The last time the Ravens squared off with the Pittsburgh Steelers, their kickoff team faltered badly.
They lost outside containment as Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ran back a kickoff to the Ravens' 37-yard line to set up a game-winning field goal by Shaun Suisham during a 19-16 loss on Oct. 20 at Heinz Field.
The Ravens have upgraded their kick coverage since that breakdown. They have made several personnel changes on the kickoff team, including cutting veteran safety Michael Huff as he was one of the players responsible for losing containment on the play.
Now, they’re tied with the San Francisco 49ers for eighth in the NFL by allowing 21.6 yards per kickoff return.
“Oh man, night and day,” said safety Jeromy Miles, a core special teams contributor. “We’re starting to jell together. Guys are starting to understand their roles. We’re finding out all the right fits. All that stuff comes with time. One play can be a big deal. We’re so much more focused now and everybody understands how critical every play can be.”