Harbaugh might have to crack down on Michael Oher for penalties

December 21, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

Ravens coach John Harbaugh suggested on his weekly radio show — perhaps only partly in jest — that he might have to go "old school" if left tackle Michael Oher continues to jump before the snap count. Old school as in running a lap around the practice field for each false start, .

Asked by a fan if he had thought of seeking the advice of his father, Jack, a 41-year coaching veteran, Harbaugh said: "That's a good idea, I think I'll do that, and see if he's got some ideas. It's something that obviously we've been struggling with. And short of making him runs laps after every one … you know, Michael, if you're listening, that may be the next deal, is make him run laps after every one. Old school there, [but] we may have to go that way."

Oher was flagged for his eighth false start — and 11th overall penalty — of the season on Sunday. He leads the team in both categories and the NFL in false starts.

"It's not just Michael," Harbaugh said. "Offensively, it's been an issue. But it's something that Cam [Cameron] places a lot of emphasis on. Penalties have been a big emphasis for us all year. I think we've done a really good job across the board, but pre-snap penalties on offense have been something that's held us back a little. I think it's contributed to some inconsistency at times, and we've got to get that fixed. We've got to be determined to get it done."

In addition to Oher's false start in the second quarter, the Ravens were guilty of jumping early two more times. Left guard Ben Grubbs went early before halftime and fullback Le'Ron McClain did it in the third quarter. The defense was penalized for going offside three times (Paul Kruger, Terrell Suggs and Lardarius Webb) and for encroachment once (Cory Redding).

For the season, tight end Todd Heap has three false starts, second most on the team. Grubbs, center Matt Birk and tackle Marshal Yanda all have been flagged twice for it.

Stallworth valued

Ravens wide receiver Donte' Stallworth was a surprise deactivation before Sunday's 30-24 win against the New Orleans Saints as he had not been an injury concern all week.

After the contest, Stallworth declined to speculate on the reasoning behind him being a healthy scratch for the first time as a Raven, but Harbaugh took a moment during his weekly press briefing to assure everyone that Stallworth is still a valued teammate.

"It just ends up being a tough numbers thing," Harbaugh said Monday. "You know, Donte' is a guy that I know can contribute for us in a big way, and heck, with the David Reed [concussion] situation, there's every possibility that he'll be up in this game [against the Cleveland Browns Sunday]. And that's not a problem for us. Donte' can be a big factor for us."

End zone

Running back Ray Rice was nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award after piling up 233 scrimmage yards against the Saints. He had 153 rushing and 80 receiving.

It's the second time Rice has been nominated. Fans have until noon Friday to vote for Rice at nfl.com/FedEx.

The Ravens can clinch a playoff spot on Sunday in a number of different scenarios:

1. They beat the Browns, OR

2. Chiefs lose and Jags lose or tie, OR

3. Chiefs loss and Colts lose or tie, OR

4. Chargers lose or tie and Jags lose or tie, OR

5. Chargers lose or tie and Colts lose or tie.

The Chiefs are home against the Titans.

The Jags are home against the Redskins.

The Colts play at Oakland.

The Chargers play at Cincinnati.

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