Punt protection point of emphasis for Ravens after two blocks this season

It has never been something that the Ravens have had to worry about. From 2006 through 2012, Sam Koch only had two of his 558 punts blocked.

However, what hadn’t happened since 2006 has now occurred twice in the past six weeks, making punt protection a point of emphasis heading into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Ravens assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said that the team has addressed the miscommunication that resulted in Koch getting his punt blocked by tight end Ryan Taylor in the second quarter of the Ravens’ 19-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.    

"Obviously, it’s something that just cannot happen,” said Rosburg. “It’s too vital of a player in football for us to allow it to happen, and we’ll continue to address it. The reason we practice every camp practice
with punt and every [organized team activity] practice with punt and every mini-camp practice with punt is because it’s so important. And we need to fix it.”

Reserve safety Anthony Levine, who is the team’s punt protector, took the blame for the block by the Packers. The Ravens actually maintained possession on the play when Packers’ fullback John Kuhn tried to pick up the ball and couldn’t hold on, allowing safety James Ihedigbo to recover.

“There was a miscommunication at the line of scrimmage, and then it was followed up by another miscommunication. And then the fail-safe mechanism failed,” Rosburg said. “So, it was a chain of events that led to a guy running clean on the punt protection. It was real obvious that something was wrong on that play from the very get-go. … It wasn’t a complex look. It was a simple front. We just communicated incorrectly.”

The Ravens also had a punt blocked in their regular-season opening loss in Denver, and that one led to a touchdown two plays later that helped accelerated the Broncos’ rout. That play was caused by David Bruton beating Ravens rookie Arthur Brown, not a communication breakdown.   

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