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Mike Preston | December 27, 2011
As the Ravens work on their coverage units this week, they might want to heed some advice from former special teams ace Bennie Thompson . Throughout his 11-year career (1989 to 1999), Thompson was one of the NFL's best. He even had his own special fan club in Baltimore from 1996 to 1999. He later was a special teams assistant under former Ravens head coach Brian Billick . Thompson still lives in Baltimore, and watches Ravens games, including that 84-yard punt returned for a touchdown by Cleveland's Josh Cribbs Saturday.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Jacoby Jones stalked from side-to-side in the end zone, measuring every step while paying no attention to the players lining up in front of him. When the ball sailed off the right foot of Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano, Jones sprung forward, sensing a rare opportunity. The anticipation, however, was short-lived. The kickoff landed about five yards in front of him and bounced over Jones' right shoulder to the back of the end zone for the touchback. It was yet another missed opportunity for Jones, who is having a hard time getting the ball in his hands and securing it when it does come his way. "I'm in a funk right now," an upbeat Jones said Wednesday.
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By Edward Lee | September 13, 2011
Tandon Doss may have been disappointed by the Ravens' decision to deactivate him for Sunday's 35-7 thumping of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the rookie wide receiver didn't let those feelings show in the team's locker room after the game. “You never know what's going to happen,” he said. “You've got to stay up and do the best you can. That was out of my control. They said they wanted me out there, but I have to step it up on special teams and hopefully, my chance will come.” Doss, the organization's fourth-round pick in the NFL draft in April, was considered a candidate for the No. 3 receiver role, but fellow rookie LaQuan Williams, an undrafted free agent, offers more on special teams than Doss does.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2014
For the fourth time in three seasons, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Tucker converted all three of his field-goal attempts in the Ravens' 23-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and his 32-yarder as time expired provided the decisive points in the road win. The kick was Tucker's seventh career game-winner. He also made field goals from 38 yards and 21 yards in the game. For the season, Tucker is 8-for-9 with his only miss coming from 55 yards in the Ravens' season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
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By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2012
This is the final installment of a three-part series in which Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel examines the Ravens and how each area of the team can be improved this offseason. Billy Cundiff's missed field goal in the closing seconds of last month's AFC championship game loss to the New England Patriots was the final miscue of a subpar season for the special teams. Cundiff, who earned a five-year, $15-million contract after making the Pro Bowl in 2010, made every kick at M&T Bank Stadium in 2011.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2013
Diminutive running back Bobby Rainey might have been the Ravens' most productive offensive player last preseason, rushing for 55 yards and catching a team-leading 14 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. When the Ravens made their final cuts in 2012, the undrafted rookie learned that he had made the 53-man roster as the No.3 running back behind Ray Rice and fellow rookie Bernard Pierce. However, on the eve of the team's Monday night regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, Rainey was cut in favor of running back Anthony Allen, who was re-signed because of his lead-blocking ability in front of Jacoby Jones on returns.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2010
— One brief moment marred what otherwise was turning out to be a solid day for the Ravens special teams units. Surrendering a 60-yard kickoff return to Bernard Scott gave the Cincinnati Bengals an opportunity to retake the lead and eventually close out a 15-10 victory over the Ravens here at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday afternoon. "We felt we should have won this game, but things happen," said linebacker Prescott Burgess, who was one of the players on that pivotal kickoff coverage.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2010
Considering the firestorm of criticism that rained down on the offense and defense last week, perhaps it was appropriate that the special teams had a hand in the Ravens' 30-24 win against the New Orleans Saints Sunday. Billy Cundiff broke a 24-24 tie with back-to-back field goals in the fourth quarter, Lardarius Webb returned a punt 26 yards to set up a touchdown, and Sam Koch and Marcus Smith collaborated to pin the Saints offense inside the 5-yard line for what would turn out to be the team's final — and fruitless — possession.
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By Brian Howell, For The Baltimore Sun | January 12, 2013
- Ultimately, it was a special teams play that lifted the Ravens into the AFC championship game. For much of Saturday's 38-35 double-overtime win over the Denver Broncos, however, it appeared that special teams would be the Ravens' downfall. The Broncos' 5-foot-5 Trindon Holliday became the first player in NFL history to return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the same postseason game. He also set NFL records for the longest kickoff return (104) and punt return (90) in postseason history.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2010
The Ravens know all about the New England Patriots' Brandon Tate. OK, maybe not fully. But after game-planning for the Cleveland Browns' Joshua Cribbs and the Denver Broncos' Eddie Royal in the last three weeks, the Ravens think they are prepared for Tate, the Patriots' dangerous kick returner, when they visit Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday. "Any returner is a threat, but we've seen returners in guys like Cribbs and Royal," said linebacker Prescott Burgess, who ranks second on the team with four special teams tackles.
