Kyle Hamilton may have made rookie mistakes in Sunday's loss to the Dolphins, but he's handling them like a veteran.
The Ravens' 14th-overall pick didn't stay over the top of one Tyreek Hill touchdown when he got behind cornerback Marcus Peters, then didn't retreat fast enough to get in position to prevent Hill's game-tying score.
The even-keeled Hamilton hasn't tried to hide from those mistakes this week. He's gone about his business trying to get them fixed.
"At this level, people are going to take advantage of your mental errors. You've just got to cut down on those," Hamilton said Thursday.
"You can't use being a rookie as an [excuse] because guys are trusting me to be in the right place at the right time. It sucks to let coaches down, fans down and family down, but most of all my teammates because I'm with them every single day. To have mental errors and stuff like that, it's unacceptable. You just try to clean it up."
Hamilton said the Ravens have been emphasizing "obnoxious communication" all week, but that's been a focus all offseason as well. He said as soon as he saw the ball in the air, he knew what his mistakes were. And when the receivers on the other side are Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, they'll make a defensive back pay.
"I wouldn't say it's necessarily the speed of the game. It's the speed of my mind itself. Just slow things down in my head," Hamilton said. "Know what to do, know how to do it, just do it. I feel like I'm improving on that every day I go out there. Obviously not perfect, not going to be perfect this weekend, and won't be perfect five years from now. Just have to improve every day and get as close as I can."
Hamilton said his teammates have been very helpful in trying to fix his issues and the entire secondary is eager to have a better showing Sunday in New England.
"You can't dwell on one thing the whole week," Hamilton said. "Get it fixed as soon as possible, and then once you get to next Sunday it's like, 'Damn, this has been a long time coming since last week.' I feel like everybody kind of feels that way. We can't wait to get back out there."
Matthew Judon Feels No Bad Blood Toward Ravens
Sunday's game will be the first time Patriots outside linebacker Matthew Judon will face his former teammates in Baltimore.
In five seasons with the Ravens, Judon made the Pro Bowl twice and became a defensive leader before signing with New England as a free agent before the 2021 season.
Judon made the Pro Bowl again in his first year with the Pats, and he has started strongly again this season with nine tackles and two sacks. However, while Judon wants to win Sunday, he told New England reporters during a Thursday press conference that he bears no ill will against the Ravens.
"I want to win," Judon said. "But there's no bad blood. It was all business. I still talk to a lot of guys on that team. After the game I'm going to shake their hand and love on them, all that. I wish nothing but the best for anybody over there."
Greg Roman Sees Run Game Improvement
While Lamar Jackson rushed for 119 yards in Week 2, including a 79-yard touchdown scamper, Baltimore's running backs were held in check for the second straight week. Justice Hill (16 yards), Kenyon Drake (eight yards) and Mike Davis (five yards) found the going tough against the Dolphins, but Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman says the run game is making progress.
"It truly is a thing here and a thing there," Roman said. "On a couple instances, I think I can get us in better plays too, as far as play calling. Believe it or not, I felt like we took a step in the right direction last week. I think it will continue to improve week to week.
"I think really, it's a play-by-play situation right now where we have to execute as an entire offense in the running game a little bit better. It's going to be a work in progress. I think we know how to do it, but it's going to be something that we all have to just continue to get better at, and I have to do a better job with and teach it better. I feel really confident about that happening."
Lamar Jackson Is Handling More on His Plate
Facing a Bill Belichick defense is always challenging and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson said Wednesday that he never knows exactly how the Patriots will defend him.
However, Roman believes Jackson's command of Baltimore's offense has never been better. The Ravens have continued to give Jackson more options to change plays and manage the offense, and Roman loved how Jackson responded against the Dolphins.
"I would stress that he is just really progressing in a lot of different areas," Roman said. "That was probably the most involved layered gameplan we've had here, and he did a great job with it."
Jackson has been taking more snaps from under center this season, as opposed to operating exclusively out of the shotgun or pistol. That gives the Ravens even more ways to attack the defense.
"I think he's playing very well under center," Roman said. "I love his departure, his base, his balance. I think it's something we're going to continue to work with. Specifically, we're going to keep mixing up what we do under center."