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Baltimore Ravens Training Camp August 22, 2009

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Harbaugh, Ravens “not licking any wounds” in aftermath of Seattle loss

Posted on 14 November 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh’s mood was exactly how you might predict it to be 24 hours following the Ravens’ third loss against a sub-.500 team this season.

The Baltimore coach was tense and defensive, clenching his teeth in response to a few questions and providing noticeably short answers on a number of occasions. While Harbaugh was clearly ready to move on to this week’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, his thoughts remained unchanged regarding the Ravens’ 22-17 defeat to the lowly Seahawks.

“It feels the same way that it did [Sunday] night,” Harbaugh said. “Very disappointing loss, one that we have to regroup from, improve in a lot of different areas, and get ready to play this week. Every week in this league is a new week. Every game is a new game. At the end of the year, they count up how many you win and how many you lose.”

As media asked him about the psychology connecting the Ravens’ three losses to teams with losing records and the team’s spirits in the aftermath of the surprising defeat, Harbaugh’s explanation for the loss was blunt: three turnovers, two missed field goals, an erratic passing offense, and a defense that couldn’t get off the field in the game’s final drive.

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“We put ourselves behind the eight ball [in] too many situations and then ended up losing by just five points in a tough environment,” Harbaugh said. “You play better football, you win football games like that. That goes to all of us. That’s what we have to do — we have to coach better, we have to play better — and we’ll win those three football games [we lost].”

Answering many questions with the same theme — only different wording — Harbaugh closed the press conference with the quote of the afternoon when pressed about a perceived attitude of simply moving on to the next week before taking the proper time to focus on mistakes after three defeats to teams with losing records.

Did the Ravens take time to lick their wounds before picking themselves up off the mat on Monday?

“Licking wounds? No, we’re not licking any wounds,” Harbaugh said. “We are moving on. We correct our mistakes, and we go practice on Wednesday. And we get ready to play on Sunday.”

Running away from the run?

A heated topic of discussion on sports talk radio and internet message boards was the Ravens’ one-sided offensive attack that featured 53 passing attempts to only 12 run plays. After an initial uproar was created when Ray Rice received only eight carries in the loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last month, the star running back received only five rushing attempts against the Seahawks.

The argument can certainly be made that offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and the Ravens panicked too soon in abandoning the run, but an early 10-0 deficit and two lost possessions in the first half — thanks to kick returner David Reed’s two fumbles — threw the offensive game plan out the window. Harbaugh also acknowledged that quarterback Joe Flacco checked out of a run play on the opening drive of the second half when he had his pass tipped into the air and intercepted, leading to another short field goal by Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka.

“When you don’t have very many plays [in the first half], it’s hard to build up your running game,” Harbaugh said. “When you’re down, you have to throw it to get back in the game. I think every game is different. You’ve got to do in any particular game what you’ve got to do to try to move the ball.”

While many continue to call for Cameron’s job with the Ravens’ perceived refusal to run the football, Harbaugh made it clear that there was no plan to have such offensive imbalance. However, the game situation of being down two possessions and a 4-3 defensive front that continues to give the Ravens problems made it difficult to establish the ground attack.

“In the end, we definitely want to have more runs,” Harbaugh said. “I think that’s indicative of having the lead and having more plays, especially early in the game. The way the game went, we had to throw it. And based on some fronts they were giving us early, we felt like we had to throw it, too.”

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Reed shows up on Ravens’ Thursday injury report

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day after safety Ed Reed and the Ravens thought they were in the clear following his fourth-quarter collision that caused a “burner” in his shoulder, the outlook didn’t look as promising for the All Pro as he missed practice on Thursday.

Reed was listed as having a neck injury, which is likely related to the play in which he collided with defensive tackle Terrence Cody. The free safety left the game but returned soon after, saying after the game that he was OK.

Despite Reed missing practicing, he is still expected to play against the Arizona Cardinals and spoke to reporters prior to the team’s workout on Thursday.

Cornerback Danny Gorrer (thigh) was a limited participant after being nicked up during the special teams portion of practice viewed by the media. The defensive back was stretched out on the field for several minutes before he walked inside gingerly with a member of the training staff. It’s unknown whether Gorrer returned to practice.

