Spe­cial teams fo­cused on a fix

Unit aims to re­turn to ‘high stan­dard’; Morn­hin­weg quiet about his plans

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS WEEKEND - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this ar­ti­cle.

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.

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