Perhaps no Raven has benefitted from the bye week more than Ronnie Stanley.
The starting left tackle didn't play up to his usual standards against the Chargers in Week 12, when he allowed six pressures and committed two penalties. It was clear that Stanley wasn't 100%, playing his first game after returning from his second knee injury of the season.
After a week off, followed by a full week of practice, Stanley feels much healthier heading into Sunday's game against the Rams.
"It helped a ton," Stanley said. "Just to be able to get a whole week focusing on rehab, recovery, just get my body to feel better, was definitely needed. I feel good. Definitely better than what I was feeling before the bye week. I really saw improvement in my play this week in practice."
Since his major ankle injury in 2020, recovery and rehab have been major parts of Stanley's life. It's been far more difficult for him to work consistently on his craft, missing 36 games since the injury.
"I've been saying to myself that I just want to feel like myself again," Stanley said. "That's what I think every time somebody asks me how I'm doing."
However, Stanley feels optimistic about what the Ravens (9-3) can accomplish. He believes the Ravens have the right mixture of talent and maturity, and he believes they can go farther than in 2019, when they finished the regular season with a franchise-best 14-2 record, but lost in the divisional round to the Titans.
"That was a huge learning experience for a lot of us, and a lot of those guys are still on this team," Stanley said. "We know what that felt like. Riding the high road during the regular season and then you get into the playoffs, and it means nothing. We still have the end goal in mind – that being the Super Bowl. From here on out, every game is like a playoff game to us."
Coaching Could Be in Josh Bynes' Future
Inside linebacker Josh Bynes was emotional when he retired as a Raven on Friday, with so many memories flashing through his mind and his family surrounding him. With his 12-year NFL career over, Bynes said he was intrigued by a future in coaching.
"I feel like I've been doing somewhat of that, even last season, helping out when I wasn't playing – with Roquan (Smith) and 'P.Q.' [Patrick Queen] and just trying to get the guys ready for games," Bynes said. "I'm a selfless person, and I feel like, if one of us wins, we all win, and that's just my mindset.
"I've coached my son's eighth-grade football team – helping with defense – had them doing some things this year. I feel like that has been something I've been wanting to do for a while. I know a lot of guys get to my age [and] probably get a little scared of that, but I'm fine with that. I played 12 years, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to get into coaching and being able to hopefully pour that knowledge [into] other guys."
John Harbaugh Admires Manchester City Trophies at Practice
Former soccer player Shaun Wright-Phillips, who had a legendary career with Manchester City, brought the Treble Trophies to Friday's practice for players and coaches to admire.
A treble in soccer is achieved when a team wins three major trophies in one season. Manchester City accomplished the feat this year by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League.
Harbaugh was impressed by the display of trophies set up near the field as players walked off after practice.
"They're really big trophies," Harbaugh said. "They're a lot bigger than ours. Our Lombardi Trophy is not that big. I don't know that the value is necessarily in the size of the trophy, although what [Manchester City] accomplished is pretty incredible. To win across the board like that – it's like a Grand Slam in soccer, right?
"I'm getting more into soccer now. We've had a chance to meet some people in the business – the 'other' football. It's really cool. It's a cool sport. Plus, I'm a big fan of the show Ted Lasso."