Cornerback Chris Carr was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday and is very likely to make his return to the field on Sunday after suffering a setback in the week leading up to the Oct. 2 game against the New York Jets.

For Arizona, running back Beanie Wells (knee) practiced on a limited basis despite most expecting him not to play on Sunday.

Former Ravens tight end Todd Heap was a limited participant for a second straight day after sitting out the Cardinals’ last two games with a hamstring injury.

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – S Ed Reed (neck), RB Anthony Allen (thigh), LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), WR Lee Evans (ankle), G Ben Grubbs (toe)
LIMITED – CB Danny Gorrer (thigh)
FULL – S Tom Zbikowski (head), CB Chris Carr (thigh)

ARIZONA
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – LB Joey Porter (knee), S Kerry Rhodes (foot)
LIMITED – RB Beanie Wells (knee), WR Early Doucet (quad), CB Michael Adams (hand), TE Jim Dray (pectoral), TE Todd Heap (hamstring), WR DeMarco Sampson (hamstring)

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Live from Owings Mills: Grubbs, Evans again appearing unlikely to play

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Live from Owings Mills: Grubbs, Evans again appearing unlikely to play

Posted on 27 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Another day of preparation for the Arizona Cardinals brought similar results in terms of who wasn’t on the practice field Thursday.

The Ravens were without receiver Lee Evans (left ankle), guard Ben Grubbs (right toe), running back Anthony Allen (thigh), and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (thigh) for the second straight day this week. Barring a dramatic change on Friday, none are expected to play on Sunday.

Evans said prior to practice that his left ankle is improving, but the 30-year-old wideout would not specify a timetable for his return to action in what amounted to anything but a ringing endorsement for his status against the Cardinals on Sunday.

A possible new addition to the injury report was safety Ed Reed (shoulder), who was not identified during the open portion of practice as the Ravens worked on the field farthest away from the media viewing area. Reed practiced fully on Wednesday despite suffering a “burner” in a fourth-quarter collision with defensive tackle Terrence Cody on Monday night.

Two players appeared to get nicked up during the open portion of practice on Thursday in a scene that more closely resembled training camp. Linebacker Prescott Burgess left the field for a brief time before returning with his left elbow wrapped. Cornerback Danny Gorrer also appeared to be walking gingerly with a member of the training staff after being stretched out on the field for several minutes.

Cornerback Chris Carr (left hamstring) and safety Tom Zbikowski (concussion) were practicing for the second straight day.

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Live from Owings Mills: Reed, Cody practicing after Monday night collision

Posted on 26 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Perhaps an even scarier scene than the Ravens’ horrific performance in a 12-7 loss on Monday was the fourth-quarter collision that left All-Pro safety Ed Reed and defensive tackle Terrence Cody lying on the ground in pain.

However, the two were back on the practice field Wednesday afternoon, confirming coach John Harbaugh’s comments suggesting little concern for either player’s shoulder injury. Reed returned to the game after the collision after suffering a “burner” in the opposite shoulder of the chronic nerve impingement the safety has dealt with since the end of the 2007 season.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith was also back on the practice field after Harbaugh said the rookie did not take part in any defensive snaps due to soreness in the left ankle that sidelined him for six weeks. The first-round pick had not played since sustaining a high ankle sprain covering a kickoff early in the season opener.

Safety Tom Zbikowski (concussion) and cornerback Chris Carr (hamstring) were also taking part in the open portion of practice on Wednesday after both were inactive against the Jaguars. Zbikowski appeared to be more active after practicing on a limited basis last week, a possible indication that he’s been cleared for contact after being sidelined with a concussion sustained against the New York Jets on Oct. 2. Carr was fielding punts during the special teams portion of practice.

Wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle), guard Ben Grubbs (right toe), running back Anthony Allen (thigh), and Dannell Ellerbe (thigh) were not present during the portion of practice open to the media.

