The Ravens' hurry-up, no-huddle offense is the rage, especially after it looked good in Friday night's preseason game against Detroit.
While it has been in Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron's system for years, the hurry-up has been influenced by Quarterbacks Coach Jim Caldwell.
Caldwell, quarterback Peyton Manning and the Colts often used the hurry-up offense in Indianapolis.
"Jim's brought some nuances," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He's brought a tempo or two we didn't have before, just some methodology, I think, to it that he's really added."
Fans saw the downside of the hurry-up attack in the preseason opener in Atlanta, as the Ravens had three quick three-and-outs that forced the defense quickly back onto the field.
The positives were on display against Detroit. The Ravens kept the Lions off-balance and helped neutralize their strong defensive line, which incurred a couple of penalties for jumping offsides.
It also enables the Ravens more time to look at defensive alignments and blitzes. They can get to the line quickly and take as long as they want to snap the ball.
Harbaugh said quarterback Joe Flacco has really advanced in his ability to read a team's defense. Now he can walk up to the line a lot of times with only a few play options, and can make the choice based on what he sees.
Harbaugh said the offensive change is "very much quarterback driven."
"As you watch the transformation, it's going to be fun to see how we do," Harbaugh said.
"We will have our ups and downs, but I really think our coaches, starting with Cam and then Jim and all of our guys, have done a great job of setting up the structure of this offense, and I'm as excited as anyone to see how it plays out."
McPhee, Rosburg Out Due To Losses In Family
On Stevenson University's rain-soaked field, the Ravens circled up and took a knee in prayer.
Defensive end Pernell McPhee was excused from practice because of a death in the family.
"[McPhee] had a personal issue, a tough situation," Harbaugh said. "He suffered a loss in his family, so he has been excused to go take care of that right now."
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg was also absent from practice because his mother passed away Saturday.
Offensive Line Keeps Shuffling
Harbaugh has said he'd ideally like to anchor his offensive line, but Baltimore still has a full-fledged competition going on, and are trying to find the best combination.
It was evident in Sunday's practice as Bryant McKinnie, Kelechi Osemele, Bobbie Williams and Michael Oher all shuffled around the line.
McKinnie worked at left tackle with the first team with Oher at right tackle and Osemele at left guard. When Williams was in, generally Oher was at left tackle and Osemele was at right tackle.
Rookie Gino Gradkowski played some guard after being locked in at center in recent weeks, and Williams spent time at right guard after being exclusively on the left side.
Two Ravens In Non-Contact Jerseys
Outside linebacker Sergio Kindle and safety Sean Considine were wearing red jerseys during Sunday's practice. They still did some work, but were not cleared for contact.
Kindle left Friday's game with a shoulder stinger. There was no reported injury for Considine.
Wide receiver LaQuan Williams (ankle) and fullback Vonta Leach (ankle) were out at practice after suffering minor injuries in Friday's game. Linebacker Darryl Blackstock (undisclosed) and wide receiver Devin Goda
(undisclosed) returned after missing several practices.
Offensive tackle Jah Reid (calf), who came back for two practices of camp last week, was once again out. He didn't play in Friday's game either.
Stevenson Plays Good Host
The Ravens' training facility used to be located on the same grounds that now make up the campus of Stevenson University.
In 2004, the team relocated down the street to their sprawling campus, now named the Under Armour Performance Center.
The Stevenson location was a great host once again, as the state-of-the-art complex – which opened its doors once again to football starting last year – housed 2,800 Ravens fans.
"Beautiful setting," Harbaugh said. "Stevenson has been fantastic; just great people here [and a] really tremendous facility. This stadium is really, really special."
- Flacco ended practice with a strike to wide receiver Tandon Doss, who got open for a touchdown. Doss seems to be back full-time now after missing most of camp with a hamstring injury.
- Third-string quarterback Curtis Painter fired a long pass to rookie free agent wide receiver Dorian Graham, who beat cornerback Lardarius Webb and the first-team defense.
- Wide receiver Patrick Williams came down with a 1-on-1 touchdown against cornerback Jimmy Smith. Smith had trouble finding the ball, similarly to when he allowed a touchdown Friday night.
- Billy Cundiff went 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts. Rookie Justin Tucker was 4-for-5. He missed from 44 yards out, but was good on the next try from 54.