Ravens notebook: Michael Oher focused on cutting false-start penalties

December 22, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

A day after Ravens coach John Harbaugh jokingly suggested on his radio show that he might institute running laps in practice if Michael Oher continues his bad habit of moving early, the left tackle didn't disagree with his coach.

"Something like that," Oher said Wednesday before the team's practice in Owings Mills. "You've got to get it done. But I'm pretty sure it's done after the last game. Should be done."

Asked what gave him the confidence to say that, Oher said, "I've just got to get it done. I've just got to do it."

Oher leads the team in both penalties (11) and false starts (eight) this season and has accrued a combined 19 penalties and 14 false starts in two seasons.

Oher, who said he had committed just a handful of false starts at Ole Miss, could not think of a reason for his sudden over-eagerness.

"It's something you've got to get done," he said. "Something you've got to focus on. … I can't change the way I play, so I've got to do something better."

Heap returns

Tight end Todd Heap returned to practice Wednesday after missing two games with a pulled right hamstring.

It marked the first time he's suited up since injuring his hamstring on the first play of the Ravens' Dec. 5 loss against Pittsburgh.

Heap and wide receiver Derrick Mason (ankle) were limited. Four Ravens didn't practice: kickoff returner David Reed (concussion), safety Tom Zbikowski (back), offensive lineman Tony Moll (illness) and linebacker Jason Phillips (illness).

Rice wins award

Ray Rice won his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week award after recording a career-best 233 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 80 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Ravens' 30-24 win against New Orleans.

His 233 yards from scrimmage marked the third-most scrimmage yards in a game in franchise history.

Rice joins wide receiver Anquan Boldin (Week 3) as the second Raven to win AFC Offensive Player of the Week this season. He is the first Ravens running back to win Offensive Player of the Week since Willis McGahee in Week 17 of 2009.

"I think I'm still peaking, but this team is peaking as well," Rice said. "It's just one of those situations where the Ravens are on the run again."

McCoy, Hillis miss practice**

The Cleveland Browns' are dealing with some issues days before playing the Ravens. Starting quarterback Colt McCoy (illness) and running back Peyton Hillis (knee) both missed practice Wednesday.

Browns coach Eric Mangini said Hillis' injury "is nothing that I'm that concerned about."

Hillis rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown on Sept. 26 against the Ravens. McCoy is looking to make his seventh start for the Browns.

Nose tackle Shaun Rogers (ankle and hip) was the other starter who didn't practice. Five Browns were limited: cornerback Sheldon Brown (shoulder), defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman (knee), wide receiver Josh Cribbs (foot), right tackle John St. Clair (ankle) and right guard Floyd Womack (knee).

4 Ravens top fan voting

Four Ravens -- linebacker Ray Lewis, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, safety Ed Reed and punter Sam Koch — led their positions in the AFC as the fan voting ended for this season's Pro Bowl.

The AFC and NFC All-Star squads are based on the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. The Pro Bowl teams will be announced on Dec. 28.

Lewis was the leading vote-getter for the Ravens with 412,827. Fullback Le'Ron McClain and offensive tackle Oher led their positions at one point during the fan voting, but they finished behind Houston fullback Vonta Leach and Cincinnati tackle Andrew Whitworth.

Drew decides to stay

Tight end Davon Drew decided to stay with the Ravens even though he had an opportunity to go elsewhere.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed interest in Drew, the Ravens offered to promote Drew from the practice squad in order to keep the 2009 fifth-round pick.

"It was kind of a surprise," Drew said of the move, which occurred on Monday. "What happened was, a team had called and wanted to bring me in. It was one of those situations where if you don't match here, then obviously, you've got to go and do what's best for your family. But I talked to [coach John] Harbaugh and he asked me if I wanted to stay and I said that I definitely wanted to stay here and be here as a part of this organization. So they bumped me up to keep me from being able to leave. It's great."

Indoor practice

Freezing temperatures and possibly snow showers await the Ravens at Cleveland this weekend, but they continue to practice in their indoor facility.

The Ravens held their walkthrough outside Wednesday morning before practicing inside their field house in the afternoon. The team has regularly practiced inside this month.

Former coach Brian Billick received a lot of criticism when he held practice indoors when the weather got chilly. Sunday's forecast for Sunday is 23 degrees with a 50 percent chance of a few snow showers.

Flacco agrees with Harbaugh

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