It’s rarely good when the media have a plethora of questions for Jerry Rosburg, but it was no secret the special teams coordinator would have some explaining to do after his typically-exceptional coverage units allowed a punt return and a kickoff return to go for touchdowns by Broncos return specialist Trindon Holliday in the Ravens’ win in Denver.
Feeling fortunate that the offense and defense picked up the slack for the special teams units, Rosburg expressed his obvious disenchantment over return scores allowed early in each half. However, he offered a clear explanation for each miscue on Thursday.
“The punt return was a ball that we scouted out the winds prior to the game. We tried to punt it right, and the wind grabbed it and sent it to the left, and as a result to that, our coverage was headed in the wrong direction. We did a real poor job adjusting down the field. We missed tackles. We had one guy fall down. It is one of those situations, where as a coach, I take responsibility for the call, and then a series of other events happened. We got blocked; we had a guy fall down. With a returner like that, you just can’t make that mistake.
“On the kickoff coverage, it was simply a situation where the ball wasn’t exactly where we wanted it either, and we got out of our lanes, and the guy split us. He’s a dynamic returner. He’s shown that all year long. When you make a mistake like that, he makes you pay.”
Buck on Ravens’ playoff run
Meeting with the local media at Camden Yards on Thursday after signing a contract extension through the 2018 season, Orioles manager Buck Showalter — an avid football fan — was asked to share his thoughts on the Ravens’ improbable postseason run.
Showalter expressed jealousy over Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones making the trip to Denver and being photographed while offering encouragement to Flacco before the divisional-round meeting with the Broncos.
“The best picture of the offseason was Jonesy screaming at Flacco,” Showalter said. “I got it — I’m blowing [the photo] up. I almost peed my pants. It’s great. I know Adam — being from San Diego — he’s not a big fan of cold weather. That’s how much he loves it.”
It’s been an exciting run for Baltimore’s two major professional sports teams as Showalter and several Orioles players were shown on the video board at M&T Bank Stadium while attending early-season prime-time games and Jones will follow the Ravens to Foxborough to attend another road playoff game on Sunday.
The manager sees an improved relationship between the Orioles and Ravens, which includes a friendship cultivated between closer Jim Johnson and defensive lineman Arthur Jones after both attended the same high school in Endicott, N.Y.
“I’ve been so proud of the meshing. You’ve seen them with our hats on and seeing our guys following them,” said Showalter, who revealed he was considering wearing a Ravens hat to Saturday’s FanFest event. “They’re talking back and forth. I guess it is a two-sport [town]. You all can answer better than I, but I think that’s been kind of missing. There seems to be a real meshing of the two.”
Odds & ends
Per a report from Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Rosburg was interviewed for the Chicago Bears’ head coaching vacancy prior to Marc Trestman being hired earlier this week. … Pees didn’t express too much concern over his defense playing 87 snaps in each of the last two playoff games but said he would monitor players’ stamina during Sunday’s game. “In all honesty, I thought we were as fresh in the overtime the other day as we looked at any time during the year. I think at this point in time during the year, too, everybody is a little fatigued. But at the same time, your adrenaline is pumping.” … According to Weather.com, Sunday’s forecast in Foxborough is calling for temperatures to be in the low 30s by kickoff with winds up to 22 miles per hour. … The AFC title game referee will be Bill Leavy. … Asked about being on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated and whether he believes in the publication’s infamous cover jinx, Flacco provided a predictable answer. “Sure hope not. It just depends on how we go play on Sunday. We’ll see.”