Special teams coordinator and associate head coach Jerry Rosburg credited his unit with cutting back on penalties through the first half of the year after two straight seasons in which Ravens special teams were among the most penalized in the NFL.
"I've been pleased with our special teams this year at not taking fouls," Rosburg said. "It's been an issue with our club before, and we've coached it so hard and worked so hard on it. I'm gratified that we're not amongst the leaders in penalties, where in the past we've struggled with that. I think our guys are making really good decisions."
In 2013, the Ravens took 25 special teams penalties for 210 yards, both second most in the league. In 2012, when the Ravens were the league's most penalized team overall, their special teams were flagged 23 times for 215 yards, both third most in the NFL.
Through eight games, Ravens special teams have eight penalties, 14th fewest in the NFL. Overall, the team has been penalized 45 times, tied for seventh fewest. The Pittsburgh Steelers, by comparison, have been flagged 73 times overall, with 17 coming on special teams. Both totals lead the NFL.
Undrafted rookie inside linebacker Zachary Orr has been responsible for three of the Ravens' eight special teams penalties, though Rosburg said there are different degrees of fouls.
Rosburg views Orr's penalty Sunday, a holding call on a first-quarter return by Jacoby Jones, differently than he does a penalty resulting from a mental lapse.
"Some fouls are just completely inexcusable — post-whistle fouls, presnap fouls," Rosburg said. "Those are the things that we really want to avoid. In Zach's situation, Zach was working really hard to block a guy and the ball cut back. He had the opposite leverage on the play and he didn't separate when the ball went away from him. He was in proper position. It's one of those fouls you can understand. … We're still working with Zach."