article.

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