Har­baugh hope­ful Per­ri­man will grow

TD re­cep­tion against Browns was first of WR’s up-and-down ca­reer

Baltimore Sun - - NFL & RAVENS - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun

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.”

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BALTIMORE SUN

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.

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