EARLY BIRD: Avoiding penalties will be a subject this week

EARLY BIRD: Avoiding penalties will be a subject this week
December 24, 2013, 7:00 am
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EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Christmas Eve.

Morning topic: Avoiding penalties remains a problem for the Ravens.

OWINGS MILLS – While some of you do last minute shopping, or entertain relatives, the Ravens will be practicing. Tuesday is usually an off day. But due to Christmas falling on Wednesday, coach John Harbaugh is holding Tuesday practice, and giving the players Christmas Day off.

One thing the Ravens will focus on this week is reducing penalties. The Ravens were called for nine penalties Sunday, and even though there were questionable calls against both teams, the Ravens were looking to play a cleaner game in the regular-season finale at Cincinnati.

Asked about some of the penalties against the Ravens on Sunday, particularly the pass interference call on Jimmy Smith, Harbaugh would not elaborate.

“You’re asking me whether that was the right call or not?” Harbaugh said. “That’s what you’re asking me, right? How am I going to answer that and not have the league call me up in 10 minutes? I can’t.”

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But winning at Cincinnati will only become more difficult if the Ravens hurt themselves with penalties.

“The penalties that we committed that we can address, we will,” Harbaugh said.

After Sunday’s performance, the Ravens have plenty to address, even on Christmas Eve. Morning thought: “We’ve faced adversity all year. We’re still in it. We still got a chance with this last game.” Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb.