RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Matt Katula released, Morgan Cox is new long snapper

Street Talk RAVENS NOTEBOOK: Matt Katula released, Morgan Cox is new long snapper

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The Matt Katula era is over in Baltimore after five years, and rookie Morgan Cox is the Ravens’ new long snapper.

The Ravens cut Katula on Saturday roughly two years after signing him to a five-year contract extension to make room for undrafted rookie defensive back Brad Jones.

Cox impressed the coaching staff tremendously during his audition Thursday night in a 17-12 win over the Carolina Panthers, convincing them it was time to make a change.

"Morgan Cox, he’s been doing a real good job throughout the offseason and then throughout training camp," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters Saturday "You never want to make a move until you know in a game. He did a nice job, and we feel comfortable that he can be our snapper. So, we’re going with the younger guy."

Katula dealt with chronic tendinitis in his snapping elbow and forearm last season, causing some errant snaps.

Katula has continually insisted he’s healthy, and Harbaugh indicated that wasn’t an issue and wasn’t the impetus behind this decision.

"No, he’s fully healthy," Harbaugh said. "Matt’s a very good snapper. There’s no question he can do it in this league. There’s a couple things I think he’s still working on, he’s cleaning up a little bit from last year.

"We had a younger guy that looked good, and that’s sometimes the nature of the business. Talking to Matt, he understood and I’m very confident he’ll be snapping for somebody this year."

Cox was signed by the Ravens after going undrafted at the University of Tennessee.

He was selected to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl.

"It’s a great opportunity," Cox said. "The big thing I wanted to concentrate on in the game is getting the job done. I looked at it like I was the guy and it was my game and my position. I’m incredibly excited.

"I want to do the best for the team. I just want to snap it as good as I can. I want to stay anonymous in that light. You’ve got to perfect every time. My standard for myself is to be perfect every time."

TODAY’S PRACTICES CANCELLED: Harbaugh decided to give the players today off, cancelling both practice sessions.

The Ravens will reconvene for practice at McDaniel College at 8:45 a.m. on Monday.

"They were a little bit surprised," Harbaugh said. "They didn’t say much. They didn’t really respond. I think they were looking for the catch, they were ready for the ‘but.’ The truth is, I don’t think it’s a reward. It’s where we’re at right now.

"It’s a reward in the sense that they’ve earned it. We have worked really hard throughout training camp, coaches and players. I think the best thing for us is a little recovery time. I like where we’re at right now as a football team. Really, the best thing for us is to give them the chance to get a jumpstart on their legs."

Wide receiver Mark Clayton, who caught a 30-yard touchdown against the Panthers, was surprised.

"I thought he was going to come back and say, ‘Ha ha, got you,’" Clayton said. "The whole room was just quiet: ‘Is he serious or is he playing’ We’re just grateful for it. I know we’ll take advantage of it and rest up and come out Monday and give it everything we’ve got."

JONES SIGNED: The Ravens made it official with Jones, signing him one day after striking an agreement in principle.

A former University of Cincinnati cornerback and safety, Jones was signed this spring after participated in the Ravens’ minicamp on a tryout basis.

He was cut at the end of the Ravens’ organized team activity schedule.

Jones tried out for the Cleveland Browns this spring.

A 6-foot, 192-pounder, Jones flew under the radar during the draft process after not being invited to the NFL scouting combine.

JAWS’ COMMENTS CLARIFIED: Days after ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said that backup quarterback Marc Bulger seemed deflated and not into football anymore, Ravens team spokesman Kevin Byrne said he believes that the former NFL quarterback was referencing a conversation with Bulger from last season when he played for the 1-15 St. Louis Rams.

"I think Ron Jaworski was referring to a meeting when Marc was at St. Louis," Byrne said. "He was not referring to the production meeting here. I think that’s what got misinterpreted because Jon Gruden gave a preface about Bulger getting beat up in St. Louis, and then he came back and said, ‘Yeah, in the production meeting.’ He didn’t clarify, but I did check with Ron."

Harbaugh said he hasn’t noticed any signs of Bulger not being into the game.

"I haven’t seen that, I don’t know how you know if you can read a guy’s mind," he said. "Marc has never said that. He didn’t say that in that meeting from what Marc told me and I’ve seen nothing but an energetic, competitive guy who loves football out here. He’s competitive, he’s into everything we do. He was excited about the good throws in the game, he was disappointed with the bad plays. He’s done a great job."

QUICK HIT: Harbaugh said it’s too soon to declare a leader in the Ravens’ kicking competition between Shayne Graham and Billy Cundiff.

Graham missed a 50-yard try against Carolina and hit a 32-yarder. Cundiff connected on two extra points and had two touchbacks.

"I think it’s too early to say," Harbaugh said. "They’ve both done well. I think Shayne’s kick in the game was a tough one. He wants to make that kick, but it was a tough kick."


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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