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Baltimore Ravens

Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones struggling to make an impact

Visibly frustrated with himself, Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones stared at his hands as if they had betrayed him.

Jones was wide open up the sideline during the fourth quarter Sunday against the Cleveland Browns when he allowed an accurate throw from quarterback Joe Flacco to drop. On the ensuing play, Flacco was intercepted.

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This wasn't Jones' only lapse this season. He has just three receptions for 20 yards despite being targeted nine times. His longest reception is 11 yards.

Last year, Jones caught 37 passes for 455 yards and two touchdowns. But he hasn't been as productive this season despite his familiarity with offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's playbook from his previous stint with the Houston Texans.

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Signed to a four-year, $12.055 million contract that includes a $3.5 million signing bonus and a $1 million base salary this year, Jones is unlikely to trigger a $500,000 incentive clause for receptions at this rate. He's on pace to catch 16 passes for 106 yards.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he believes that Jones simply needs to relax and let his skills take over on the field.

"That's a good question for Jacoby," Harbaugh said. "I personally think he's just pressing a little too much. I think he's just trying too hard to make a play. He wants to make a play so much, instead of just letting his talent flow. Like that one [Sunday], you run through that catch.

"Just run through it, make the catch. He started shortening his steps and extending his arms a little early, and then he inevitably pulls his arms back in. He's going to make those plays. I have confidence in him."

After the Ravens' loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the season-opener, where Jones also had problems with his hands, he explained the mistakes by saying: "Miscues, simple mistakes. We gotta get back to our fundamentals, do what we do best." When asked about the drops, Jones said: "I gotta go, man," before leaving the locker room.

With the Raven having lost tight end Dennis Pitta for the season with a fractured and dislocated right hip, the Ravens need more from Jones, among others.

awilson@baltsun.com
twitter.com/RavensInsider 


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