Can Ravens help offense by reducing penalties?

Can Ravens help offense by reducing penalties?
October 2, 2013, 7:00 am
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Ravens' defense did not allow offense opportunities to win


EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Wednesday, as they return to practice and prepare for the Dolphins.

Two-minute topic: Can the Ravens help their offense by cutting down on penalties?

OWINGS MILLS - This is how the Ravens started Sunday against the Bills.

On their first play from scrimmage, left guard Kelechi Osemele was called for a facemask penalty, trying to make a block. On the next play, running back Ray Rice was called for a false start. Before the Ravens had done anything, it was first-and-23. Later in that possession, right guard Marshal Yanda was also called for a false start.

For a team struggling to move the ball like the Ravens, penalties can be debilitating. During this week in practice, expect coach John Harbaugh to harp on avoiding penalties as they prepare to face the Dolphins.

“We had some offensive penalties that are just unnecessary,” Harbaugh said. “We have a facemask penalty the first play of the game. It’s absolutely unnecessary. Ray (Rice) gets a little jumpy and jumps offside. Now we’re backed up inside or right around our five-yard line. We’ve got to start faster.”

The Ravens have been shutout in the first quarter in three straight games, and penalties have contributed to those slow starts. Until the Ravens reduce the mistakes, winning on the road will remain extremely difficult.

Morning thought: “We practiced exceptionally well last week. Then all of a sudden we go out there in this game, and it doesn’t show up.”

Harbaugh, on how he thought the Ravens practiced well before losing to the Bills.

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