Ravens special teams coach Chris Horton and other staff members are watching more than film this week ahead of Sunday’s showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. Inclement weather could be a problem at Arrowhead Stadium.
Meteorologists expect heavy rain in Kansas City to begin Saturday, along with thunder and lighting, and continue into Sunday morning and possibly the afternoon. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.
“Obviously, weather play does a big part in special teams: how you kick the ball, where you can kick from, returners fielding punts and things like that,” Horton said Thursday. “So [assistant special teams] coach [Randy] Brown, I can guarantee you right now, he’ll know what kind of weather we’re going to get, and he stays on top of it. So I rely a lot on him to kind of take care of that for us.”
Showers should pass through the area by mid-afternoon. Temperatures are expected to reach as high as 73 degrees.
In their first game away from Baltimore, the Ravens didn’t have to worry much about a hostile road crowd. Thousands of Ravens fans made the trip to Hard Rock Stadium for the season opener against the Dolphins, and whatever home-field advantage Miami might have enjoyed was extinguished with a 21-0 first-quarter deficit.
Arrowhead Stadium and the Chiefs will be less accommodating hosts in their home opener. The 76,000-seat stadium is one of the most ear-splitting venues in sports. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson shouldn’t have much trouble relaying play calls to teammates in the huddle, but before the snap, he’ll likely need to rely on a silent count, a form of nonverbal communication between him and the offensive line that indicates when the ball should be snapped.
“It gets loud there, for sure, so we’ve been working on various cadences starting, really, in the spring,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “And there will be a lot of visual communication going on. We’ll mix in some cadence, but we’ll probably use a lot of what we call silent count. So there’s a lot of various cadences we have in the silent count, and we’ve been working them for a while, so we’ve been kind of preparing for this for a while. So I think guys have a good feel for it.”
>> Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and former Baltimore Colts Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore attended practice Thursday.
>> After missing practice Wednesday, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (foot) and fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard (back) were limited Thursday, while safety Earl Thomas was a full participant. Cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) and safety Brynden Trawick (elbow) did not practice.