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With reps ‘up for grabs,’ John Harbaugh demands better play from Ravens pass rushers Tyus Bowser, Tim Williams

"It wasn't a field position game, it was a possession game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about using analytics to decide to try a 2-point conversion.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said it was “disappointing” that outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams haven’t stepped up this season and urged the third-year players to take advantage of the available playing time.

Through three games, Bowser and Williams have combined for zero tackles and one quarterback hit.

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“They need to be better,” Harbaugh said Monday. “We need to get more pressure, more sacks from those guys. They’ll probably tell you they need more reps. I would say earn more reps.”

Rookie outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson, a third-round draft pick, made his NFL debut Sunday and played nine snaps but failed to make it onto the stat sheet.

“[Ferguson] was OK,” Harbaugh said. “He had a couple mistakes where he jumped inside a run that ran around the edge, really hurt us. Tim did the same thing. Those are the things as a young guy you just can’t do. You got to do the right things. I cut [Ferguson] some slack because he’s a rookie. We’ll see how fast he learns.”

Snap counts for Bowser and Williams have slowly decreased since Week 1, heaping more of the workload onto fellow outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee.

In 2018 with the Washington Redskins, McPhee played 203 defensive snaps, nearly 20% of the total snaps. Through three games with the Ravens, he has played 62 defensive snaps, 58% of the total workload.

Judon played 65% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2018. Through three games this season, that rate has increased to 79%.

“Those reps are definitely up for grabs,” Harbaugh said. "We’ll see who takes them. In my mind, those young guys, the reps are there. We need to give our older guys a break. They can’t be playing all those snaps all year. We want to play fast defense. We want to be rested and healthy.”

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