EARLY BIRD: Will the bye make a difference?

EARLY BIRD: Will the bye make a difference?
October 21, 2013, 7:00 am
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Ravens discuss running game issues against Steelers

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens (3-4), as they start their bye week under .500.

Two-minute topic: Will the bye help the Ravens?

Having lost three of their last four, the Ravens look like a team in need of a bye. But there is nothing magical about having a week off. The Ravens are actually healthier now than they were earlier in the season, when Ray Rice (hip) and Jacoby Jones (knee) were both hobbled. 

Here’s how the bye could help the Ravens. The coaching staff will have more time to self-scout the Ravens, to figure out why teams have stuffed their running game, and why the Ravens are settling for field goals too often once they reach the red zone.

However, teams can also lose their edge during the bye. One would expect the Ravens to be a desperate team once they return to action Nov. 3 on the road against the Cleveland Browns. But they did not exactly dominate the Browns in September, winning, 14-6, after being shutout in the first half. If the Ravens don’t play better after the bye, having a week off now will not making any difference.

Morning thought: “I want to play aggressive, but at the same time you don’t want to hurt your team. As a veteran, you have to know when to lay off. You never want to hurt your team.”

Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil, talking about being called for costly penalties against the Steelers.

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