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By Matt Zenitz and Baltimore Sun Media Group | September 21, 2014
Maryland came away with a 34-20 road win over Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. Here is what went well and what didn't from a Terps perspective. THE GOOD The offense during the first half For a half, Maryland's offense looked like the unit the Terps believe this is capable of being. Maryland had six first-half possessions. Four produced points. Three ended with touchdowns. Quarterback C.J. Brown missed on a potential long touchdown to wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the Terps' third drive and then again on another chance to wide receiver Deon Long later, but Brown had a nice 25-yard touchdown pass early.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2014
When the Ravens waived outside linebacker John Simon and guard-center Ryan Jensen -- both ultimately were re-signed to the practice squad -- I pointed out that in a little more than 16 months, they had cut four of their 10 selections from the 2013 draft. Neither of their seventh-round picks -- wide receiver Aaron Mellette or cornerback Marc Anthony -- ever played a game for the team, nor has sixth-rounder Kapron Lewis-Moore , albeit because of injuries. When you throw in the fact that first-rounder Matt Elam had a disappointing rookie season and Arthur Brown , Brandon Williams , Kyle Juszczyk and Rick Wagner had limited roles last year, it's fair to say that the organization has gotten disappointing early returns from the 2013 draft class.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2014
During his rookie season last year, one of the toughest adjustments for Ravens outside linebacker John Simon was learning the nuances of pass coverage. At Ohio State, the gritty former Big Ten Conference Player of the Year lined up at defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker while operating primarily as a pass rusher and run-stopper. Simon rarely was asked to drop back in pass coverage in college. So, playing in reverse has become a major point of emphasis for Simon following a quiet rookie year in which the fourth-round draft pick played on special teams.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2014
The last time that C.J. Mosley made the transition to a higher level of football, he had no trouble adjusting. Mosley quickly emerged as a starter as a true freshman at Alabama and showed himself to be a playmaker, running back an interception for a touchdown against the Florida Gators. He was named a freshman All-American. Now, the Ravens' first-round pick in the draft is getting acclimated to the NFL and making his bid for an immediate starting job at weak-side inside linebacker.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | June 18, 2014
Stevenson's mission to become only the fifth program to bring home back-to-back NCAA Division III titles came to an abrupt end with a 12-11 loss to Washington College in the tournament quarterfinals. The setback reminded coach Paul Cantabene of the difficulty of staying ahead of the pack and reaffirmed his respect for Hobart, Salisbury, Middlebury and Nazareth for their ability to string together at least a pair of national championships. “Hobart won 12 in a row [from 1980 to 1991]
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By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
COLLEGE PARK -- Ryan Schlothauer knows it's a longshot for him to make the NFL, or even get an invitation to a rookie and free agent mini-camp this summer. The former Maryland tight end, who last played for the Terps in 2012, also knows something else about beating the odds. Few thought Schlothauer would even play for the Terps in the first place after his high school career ended at Eastern Tech. But the chances of continuing with football - or any kind of physical activity - seemed insurmountable nearly a year ago after Schlothauer was stabbed in a Towson bar. Stab wounds in his chest caused him to lose a large amount of blood, and the then 23-year-old said he stopped breathing as the ambulance raced to the trauma center at Sinai Hospital.
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The Washington Post | November 25, 2011
Nearly every time Brandon Banks has taken in a kick, headed upfield and been tackled, he has bounced up and pounded the ball in frustration. Each time, the message seems the same: If not for that one man, that last man to beat, that would have been the one that went the distance. "He can't do it alone," Washington Redskins special teams coach Danny Smith said. "That's for sure. " A year ago, Banks was all but alone as a playmaker for the Redskins, and his returns of kicks and punts were the one reason to stop and pay attention.
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By Edward Lee | September 13, 2012
PHILADELPHIA -- In the offseason, Dave Toub of the Chicago Bears, Joe Decamillis of the Dallas Cowboys and Brad Seely of the San Francisco 49ers were candidates for head-coaching vacancies in the NFL, and all of them are special teams coordinators. That may not seem like much and none of those coaches got the promotions, but Philadelphia Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April said Ravens coach John Harbaugh deserves credit for opening doors for special teams coaches. “I think he's made a big mark because over the last five years or before he was hired, no special teams coaches were ever even interviewed,” April said of Harbaugh, a former special teams coordinator with the Eagles.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2014
The Ravens meet Sunday with LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry, one of the better and tougher receiver prospects in the NFL draft. The meeting is expected to include coach John Harbaugh. Landry caught a career-high 77 passes for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior, excelling on third downs as a clutch player capable of making acrobatic, one-handed catches and showing no fear going over the middle to catch passes in heavy traffic. What he's lacked is consistency, though. He excelled on third downs as the nation's leader in third-down production, piling up 453 yards and six touchdowns and Landry has drawn comparisons from draft analysts to former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker.
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By Matt Vensel | December 9, 2013
Dennis Pitta made his season debut in Sunday's 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings and the Ravens tight end played 36 of the team's 85 offensive snaps and had six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Pitta was eased in early, playing about a dozen snaps in the first half, most of them on third down or in the red zone. His playing time picked up after halftime, especially late in the game when the Ravens had to use their hurry-up offense. Pitta said he played as much as he expected and that he felt fine after the game.
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