John Harbaugh: We'll Learn From This


John Harbaugh's message to the team was simple after Saturday's 40-17 loss to the Eagles in the second week of the preseason.

"We'll learn from this," Harbaugh said as he opened his post-game press conference. "We have plenty to learn from, obviously."

Little went right for the Ravens in Philadelphia.

Quarterback Joe Flacco threw a pair of interceptions. The first-team defense was gashed on the ground and gave up rushing touchdowns on its first two possessions. The special-teams unit allowed a punt return touchdown. The team was flagged 17 times for a total of 139 penalty yards.

Even the coaching staff's headsets didn't work for the entire first half.

"You can't do anything but learn from this game," defensive tackle Brandon Williams said. "It's back to the drawing board on Monday. You just take this an opportunity to learn. Better for it to be in the preseason than the regular season."

The lopsided affair was evidence that the Ravens still have plenty of room to grow before opening the regular season in Denver on Sept. 13.

"It's nothing to make a big deal out of; you just have to look at them and evaluate," outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It's only the second preseason game and the starters are out pretty early. You just learn from it. I've been around a long time and we've had years where we didn't play well in any preseason games and still thought we were going to win the Super Bowl."

The Ravens made mistakes in areas where they are typically more disciplined, which was illustrated by all of the penalties. Part of the issue was also that the Ravens were incredibly short-handed on the offensive line – they didn't have any true tackles in the game for the entire second half – and playing people out of position contributed to some of the pre-snap procedural penalties.

"It's not the outcome we want," left tackle Eugene Monroe said. "I'll never chop it up and say, 'It's just the preseason.'Every game matters. Anytime you're in competition, it's serious, so we'll look at where we can get better."

The sense in the Ravens locker room after the game was that the showing was disappointing, but they still have plenty of time to right the ship.

"We like to come out here and put our best foot forward every single game and we didn't do that tonight," Flacco said. "But we have to look forward to next week and going out there and putting it back on."

The next opportunity to show improvement is the preseason contest against Washington on Saturday. The third preseason game is regarded as the dress rehearsal for the regular season, and the Ravens plan to treat the contest more like a normal week of preparation with specific game-planning. 

The matchup with Washington is when the first-team units will see their most action of the preseason, and it will be the last preseason game for many of starters before the opener in Denver.

"We're just trying to get better during training camp, and that's what we have to continue to do," Harbaugh said. "We have to get better and better."

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