Blocked punt part of ugly special teams night

Blocked punt part of ugly special teams night
September 10, 2013, 11:30 am
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Harbaugh: 'We need to play better'

As if the Ravens don’t have enough to work on, Sam Koch had his first punt blocked since 2009 last week.

Broncos safety David Bruton knifed between Arthur Brown and James Ihedigbo, leaped in front of Koch, and made the block. The Broncos had just taken a 21-17 lead early in the third quarter, and Bruton’s block set up Denver in the red zone. The Broncos quickly scored to take a 28-17 lead, and the rout was on.

“That was an execution in fundamentals issue,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “The guys involved fully understand it, but we need to get better at it. There are really fast guys coming off the edges. That was a big turning point in the game, as it always is. When you’re back up like that and you get a punt blocked. Hats off to the guy who rushed off the edge there – he did a great job. But we need to block better.”

It wasn’t a pretty Week 1 for the Ravens on special teams. In the second quarter, rookie safety Brynden Trawick accidently collided with teammate Jacoby Jones, who was attempting to make a fair catch. The result was Jones’ knee injury, expected to keep him sidelined from 4-6 weeks.

That makes two rookies involved in critical mistakes on special teams – Brown and Trawick. The Ravens’ defense is obviously going through a transition, with so many new players. However, the Ravens’ punting unit must also prove it can avoid further mishaps moving forward. Special teams play will be a point of emphasis when the Ravens return to practice Wednesday, preparing for Sunday's home opener against the Browns.