EARLY BIRD: Can Ravens WRs cut down on drops?

EARLY BIRD: Can Ravens WRs cut down on drops?
September 19, 2013, 7:00 am
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Flacco, Suggs, Smith reflect on Ed Reed

EARLY BIRD: Waking up Thursday with the Ravens, as they look forward to playing the Texans and Ed Reed on Sunday.

Two-minute topic: Will Ravens’ receivers start catching the ball more consistently?

OWINGS MILLS - In each of the Ravens’ first two games, various receivers have failed to haul in some catchable passes.

Dallas Clark dropped what would have been a touchdown against the Broncos. Torrey Smith was upset about juggling a difficult catch in the end zone Sunday, preventing him from keeping his feet inbounds, and costing him a touchdown. Marlon Brown also let a deep pass slip through his hands Sunday.

However, the biggest culprit has been tight end Ed Dickson. He dropped the only pass thrown to him against the Browns, and failed to catch four passes that touched his hands Week 1 against the Broncos.

Coach John Harbaugh said he had not lost confidence in Dickson.

“Ed can catch the ball,” Harbaugh said. “He’s caught many balls here before. He catches the ball in practice every day. Ed is going to catch a lot of balls. We stay positive and make sure that we catch lots of balls during practice.”

No surprise to see Dickson in the practice bubble Wednesday, taking extra time to catch passes.

“Everybody knows I’m a pass-catching tight end,” Dickson said. “There’s no frustration from me, there’s no frustration from Joe, there’s no frustration from the head coach. It’s the plays I’ve got to make, and it will come.”

Flacco said the drops were not influencing which receivers he targeted.

“You gotta have confidence that your guys are going to catch the ball,” Flacco said. “They’re gonna get more confident as the year goes on.

“We got a lot of new guys out there, and they gotta deal with a lot of things. I think drops usually come because guys aren’t completely comfortable in their environment yet, and I think when you start to see that, then you’ll start to see those drops go down.”

The Ravens would love to see their receivers make circus catches. But for now, they would settle for receivers making all the routine catches.

Morning thought: “The way the rules are set up, it caters to a passing league. I guess they took a survey, and fans want to see touchdowns, fans want to see a lot of scores. The defense is kind of out there for show.”

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs, on the passing frenzy in the NFL.

More on the Ravens: Rice not at practice, still uncertain for Sunday

Expect Reed, Johnson to play vs. Ravens