Kenny Young called the first sack of his fledgling NFL career in Sunday’s 47-3 shellacking of the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium “awesome.” The rookie inside linebacker dropped rookie quarterback Josh Allen late in the fourth quarter.
Young also added four tackles — all solo stops that tied him with middle linebacker C.J. Mosley and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith for the team lead. As impressive as that showing was, Young said the performance was a reflection of his effort in the offseason and preseason to hone his technique.
“I just think it’s me working — working on the things I needed to work on, not trying to get outside of myself, not trying to get outside of what I’m being coached, working on my production,” the organization’s second of three fourth-round selections in April’s NFL draft said after Monday’s practice. “When you tell yourself that so many times and it’s repetitive in your mind and repetitive in your studies and repetitive when you go out there and practice, it just becomes part of your nature. That’s all it is. I’m just trying to perfect good habits.”
As if to prove his point, Young waved off a question of whether his outing was everything he had envisioned.
“You can’t envision a first game for yourself because if that was the case, I’d have 100 sacks, six picks and 120 tackles in that game,” he said with a smile. “But it felt good to get the win and for the defense to play as well as we did — and for the offense and for special teams. We’ve just got to keep stacking. I’m more excited about practice today and practice tomorrow and my preparation tonight than the win yesterday. That’s already behind us.”
No setbacks for Yanda
The 55 snaps that Marshal Yanda played Sunday marked a personal low in a full game for the right guard since Nov. 20, 2016, when he played 55 snaps in 27-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Unlike that loss in Dallas, however, Yanda was pulled in the second half on Sunday and replaced by rookie Bradley Bozeman because the score was so lopsided.
The most encouraging development for the six-time Pro Bowl selection was that his surgically repaired left ankle and right shoulder held up.
“I felt really good,” Yanda said after the victory. “No ailments, no pain. So I’m really happy about it. Today was a really good test for how it was going to hold up, and obviously, it’s only one game at a time, but today, everything felt great. So it’s just knocking off the rust still, but it was fun.”
Yanda, who turns 34 on Saturday, made his first start since Sept. 17 when he broke his ankle in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns. Then in the offseason, he injured his shoulder while lifting weights and was kept on the team’s physically-unable-to-perform list until Aug. 4.
Despite not playing in any preseason games, Yanda said he did not feel rusty against Buffalo.
“You attack it every day, and you prepare every day, but it didn’t feel like it today,” he said. “I felt comfortable out there. It was good.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco’s 25-for-34, 236-yard, three-touchdown performance was a stark contrast from last year’s season opener, in which he completed only nine of 17 passes for 121 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 20-0 shutout at the Cincinnati Bengals in his first showing since a back injury had kept him off the field for the entire preseason. But Flacco declined to compare how he felt Sunday against Buffalo. “I don’t like talking about my injuries, to be honest with you, too much,” he said. “You’re putting me in a little bit of a position to do it, but I feel good because we won the game, and that’s the most important part. I feel good because our team is out there feeling good about how we played today.” … The offense’s 6-for-6 showing in the red zone Sunday also featured success in converting third downs inside the Bills’ 20-yard line. On third-and-1 at the 11 on the unit’s opening drive of the game, Flacco dove 3 yards for the first down, and running back Alex Collins rumbled 8 yards for the touchdown on the ensuing play. Two possessions later, Flacco found running back Javorius Allen for an 11-yard gain on third-and-6 at the 19 and then connected with wide receiver John Brown on third-and-goal from the 7 for the score. “Those are the little things that we work on during the week,” wide receiver Willie Snead IV said. “Third-down conversions in the red zone, to be able to come out here and perform and put it all together gives us great confidence.” … A pair of former Ravens wide receivers in Kamar Aiken and Breshad Perriman reportedly took part in a workout Monday for the Philadelphia Eagles.