On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Jul. 11, 2016 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM EDT Junior Ravens Cheerleaders Camp

    Designed to focus on specific competitive cheer skills, Junior Ravens is the perfect camp for competitive cheerleaders! Participants will have the chance to perform at our annual Fireworks Night during Training Camp at M&T Bank Stadium.

  • Wed., Jul. 13, 2016 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM EDT Lil Ravens Cheer Camp At the 2016 Ravens Cheerleaders Lil Ravens Summer Camp kids will enjoy activities and crafts including, individual cheerleading instruction, performance opportunities, autographs from the Ravens Cheerleaders, and an end-of-camp all-day celebration.
  • Mon., Aug. 01, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Training Camp Military Appreciation Day The first M&T Bank Stadium practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. This practice – free and open to all fans – coincides with the Ravens’ annual Military Appreciation Day. Approximately 3,500 special seats will be reserved for active service members and veterans who present valid military identification upon check-in at the stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 6:00 PM EDT Training Camp Fireworks Night On Saturday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m., the second M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the organization’s third-annual Fireworks Night, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show.
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 2:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016

News

Print
RSS

Ravens Defenders Adjusting To Stricter Refereeing

Posted Aug 13, 2014

The league’s officials are watching more closely for defensive contact beyond the first legal 5 yards.

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith’s job keeps getting more difficult.

“In 10 years it will just be 7-on-7 and it’ll be illegal to play man coverage, I’m sure,” Smith said with a chuckle.

After the Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks mauled opponents on the way to a Super Bowl title last year, the NFL has announced that it will more stringently enforce penalties for illegal contact, defensive holding and interference by pass defenders.

The proof is in the preseason pudding.

Through the first week of preseason action and Hall of Fame Game (17 total games), there were 53 defensive holdings, 27 illegal contacts and 15 pass interference calls, according to ESPN. That's almost six pass-defense penalties a game.

Over all of last regular season (512 games), there were only 37 illegal contact penalties called in the NFL. There were 176 defensive holding penalties.

The Ravens secondary was penalized three times in the preseason opener against the 49ers. Cornerback Ckykie Brown was called for pass interference and holding and rookie cornerback Deji Olatoye was flagged for illegal contact.

“It’s a big adjustment,” Smith said.

“Having these referees out here, you start to really realize how ticky-tack these fouls are going to be called. It’s not going to be easy this year. Every game, you’re really going to have to be on your Ps and Qs as far as touching people after 5 yards.”

By rule, defenders are allowed to contact the offensive player within the first 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. They can’t hold them, but they can jam and try to re-route them. Beyond 5 yards, they can’t touch the receiver until the ball has arrived.

Fellow cornerback Lardarius Webb said the cornerbacks used to get away with making contact at 6 or 7 yards down the field. Now he sees it more strictly enforced at 5 yards.

“Now we just have to maintain and basically not go back for seconds,” Webb said. “Once I hit him, I can’t touch him again.”

The Ravens like to play jam, man coverage. Both the big-bodied Smith and Webb excel at it, and Baltimore likes to use it to give their pass rushers more time to get to the quarterback.

The key, the Ravens defensive backs say, will be focusing on covering with their feet. It’s not as much hand jockeying, and more being in good position because they’re moving around the field better.

“We teach the way the rules are interpreted,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “The rules are the rules. [The league] gives us very good clarification on what they intend to call. … We teach our guys to play good technique. When you play good technique within the rules, then you’re going to be fine.”

The league’s referees have been at Ravens practice also trying to figure out how much they’re supposed to call. They’ve been throwing a lot of yellow flags onto the field, often drawing gasps from the defensive backs.

The league may enforce the rule particularly aggressively during the preseason to force defenders to make adjustments. But it’s better for those flags to come now in practice and the preseason than in the regular season.

“That’s why we’re playing the preseason,” Webb said. “By Week 1, we should be adjusted to how to play this game. We need to get our jams in. There will be a lot of calls, but we will adjust to it.”

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos