Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak pointed Thursday to the Ravens’ red-zone performance as crucial to a playoff push, and said second-year wide receiver Marlon Brown could be part of that attack.
“You want to get down there a bunch. We’ve been able to do that,” Kubiak said. “We need to play better. We need to be more efficient down there … but the red-zone [percentage] is an interesting stat.
“It’s about the importance of when you’re down there. In my opinion, it’s fixing to get very important here over the next six weeks.”
The Ravens have scored touchdowns on 54.1 percent of trips inside the 20-yard line, the 19th-best rate in the NFL, but they’re climbing after a poor start to the season. In the past seven games, they have 15 touchdowns in 23 trips inside the 20.
Brown, who caught seven red-zone touchdowns last season, has 10 catches for 93 yards and no touchdowns in 2014. He has been targeted 13 times in eight games, but never in the red zone.
“Marlon’s getting more involved in what we’re doing,” Kubiak said. “I think he’s played really well the last couple of games. He’s got a big body [and] a chance to make some plays.”Read more
Injured cornerback Jimmy Smith wheeled around the Ravens locker room Thursday on a scooter, his left knee propped up and his left foot in a large, black boot.
“It's a six-month period and timetable for it, so it's been three weeks,” Smith said in his first public comments since having season-ending foot surgery Nov. 6. “I guess I got some time on this little scooter I got here.”
Smith confirmed that he suffered a Lisfranc injury, a dislocation of his foot, in the Ravens’ 27-24 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 26. The nature of the injury was confirmed during a visit to noted orthopedist Dr. Robert Anderson earlier this month.
If all goes well in Smith’s rehabilitation, he should be fully recovered around May, giving him some time to prepare for the 2015 season.
“I'm more just [angry] because I thought it was something more minor, but going in there and finding out what it was and them telling me how severe it was” was revealing, Smith said. “But it's like any other injury. I'll...Read more
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs didn’t want to hear it. Informed Wednesday that the Ravens were the only team that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has never beaten in his career, Suggs quickly shot back: “I don’t believe that.”
Alas, it’s true, albeit in a very small sample size. Brees is 0-3 in his career against the Ravens, losing twice to them as a member of the Saints and once with the San Diego Chargers.
“I am aware. I played them in ’03, ’06 and ’10. Thanks for reminding me,” Brees joked in a conference call with Baltimore reporters Thursday. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. Every time I step on the field, I want to win. But certainly, you want to say that you’ve beaten every team.”
Sean Payton, the Saints’ head coach since 2006, also has a victory over every NFL team except the Ravens, losing to them 35-22 at home in 2006, and 30-24 at M&T Bank Stadium in 2010.
In his career against the Ravens, Brees has thrown six touchdown passes and seven interceptions. His...Read more
Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda returned to practice Thursday after not participating in Wednesday's team workout.
Yanda has been on the injury report the past couple of weeks with a left knee issue, but he should be ready to play against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.
Rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro (hamstring) and offensive guard/tackle Jah Reid (broken hand) remained sidelined from practice. Campanaro hasn't practiced since Oct. 24, while Reid was injured a couple of days before the Ravens' 21-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Nov.9.
Neither player appears likely to be active Monday.
Tight end Owen Daniels and middle linebacker Daryl Smith also weren't present for the early portion of practice. But the coaching staff has been given them periodic days off this season because of their veteran status.Read more
As the Ravens prepare to return to New Orleans on Monday night, site of their Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers, they're practicing indoors this week.
The Ravens' indoor practice facility shields them from the cold temperatures outside this week, and it also simulates the conditions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where they'll play the New Orleans Saints. The Ravens also will incorporate loud noise at the practice field.
"We’re going to be playing indoors, and it’s going to be loud," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "This helps us."
The Ravens have played one indoor game this seson, a 20-13 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Last season, they beat the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
"The domes are always loud, but all the stadiums seem like they’re loud," Harbaugh said. "We’ve been in all the domes pretty much lately. We were in Detroit last year, Indy this year. Communication on offense is something that we’re emphasizing this week. You heard it in here.
"We had crowd...Read more
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been in something of a slump over the past month, missing reads and making errants throws that have sometimes led to interceptions.
Following an encouraging start to this season that included 12 touchdown passes and just three interceptions in the first six games, Flacco has gone backward.
In the past four games, he has thrown five touchdowns and five interceptions and averaged 231 passing yards per game. He's been sacked seven times in those games and watched receivers fail to break tackles for extra yards after the catch. A win over the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 9 was the lone recent game in which he didn’t throw an interception.
“Listen, I'm not in the game of evaluating myself,” Flacco said Wednesday. “I'll leave that up to [reporters]. Through the next six weeks, we're going to try to incorporate the things that we do well and the things that we need to do more of into our game plan and therefore give us the best chance to go out there and play...Read more