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Ravens injury report: Evans, Grubbs out again; J. Smith probable against Jacksonville

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Ravens injury report: Evans, Grubbs out again; J. Smith probable against Jacksonville

Posted on 22 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens released their final injury report of the week on Saturday with the expected news that wide receiver Lee Evans and guard Ben Grubbs would be out again after not practicing all week in preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

However, rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith is probable to play after missing the last four games with a high ankle sprain sustained early in the Ravens’ season-opening win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 11. Smith practiced fully for the second straight day on Saturday and appears more likely to play than fellow cornerback Chris Carr, who is listed as questionable after practicing on a limited basis all week.

“I feel good,” Smith said before the injury report was released. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to play this game, but I feel good. I mean, I’m optimistic like I said before, [but] I really don’t know what the coach is going to do with it.”

Many have speculated whether the Ravens should play Smith against the Jaguars, who are ranked last in the league in passing offense, or hold him out to get another week of practice under his belt before returning to action against the Arizona Cardinals next week. Coach John Harbaugh is weighing the risks and rewards with the idea that the rookie cornerback will need time to re-adjust to the speed of the professional game.

The Ravens are ranked seventh in pass defense despite Smith and Carr missing most of the season to this point. Is that a factor to consider in giving Smith an extra week to heal?

“That’s probably part of it, but the other side of the coin is you want to get a young guy out there playing,” Harbaugh said. “He needs to play too; he hasn’t played much. He played very little in the preseason. I think that’s going to be tough for him. Both of those things go through our minds.”

Evans will miss his fourth straight game and will be replaced once again by rookie Torrey Smith in the starting lineup. Andre Gurode will make his fourth straight start at left guard with Grubbs having not played since the season opener. Harbaugh feels the frustration shared by fans regarding the status of the Ravens’ two offensive starters.

“It’s just probably slower than any of us imagine that those guys would be,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve just got to keep fighting in there and try to get them back. I think it’s going to be one day we’re going to walk in here and they’re going to go through a full practice and they’re going to feel good and they’ll be ready to go. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

Grubbs’ injury has drawn comparisons to former Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden, whose toe ailment contributed to an early exit to a certain Hall of Fame career in 2007. Harbaugh had previously said in mid-September that an MRI showed no structural damage or long-term concern regarding Grubbs’ right toe, and the Ravens coach stood by that claim on Saturday.

“Still waiting for him to respond,” Harbaugh said. “It’s the process of getting the swelling out, getting the bruising out, and the healing process that takes place. I know that’s pretty vague, but that’s the best I can do.”

Still not cleared for contact after sustaining a concussion on Oct. 2, safety Tom Zbikowski is listed as doubtful and likely to miss his second straight game as he continues to deal with symptoms. The strong safety practiced on a limited basis on Saturday and said it was a good day for him in terms of not feeling the effects of the concussion.

Zbikowski is listed behind Bernard Pollard at strong safety on the Ravens’ official depth chart.

“Obviously, it’s never as fast as you want it to be,” Zbikowski said. “You want to be back as soon as you can, but once again, it’s a brain injury. It’s not a hamstring injury or something like that where you make it a little worse — it’s something I’m taking a pretty good precaution on before I get out there.”

Return specialist David Reed was the only new addition to Saturday’s injury report after being limited with a finger injury in the final practice of the week. He is listed as probable on the official injury report for Monday’s game, but the condition could factor heavily in the decision whether he or Bryan McCann handles kickoff return duties.

BALTIMORE
OUT – WR Lee Evans (ankle), G Ben Grubbs (toe), RB Anthony Allen (thigh), LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)
DOUBTFUL – S Tom Zbikowski (head)
QUESTIONABLE – CB Chris Carr (thigh)
PROBABLE – CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), WR David Reed (finger), LB Jarret Johnson (back)

JACKSONVILLE
OUT – S Courtney Greene (hamsting)
DOUBTFUL – T Eben Britton (back)
QUESTIONABLE – G Jason Spitz (quad)
PROBABLE – DT Tyson Alualu (knee), CB Derek Cox (groin), S Dawan Landry (thigh), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring), RB Montell Owens (knee), G Will Rackley (knee), LB Clint Session (elbow), T Guy Whimper (hip)

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens make final preparations for Jacksonville

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Live from Owings Mills: Ravens make final preparations for Jacksonville

Posted on 22 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With the Ravens traveling to Jacksonville to meet the Jaguars on Monday night, they were back on the field Saturday morning with the injury picture becoming clearer.

