Special teams focused on a fix
Unit aims to return to ‘high standard’; Mornhinweg quiet about his plans
After the Ravens surrendered Jamison Crowder’s 85-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Washington Redskins’ 16-10 win Sunday, special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg addressed players without a confrontational tone.
“It was just regular football talk,” said linebacker Zachary Orr, who was on the field during that play. “Coach just coaching us and the players listening and taking coaching and trying to find a way to get better. Coaches and players all have a common goal: to get the job done and win. It’s a great conversation just trying to figure out what the problem is and get it corrected.”
That doesn’t mean everything was hunky-dory. Crowder’s score marked the first time since 2011 that the Ravens had surrendered a punt return for a touchdown — a piece of history Rosburg readily recited Thursday.
“Since that time, we’ve gone 70-odd games with zero points” allowed, he said. “In the same time span, we’ve scored 62 points. That’s a high standard. … It’s my job to get us back up to that standard.”
On Sunday, the special teams unit will be tasked with containing New York Giants returner Dwayne Harris, who ranks third in the NFLwith a kick-return average of 28.7 yards. Orr said the solution is not complex.
“It just comes down to technique,” he said. “It’s not an effort thing, it’s not a scheme thing. I feel the same way I felt after the game. It just comes down to players making plays.” Mornhinweg mum: In his first news conference since taking over the offensive coordinator role for the fired Marc Trestman, Marty Mornhinweg stopped well short of providing any details as to how he’ll go about fixing a struggling offense.
“I’m right in the middle of all that,” Mornhinweg said. “We’ve just got to get it done. It’s that simple.”
Otherwise, Mornhinweg, who was promoted from quarterbacks coach to the play caller, didn’t say how he planned to jump-start the downfield passing game or how committed he’ll be to the running game. He didn’t make any grand proclamations about the offense’s potential.
“Our expectations are high, period,” said Mornhinweg, who will call plays from the sideline after spending the first five games in the coaching booth. “We’ll see what happens. We’re going to go through some ups and downs. There’s no question about that. It’s pretty easy when you’re going through the ups. When you’re going through the downs, you’ve got to tighten that thing up and let’s roll and power through those things.” Orr prepped to fill in for Mosley: If a hamstring injury prevents inside linebacker C.J. Mosley from playing Sunday, as appears will be the case, defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Orr can handle the responsibility of defensive communicator, who receives play calls in a special helmet.
“On gameday, you can only have one person do it, and obviously, it would be C.J.,” Orr said. “But I have experience doing it. I’ve done it in game situations. … I think everything will go smooth.” Dumervil to miss Sunday? After missing his second consecutive practice, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil appears closer to sitting out Sunday’s game.
Dumervil, 32, has not had a tackle or a sack in 45 snaps in two games since returning from a foot ailment related to an operation he underwent in the offseason. Pees did not have an answer as to how long it will take for Dumervil to regain the form that led to his collecting a franchise-record 17 sacks in 2014.
“He’s just coming back from an injury,” Pees said Thursday. “You never know. Everybody’s different.” End zone: The team added cornerback Robertson Daniel to the practice squad. Undrafted in 2015 and signed by the Oakland Raiders, Daniel has spent time with the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins. Daniel replaces guard Jarell Broxton. … The Indianapolis Colts signed linebacker Chris Carter, who was waived by the Ravens on Wednesday.