Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg talks about fixing the punt coverage. "It’s a matter of fundamental football," said Ravens Jerry Rosburg. (Baltimore Sun video)
After the Ravens surrendered Jamison Crowder's 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Washington Redskins' 16-10 win on Sunday, one might have expected a tense atmosphere awaiting the special teams players when they met with special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg on Tuesday. But that was not the case.
"It was just regular football talk," said linebacker Zachary Orr, who was on the field during that play. "Coach just coaching us and the players listening and taking coaching and trying to find a way to get better. Coaches and players all have a common goal to get the job done and win. It's a great conversation just trying to figure out what the problem is and get it corrected."
That doesn't mean everything was hunky-dory. Crowder's score marked the first time since 2011 that the Ravens had surrendered a punt return for a touchdown – a piece of history Rosburg readily recited Thursday.
"Since that time, we've gone 70-odd games with zero points [allowed]," he said. "In the same time span, we've scored 62 points. That's a high standard. We're not used to this happening to us, and our players know that. It's my job to get us back up to that standard."
After Crowder's score, he fielded just one more punt, gaining four yards on the return. Tight end Darren Waller credited special teams leaders like Anthony Levine Sr. and Kendrick Lewis with settling down the unit.
"It wasn't confrontational or anything," Waller said. "It was just the leaders stepping up and saying that we're just not going to have this because our standards are so high, and that's what you want from those kinds of guys. People went out there and tried to handle business."
On Sunday, the special teams unit will be tasked with containing New York Giants returner Dwayne Harris, who ranks third in the NFL with a kick return average of 28.7 yards. Orr said the fix is not terribly difficult.
"It just comes down to technique," he said. "It's not an effort thing, it's not a scheme thing. I feel the same way I felt after the game. It just comes down to players making plays. We have the players to do it. It's pretty much the same players that we've had, especially on the punt team the last couple years. We've just got to go out there and get the job done. Coach Rosburg, he's still the best in the business by far, and it's up to the players to go out there and execute."