Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees doesn’t see the team’s recent defensive problems resulting from a lack of effort. In fact, Pees believes everyone might be trying just a bit too hard with the Ravens in the midst of four losses in five games.
“I think we are pressing a little bit,” Pees said after practice Tuesday. “We have to go back to just letting it go and playing football and playing defense. I think we are all pressing — me included sometimes. That’s usually not a good thing.”
While the Ravens’ struggles on the offensive end have gotten the most attention, several of the defensive players came forward after Sunday’s 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings to put the onus on their highly touted group.
The Ravens gave up 169 rushing yards to the Vikings and now rank last in the NFL in rush defense. The pass defense has been solid, and it is tied for the league lead with 10 interceptions, but the group overall has yet to live up the preseason standards the players set for themselves.
Asked Tuesday whether the defense was pressing because it’s trying to live up to the preseason hype, rush linebacker Terrell Suggs said: “Hype, huh? Pow, shots fired. Nah, we had Brandon [Williams] out a couple times. We lost [Brent] Urban. But we still can be historic. We still can be magical. [Forget] hype, you know what I’m saying? We know who we are and we know what we’re about.”
Pees, whose defense will face the NFL’s last-ranked offense with the Miami Dolphins in town Thursday night, said it’s up to the coaching staff to stress fundamentals, particularly in fixing the run defense.
“We have high expectations. I do, they do, we all do. And we are working our butt off to try to live up to those expectations,” Pees said. “We just have to relax and play. I have to call the game, too. Every game is not going to be a perfect call and quit trying to make a perfect call. Sometimes you do that; sometimes it’s not the perfect call. We are all guilty of it. We have to relax [and] we have to play.”
End zone: The NFL upheld the one-game suspension on Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo, whose high hit Sunday on Wallace put the Ravens wide receiver into the concussion protocol. … The Ravens re-signed wide receiver Kenny Bell to their practice squad and released tight end Gabe Holmes. Bell, who spent much of last season on the Ravens practice squad, was released by the team in late August with an injury settlement after a hamstring injury sidelined him throughout training camp. … The Dolphins, needing another healthy quarterback with Jay Cutler injured, signed David Fales who spent part of last season on the Ravens practice squad … Released by the Ravens last week, linebacker Jonathan Freeny was signed Tuesday by the Jacksonville Jaguars.