Har­baugh: Flacco ‘get­ting hit too much’


OWINGS MILLS — Ravens head coach John Har­baugh listed a num­ber of rea­sons his team has found it­self on the wrong side of a lop­sided game in con­sec­u­tive weeks.

Baltimore’s de­fense has forced one turnover in the last two games. The Ravens have been more sus­cep­ti­ble to giv­ing up big plays. But the pri­mary prob­lems can be found on the of­fense, be­gin­ning with quar­ter­back Joe Flacco, who Har­baugh says is wind­ing up on the ground far too fre­quently.

“He’s get­ting hit too much. We’ve got to work on that,” Har­baugh said Mon­day. “You keep your quar­ter­back clean, your quar­ter­back is go­ing to be a lot bet­ter. Joe is tough. Joe just wants to get the ball out in an ac­cu­rate way and he wants to be able to read things out. When you con- sis­tently keep the quar­ter­back clean, I think it builds a cer­tain rhythm to your of­fense. We have to fig­ure out how to do that.”

Flacco was sacked four times by the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers on Sun­day. He was hit six more times.

The Ravens are play­ing with a patch­work of­fen­sive line that fea­tures a sin­gle starter from last year’s unit – left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley. Start­ing guards Alex Lewis and Mar­shal Yanda have been lost for the sea­son to in­jury.

Matt Skura started the past two games at right guard in place of Yanda, ar­guably the best guard in the NFL. Skura started all four pre­sea­son games, but was waived by Baltimore just be­fore the sea­son. He signed to the prac­tice squad on Sept. 5 and was pro­moted to the 53-man ros­ter two weeks later fol­low­ing Yanda’s in­jury.

James Hurst, who be­gan train­ing camp at right tackle, has played left guard af­ter the team signed free agent Austin Howard to start in the spot.

“There’s young guys out there who are learn­ing how to run, es­pe­cially at right guard. James [Hurst], at left guard, has been pretty good. A cou­ple of times yes­ter­day, they’ve got some re­ally good de­fen­sive line­men, they got on our edges a few times. We were slid­ing a cer­tain di­rec­tion, they were bring­ing a nickel off the edge, we were just a tick late get­ting out there and get­ting on those guys,” Har­baugh said. “We just have to keep work­ing all those things that we do. We’re not go­ing to change dra­mat­i­cally what we do. You can’t panic and say, ‘Ok, we’re go­ing to do some­thing dif­fer­ent.’”

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig


Pitts­burgh Steel­ers line­backer Bud Dupree (48) drills Baltimore Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco while de­fen­sive end Stephon Tuitt (be­low) helps drop him for a 9-yard sack dur­ing the fourth quar­ter on Sun­day at M&T Bank Sta­dium. Pitts­burgh pre­vailed,...

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