Mornhinweg concedes offense got conservative
Defense to carry on with or without CB Smith; Stanley and Tunsil to cross paths
In the film “A Fish Called Wanda,” a character played by Kevin Kline warns others, “Don’t call me stupid.” Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has a similar aversion to the word “conservative” when applied to his unit.
“I hate that word,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “I don’t get called that very often. It just bothers me.”
But Mornhinweg did not dispute the adjective being linked to the offense’s play in the second half of Sunday’s 19-14 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. After accumulating 16 points, 210 yards and 11 first downs in the first two quarters, the team had just three points, 101 yards and five first downs in the final two.
Quarterback Joe Flacco questioned the offensive approach in the second half after the victory and followed up on his comments Wednesday.
“We are used to around here winning games at the end in close games,” he said, adding that he had a conversation with Mornhinweg. “But when you have a team [down] 16-3 [at halftime], you would like to choke them out and get it over with. I think I was just a little disappointed in the moment that we had to withstand a last-minute drive to where they could have tied the game up or went ahead.”
Mornhinweg, who pointed out that he won the debate he had with Flacco, agreed that he could have been more aggressive in his play calling.
“In the first half, we were gaining yards, but we weren’t quite running and gunning,” he said. “So I went through that game because it bothered me. It bothered me even though we won the game.” Pees on J. Smith’s possible return: Cornerback Jimmy Smith (back) practiced fully for the second straight day, which could be a significant boost for the secondary. But defensive coordinator Dean Pees said the unit will continue to plug along with or without Smith.
“We’re really at the point right now that we’re going to do what we do,” he said. “Even when he’s out, it changes some things slightly, but it’s not this big, overwhelming change in game plan.”
Left guard Marshal Yanda (left shoulder) and wide receiver Kamar Aiken (thigh) fully practiced Thursday after missing Wednesday’s session.
Rookie left guard Alex Lewis (high right ankle sprain), tight end Crockett Gillmore (pulled hamstring) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) did not practice for the second consecutive day. Running back Buck Allen sat with a Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg acknowledges that he could have been more aggressive in his play calling in the second half against the Bengals on Sunday. non-football injury. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and center Jeremy Zuttah were given the day off. Suggs’ fourth quarters: Of the eight sacks Suggs has recorded thus far, six have occurred in the fourth quarter, when he might normally be fatigued after expending energy in the first three.
Asked Wednesday whether his sacks in the final quarter was an indicator of his stamina or intelligence, the six-time Pro Bowl selection replied: “I think it has something to do with all of that. The weight loss, how Coach [ John Harbaugh] is letting me prepare throughout the week with the rest he gives me, and also our young guys — Matt Judon, Za’Darius [ Smith].”
Suggs has been playing despite a torn left biceps suffered in a 27-23 loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 16. Stanley-Tunsil meeting: Before the Ravens took rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, there was a good deal of speculation regarding the organization’s interest in Laremy Tunsil.
The offensive tackle out of Mississippi, once believed to be the top prospect in the draft, was thought to be linked to the Ravens. But when a video of him wearing a gas-mask bong was posted on Tunsil’s Twitter account shortly before the start of the draft April 28, the Ravens and several other teams passed over him until the Miami Dolphins took him at No. 13.
On Sunday, the Ravens and Stanley will cross paths with Tunsil, who has started nine games and is expected to play at left guard Sunday after sitting out last week’s win against the San Francisco 49ers because of a shoulder injury. Stanley said he will be happy to see his draft classmate.
“He’s a really awesome kid and a good person,” Stanley said Wednesday. “I hated to see what happened to him [on draft night]. I wish the best for him. I know he’s doing good out there in Miami. Other than that, that’s pretty much been our relationship.” End zone: Miami has used 5-foot-7, 172-pound Jakeem Grant on returns, and the rookie has averaged 8.4 yards per punt return and scored one touchdown while calling for just two fair catches in 18 attempts. Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg was less focused on Grant’s size than on his speed and skill. “He’s an electric returner when he has the ball in his hands,” Rosburg said. “We’re just going to try to limit the space that he has to operate in and play team coverage. That’s what wins.” … The Dolphins practiced for a second consecutive day without three starters: wide receiver DeVante Parker (back), center Mike Pouncey (hip) and outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee, hand). Four starters — left tackle Branden Albert (dislocated wrist), right guard Jermon Bushrod (calf ), cornerback Xavien Howard (knee) and Tunsil (shoulder) — were limited for the second straight day.