By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
7:00 AM EDT, August 13, 2013
The Ravens' special teams unit got off to a fast start in the preseason, including a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown during a 44-16 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Undrafted rookie safety Brynden Trawick blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone by backup wide receiver LaQuan Williams, who also caught a touchdown pass and recovered a muffed punt that set up a Bernard Pierce touchdown run.
Efforts like that obviously boost players' chances of making the 53-man roster.
"All the guys we have playing on special teams -- and there's a lot of them -- all of them are trying to make an impression in whatever way they possibly can," Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "They understand the importance of the moment. I thought we got real good effort from the first quarter through to the fourth quarter. When we were doing substitutions, guys were on it. I was really impressed by that. Every one of our substitutions was perfect in the fourth quarter, and that's when it's the most difficult."
At 6 feet 2, 215 pounds, Trawick is an imposing former All-Sun Belt Conference selection from Troy. He displayed a quick burst in breaking through to block the punt.
"There are times in the preseason where you wish you get practice in certain situations, but you can't script the team," Rosburg said. "And that was one of those situations at the end of the half where it really worked out well for us because we had an opportunity to practice some of those situations.
"Bryden had an excellent get-off, that's really what led to the block. He was off the ball almost a full-head in front of the rest of the rush team. He was legal. He was onside. Really, that was the reason for the block, his real good get-off and fast technique, and he was able to smother it."
Meanwhile, reserve running back Bobby Rainey had a 58-yard kickoff return as the Ravens averaged 31.8 yards on five kickoff returns. Rainey averaged 12.3 yards on three punt returns.
"Overall, our return game was real sound," Rosburg said. "We had a couple penalties that hurt us that we need to get corrected. There were those youthful early penalties in the season. There are things that we obviously can't do, and we got good lessons from penalties.
"Having said that, the thing I appreciated about our punt return game was we got north and south. We got positive yards. There wasn't a lot of dancing going on. There wasn't a lot of running to the sideline. Bobby and Tandon [Doss] both showed that ability."