Ravens Return From Break To Prepare For Chiefs
Sports Fan Insider
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Following a stretch of four games in 18 days, three straight days off for the Baltimore Ravens felt like a summer vacation.
Baltimore (3-1) last played Thursday night, beating Cleveland 23-16, and didn’t return to the practice field until Monday.
“We came out and got a good little practice in today,” cornerback Lardius Webb said. “The guys were moving around excellent, like we were off four months.”
Coach John Harbaugh knew his players were tired after the game against the Browns, so he ordered them to relax for a few days before turning their attention to Sunday’s game against Kansas City. He wanted them refreshed and rejuvenated, and he appeared to get the desired results.
“They were here in great spirits, had a good attitude and were excited to go to work,” Harbaugh said.
Baltimore’s bye week isn’t until next month, but this break came at a perfect time for players nursing minor injuries or simply in need of a well-deserved rest.
“It’s a positive for us,” Harbaugh said. “I am sure the guys took advantage of it.”
The Ravens play three of their next four games on the road. They’re 3-1 at home and 0-1 on the road. Although the Chiefs (1-3) have struggled thus far this season, Baltimore has lost six of its last 10 games on the road, including playoffs.
And it gets really loud at Arrowhead Stadium. So loud, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco might get hoarse calling the signals.
“I remember in the playoffs, one play we were down on the goal line,” center Matt Birk recalled. “Obviously, I’m pretty close to Joe before the snap and I could hardly hear him. You just feel the vibration of his voice, that’s how loud it is.”
Harbaugh said, “The times we’ve played there, it’s been really loud. It’s one of the great venues in the NFL. It’s a beautiful setting, it’s traditional and it’s really, really red. Our guys will have to be ready for that.”
Operating the no-huddle offense could be a challenge for Flacco. In a 24-23 loss to Philadelphia earlier this season, the Baltimore offense was forced at times to huddle up because the crowd made communication so difficult.
“It’s a work in progress,” Harbaugh said. “We’re not claiming that we’re the finished product with our no-huddle by any stretch. But crowd noise is a two-way street. If it’s tough on our offense, it’s tough on their defense. It’s up to us to make it difficult on them.”
While going 4-4 on the road during the regular season last year, Baltimore lost as favorites at Jacksonville and Seattle. Someone suggested to Harbaugh that this might be a trap game, and the coach would have nothing of it.
“They named the movie `Any Given Sunday for a reason,” he said, noting that the Chiefs outgained San Diego in a 37-20 defeat Sunday.
“Their issue was real simple. Turnovers,” Harbaugh said. “So, if they clean that up, obviously they’re capable of beating anybody. They were predicted in the preseason to be a playoff team, and they’re still the same team. We’ll be ready. We’re not going to overlook them.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)