Small moves bring big results

Small moves bring big results
February 11, 2013, 5:15 pm

The Ravens had plenty of positives to look back on after winning the Super Bowl last week. In the end, there were a number of big changes like moving Jim Caldwell into the offensive coordinator's job after firing Cam Cameron late in the season that paid off well.

But there was another move that didn't get much attention that Ozzie Newsome talked about in last week's end-of-season press conference. It's probably a move that not many people knew about and took place in training camp.

Newsome said Harbaugh split up the practices this summer. He put the young guys on one field, and the veterans on another. Why? It gave the less experienced players a chance to get practice reps that mean so much.

"I think it was a little taxing, but it was very good," Newsome said at the press conference. "Therefore, we didn't have to stay out there for three hours, but we had guys getting reps. Those reps, I think, paid dividends for us, because I don't know how many reps Chykie Brown took during that time, but if we would have just had a conventional practice, he wouldn't have gotten as many."

Developing the younger players faster proved crucial to the Ravens this season, especially on defense, because players like Brown and several others needed to step in due to the large amount of injuries the team dealt with.

And when the team called on them, they were able to use the experience they gained in practice to help them adjust to what to do in the game. Players learn so much in practice, and the fact that the team was able to give them experience proved vital this season.