Harbaugh hopeful Perriman will grow
TD reception against Browns was first of WR’s up-and-down career
There have been more valleys than peaks in Breshad Perriman’s young career.
The Ravens wide receiver’s rookie season in 2015 was erased by a partially torn PCL in his right knee. His return was delayed by a partially torn ACL in his left knee during an offseason training activity in June that kept him on the team’s physically-unable-toperform list until Aug. 18.
His development has been sporadic, a growth chart that includes several catches for big gains as well as missed opportunities for greater production. So his 27-yard touchdown catch — the first of his career — in the back-left corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 28-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns was a chance for him to take inventory of his journey to this stage in his career.
“All that hardship, basically, and just howlong it took to get here and all the work I had to put in and all the stuff I’ve been through,” Perriman said Thursday. “So yeah, that does hit your mind for a little bit and then you realize how blessed you are.”
Besides scoring his first touchdown, Perriman had a personal best in receiving yards (64) and tied a personal high in catches (three). Coach John Harbaugh said Perriman appears closer to realizing his potential.
“To see those things start to happen is really important,” Harbaugh said Monday. “I’ve told you this before: I believe in our guys. We have the potential to do a lot of great things, but as [wide receiver] Mike Wallace pointed out, potential doesn’t mean anything until you do it. You’ve got to do something with it. That’s the way our guys are thinking. They want to make the plays, and that’s what’s important.” Dumervil on the mend: The defense has played four consecutive games without outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, whose recovery from offseason foot surgery regressed after he played against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 2 and the Washington Redskins on Oct. 9.
The unit has fared well with Za’Darius Smith (first sack of season Thursday) and rookie Matthew Judon (three sacks and one fumble recovery in the past three games) in Dumervil’s place. But Harbaugh said that Dumervil, who set a franchise record for sacks in 2014 with 17, is edging toward rejoining the team.
“He’s getting closer,” Harbaugh said. “I’m hoping it’s very close. We’ll just have to see. When he starts practicing, then you’ll know he should be right there.” More no-huddle for offense: After it worked last week, the Ravens plan to go to the no-huddle more frequently.
The team employed a hurry-up offense that produced 22 points in the second half of Thursday night’s win, and Harbaugh said no-huddle should be an offensive staple for the rest of the season.
Quarterback Joe Flacco, who had thrown just one touchdown pass in three games before Thursday, especially thrived in that setting, throwing three in 18:20 during the second half. He completed 13 of 17 passes for 163 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the second half.
“You try to have as many tools as you can at your disposal, and that’s something,” Harbaugh said Monday. “The no-huddle offense, there’s different versions of no-huddle offenses that teams run. That’s one of our versions. It’s a little bit faster-paced type of deal, not a lot of motion and calling plays and running them quickly. I like that. I’ve always been a fan of that. I think Joe likes it. That’s certainly going to be something we’re going to do from time to time and maybe more often than we have in the past.” End zone: After the 2007 season, Harbaugh, the Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach at the time, interviewed to replace Brian Billick as Ravens head coach. His competition was then-Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, now the head coach of the Cowboys, who will host the Ravens on Sunday. Harbaugh said he hasn’t given much thought to what his career path would have been if owner Steve Bisciotti had hired Garrett instead. “I’m a person of faith, so I’d say this was exactly the way God had it all planned out,” he said. “But if it hadn’t been, it would have been planned out another way, and it would have been even more spectacular.” … After a 21-14 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 6, Flacco apologized for alarming his coaches, teammates and fans with an awkward slide that initially suggested he might have reinjured his surgically repaired left knee. It turned out the quarterback had simply broken the brace that protects his knee. Flacco did a better job Thursday, sliding on his rear for a 3-yard run in the second quarter. “I made sure I got on my butt,” he said. “I don’t usually get on my butt. I usually get on my shin and my knee and just do a little pop-up. I made sure I got my feet up and got right to my butt cheek and didn’t let the knee brace dig in at all.” … The Ravens are 4-0 against Dallas, but Harbaugh said history won’t matter much Sunday. “Does that count in this year’s standings? Does that help us in any way?” he said. “No, so we need to be 1-0 against them this year.”
The Ravens’ Breshad Perriman catches a 27-yard touchdown pass in front of the Browns’ Briean Boddy-Calhoun in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s 28-7 victory. Perriman had three catches in the game, tying his personal best.