Ravens, Harbaugh prepare for familiar face in Pagano
An area where the Ravens receivers have shown trouble this season is with press coverage, despite the objections of receiver Torrey Smith.
Their first-round opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, will use plenty of it in their wild-card game Sunday.
“We’re going to play aggressive. We’re going to get physical. We’re going to get after guys,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “We’re going to get up and press guys and make it difficult for them.”
In some of the Ravens worst offensive performances, in the second half vs. the Philadelphia Eagles and the entire game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, the receivers couldn’t find separation and quarterback Joe Flacco couldn’t get going.
When the Oakland Raiders played soft zone coverage, the Ravens put up a franchise-record 55 points.
Smith has had only 1 TD catch since the Week 10 victory, finishing with similar numbers that he had in his rookie season last year.
He had one fewer catch (49), 14 more yards (855) and just one more TD (8) after it appeared he would easily eclipse 1,000 yards. Instead, Anquan Boldin led all receivers in catches (65) and yardage (921).
Smith’s became agitated with all the questions about beating the bump-and-run coverage of big, physical defensive backs, saying that it simply was a matter of execution and timing with Flacco.
The Colts have a rather non-descript secondary, led by Darius Butler and Vontae Davis, who had 2 interceptions in their regular-season finale win vs. the Houston Texans.
But they plan on making sure Smith and company know who they are on game day.
“You can sit off and its pitch and catch in this league. You want to get up in people’s face you want to be disrupt,” Pagano said. “You want to play physical, you want to play aggressive, you want to throw the timing off. You obviously want to buy time for your pass rush.”