Once again, wide receiver Lee Evans (left ankle) and Ben Grubbs (right toe) were missing from the field as the Ravens worked indoors for their final practice of the week. Neither player has worked this week nor participated in the team’s morning walk-throughs, making it an almost certainty that both will be unavailable against Jacksonville.

Safety Tom Zbikowski (concussion) was on the field and appeared to be practicing on a very limited basis during the portion open to the media. He has not been cleared for contact and did not participate in Friday’s practice after being a limited participant on Thursday.

Cornerback Chris Carr (left thigh) looked to be working on a limited basis for the third straight day, which might be an indication that the Ravens intend to hold out the veteran defensive back. Carr has dealt with the same hamstring injury for over two months.

Linebacker Jarret Johnson (back) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (left ankle) were also practicing after participating fully on Friday. It will be interesting to see whether the Ravens decide to activate Smith for his first action since being injured in the season opener on Sept. 11 or to hold him out for another week before playing against Arizona in Baltimore next Sunday.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and running back Anthony Allen (thigh) have already been ruled out for Monday and were not on the practice field Saturday.

Referee Carl Cheffers and his crew will be officiating Monday night’s game in Jacksonville. The current weather forecast for EverBank Field calls for a temperature of 76 degrees and only a 10 percent chance of rain.

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Jimmy Smith a full participant on Ravens’ Friday injury report

Posted on 21 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The likelihood of Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith returning to action on Monday continues to grow after the rookie was listed as a full participant on Friday’s injury report.

Linebacker Jarret Johnson was also a full participant after missing Thursday’s practice with a back ailment.

However, the news wasn’t all good as safety Tom Zbikowski did not practice as he continues to deal with concussion-like symptoms, joining receiver Lee Evans and guard Ben Grubbs as non-participants on Friday.

Former Ravens safety Dawan Landry appeared on Jacksonville’s injury report for the first time on Friday and is dealing with a thigh injury.

BALTIMORE
OUT – LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), RB Anthony Allen (thigh)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR Lee Evans (ankle), S Tom Zbikowski (head)
LIMITED – CB Chris Carr (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION – CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), LB Jarret Johnson (back)

JACKSONVILLE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – T Eben Britton (back), S Courtney Greene (hamsting)
LIMITED – G Jason Spitz (quad), S Dawan Landry (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION – DT Tyson Alualu (knee), CB Derek Cox (groin), RB Greg Jones (non-injury related), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (non-injury related), DE Aaron Kampman (non-injury related), CB Rashean Mathis (non-injury related), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring) , RB Montell Owens (knee), G Will Rackley (knee), LB Clint Session (elbow), T Guy Whimper (hip)

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Live from Owings Mills: Zbikowski joins Evans, Grubbs as absentees on Friday

Posted on 21 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Offensive starters Lee Evans and Ben Grubbs were missing from the practice field for the second straight day on Friday, making it very unlikely either will return to action against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

In fact, neither was even present for the Ravens’ morning walk-through, an indication the team is not even planning for the possibility of Evans or Grubbs to return to the lineup. Grubbs has not played since Week 1 after suffering a right toe injury while Evans has been sidelined since the Week 2 loss in Tennessee with a left ankle injury. Both players returned to the practice field early last week before having setbacks.

Safety Tom Zbikowski joined Evans and Grubbs as a non-participant after he worked on a limited basis on Thursday. The four-year veteran has still not been cleared for contact since sustaining a concussion against the New York Jets on Oct. 2.

Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr were practicing for the second consecutive day after working on a limited basis on Thursday. While it’s still a mystery whether either plays against Jacksonville, the Ravens appear to be getting healthier in the secondary than they’ve been since the beginning of the season.

“I’m preparing like I’m going to play on Monday, but if I don’t feel like I’m going to be 100 percent, then I’m not going to go,” said Carr, who has attempted to return at several different points from a left hamstring injury he suffered in mid-August. “If I’m going to go and I’m up for this game, then I’m going to be ready. There’s going to be no 90 percent anymore, but I’m feeling pretty good.”

