Things got a little chippy yesterday during the Ravens indoor practice at the Under Armour Performance Center.
Steve Smith chucked his helmet after a Joe Flacco overthrow, John Harbaugh scolded the team within earshot of the media after the hour practice, while veteran Terrell Suggs admitted that things are quite normal.
The heat is on for the Ravens as they are down to their final three games, which are must win contests after losing ground to the Pittsburgh Steelers who sit atop of the AFC North with a 8-5 record.
“We’re moving forward,” stated Terrell Suggs following practice on Thursday after being asked if practice was emotional after Monday’s loss to the Patriots. “You all always make a big deal.
“You have to understand, we’re a little messed up. It is December football. We’re all a little itchy, yet we are moving forward. It was an emotional loss. We really wanted that one. We were in the division lead. We controlled our own fate then, and now we have to win out.
“We’re just a little edgy, but I think it’s good to be a little edgy in December.”
Sorry Sizzle, December football is when things are supposed to be focused and precise. Good teams stay focused and are honing their skills not having their star offensive player hurling helmets. Fiery is good, lacking discipline is not.
As the team is in playoff chase mode, lose and you’re probably out, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg knows it’s his offense that’s under the spotlight beginning on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Man alive! We have some work to do,” stated Mornhinweg. “We have a host of things that we need to get better at to go out there and beat a team like that. We certainly have addressed it [and] practiced it, because we have to get better in a whole host of situations.
“I was proud of the men. That was a pretty good comeback. We didn’t quite get it done, and the next time, we certainly expect to get it done. Moving on to Philadelphia – a great opportunity here for us. [Philadelphia has] a very good defense as of just a few weeks back, and it is the same players.
“They have a front that is very good, both with the run and the pass rush. They are a very aggressive team, so we have a great opportunity here and a great challenge. [They are] a fine football team, a fine defensive football team just recently.”
Despite their 5-8 record, the Eagles won’t be a pushover. Their 12th ranked defense will see to it. So Flacco can’t just dial up dump off passes like he did HERE and expect to win. He must be a bit more aggressive.
“Those are decision-making, those are quarterback decision-making [plays] that he makes every game,” said the Ravens feisty offensive coordinator. “Some of them were very, very good. There were others where he was up and felt a little pressure and got it out quick. I do not want to get into too many details, but there were reasons for all of those.
“Every one of them was just a little different. That was a … We did do it quite a little bit – we checked it down a little bit more than we have in the past.
“But there were reasons for all of them, and I think we can get better at that.”
Reasons be damned and with your playoff hopes on the line it’s now or never to get the offense going before everything else comes unglued in practice or worse yet, on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
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