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Wildcat Offense Still In Ravens Gameplan

Posted Dec 1, 2013

Despite not using him against the Steelers, the Ravens still plan to use Tyrod Taylor on offense this year.

Tyrod Taylor and the Ravens’ version of the wildcat offense was all the talk in Baltimore this week.

After Taylor took 12 snaps against the New York Jets, the offensive approach was a hot topic inside and outside of the Ravens’ locker room.

But after all the discussion, including Joe Flacco loudly voicing his displeasure about the strategy, the Ravens didn’t use Taylor at all in Thursday’s 22-20 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Why not?

“It was the flow of the game,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “We had it in the gameplan.”

While the Ravens opted not to use Taylor against Pittsburgh, Harbaugh stressed that he could see more action in the final stretch of the season.

“We will continue to have it in the gameplan,” Harbaugh said. “But the flow of the game dictated the way we were playing, and it wasn’t in our best interest to put it out there.”

An advantage the Ravens had in using the wildcat against the Jets was the element of surprise. They had never used it much before, so the approach caught New York off-guard. The Steelers had time to prepare for Taylor and the read option, which could have factored into the decision to go with a different strategy. 

The Ravens have used Taylor sparingly during his three years in Baltimore, as Flacco has never missed a start and the offense has traditionally featured one of the NFL’s better rushing attacks.

But the running game ranks 25th in the NFL this year, and the Ravens have looked for creative ways to move the football. Taylor’s running ability gives the Ravens another option to pick up yards on the ground, rather than try to pound the ball against good defensive fronts.

Taylor has five carries for 25 yards this season, and also one catch for 6 yards. 

As much as Flacco may dislike the play calls that take the ball out of his hands in favor of the backup quarterback, the Ravens insist they will keep the wildcat as an option and continue forcing teams to prepare for it each week.

“We’re going to do everything we can do to move the ball offensively,” Harbaugh said.


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