Linebacker Jarret Johnson (back) returned to practice after sitting out Thursday’s workout.

Having already been ruled out, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and running back Anthony Allen (thigh) were not on the practice field on Friday.

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Ravens rule out Ellerbe, Allen on Thursday's injury report

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Ravens rule out Ellerbe, Allen on Thursday’s injury report

Posted on 20 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — On the same day cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Chris Carr returned to the practice field after long layoffs, the Ravens have already ruled out two others for their Monday night game in Jacksonville.

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and running back Anthony Allen both have thigh injuries and were declared out on Thursday after both were listed as probable on last week’s injury report against the Texans. Ellerbe injured his opposite leg against Houston while it is unknown what exactly happened to Allen, as the the Ravens did not report any new injuries following Sunday’s game.

Wide receiver Lee Evans and left guard Ben Grubbs did not participate in Thursday’s practice, and it appears more likely that each player will be missing from action again. Grubbs has missed four straight games while Evans has not played since Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans.

Linebacker Jarret Johnson (back) did not practice on Thursday, but the injury is not expected to be serious as the veteran was present on the field during the workout and appeared to be moving around without much limitation.

Jacksonville saw two players miss practice on Thursday, offensive lineman Eben Britton and reserve safety Courtney Greene, and listed 13 players as limited participants.

The Jaguars’ star running back Maurice Jones-Drew was limited for a non-injury related reason, indicating coach Jack Del Rio was likely giving him an extra day off.

BALTIMORE
OUT – LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh), RB Anthony Allen (thigh)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – G Ben Grubbs (toe), WR Lee Evans (ankle)
LIMITED – CB Chris Carr (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (ankle), S Tom Zbikowski (head)

JACKSONVILLE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE – T Eben Britton (back), S Courtney Greene (hamsting)
LIMITED – DT Tyson Alualu (knee), CB Derek Cox (groin), RB Greg Jones (non-injury related), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (non-injury related), DE Aaron Kampman (non-injury related), CB Rashean Mathis (non-injury related), T Eugene Monroe (shoulder), WR Kassim Osgood (hamstring) , RB Montell Owens (knee), G Will Rackley (knee), LB Clint Session (elbow), G Jason Spitz (quad), T Guy Whimper (hip)

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Live from Owings Mills: J. Smith, Carr return to practice

Posted on 20 October 2011 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — For the first time since injuring his left ankle on kickoff coverage early in the season opener against Pittsburgh, rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith returned to the practice field on Thursday in what amounts to a very good sign for the Ravens secondary.

Moving around quickly and hitting a blocking sled without any visible limitation, Baltimore’s first-round draft pick appears close to returning to action after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Steelers and missing the last four games. While it’s far from a sure thing that Smith would return to action this Monday night against Jacksonville, the talented 6-foot-2 cornerback moving around so well on the practice field is a welcome sign, especially with a rematch with the Steelers in Pittsburgh only two weeks away.

Smith was joined by fellow cornerback Chris Carr in returning to the practice field after the veteran has missed the last two games with the same injured left hamstring that’s limited him since the middle of August. Carr had returned to action against the St. Louis Rams before experiencing a setback in a practice leading up to the game against the Jets and has been out ever since.

Tom Zbikowski (concussion) is still not cleared for contact, but has been doing limited work and was seen wearing a helmet during the open portion of practice on Thursday. The safety has also been seen walking around the Ravens’ Owings Mills facility while wearing a pair of sunglasses due to his eyes still being sensitive to light.

“I think he’s feeling better,” coach John Harbaugh said. “With concussions, they’re just very unpredictable.”

The news wasn’t so good on wide receiver Lee Evans (ankle), guard Ben Grubbs (toe), and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring), who were not present during the open portion of practice. Linebacker Jarret Johnson (undisclosed) was not working during practice, but the veteran was present on the field, indicating he might have been given a day off to deal with soreness as the Ravens have done with center Matt Birk in the past.

Evans was in the locker room during the team’s morning walk-through, not exactly a great indication of his chances for returning to the field this Monday night against the Jaguars.

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