Ravens cut Huff, Spears
Coach John Harbaugh last week minced no words over his dissatisfaction with the Ravens play on special teams, saying after the loss at Pittsburgh that, "We’ve got to play better on special teams; we’re going to go find some guys that want to play special teams. ... If it means changing people out, then that’s what we’ll do. We’re going to do whatever it takes. We’ll trade guys, we’ll cut guys, we’ll sign guys."
The Ravens did indeed change out players on Wednesday, cutting veteran safety Michael Huff and defensive lineman Marcus Spears and promoting safeties Brynden Trawick and Omar Brown from the practice squad.
Trawick and Brown offer "immediate help" on special teams, Harbaugh said on Wednesday after announcing the moves, and said that the two safeties also have "tremendous upside on defense."
For Trawick, his second stint with the team is a chance at redemption after his career began in dubious fashion. After making the Ravens as an undrafted rookie out of Troy -- the longest long-shot to make the team this year -- he inadvertently plowed into Jacoby Jones on a punt return at Denver in the season opener, knocking Jones out of action for a month with a knee injury.
Trawick, who blocked a punt in the preseason, played in three games but then was waived after Week 3 and signed back to the practice squad. He had three special teams tackles in his first stint with the team.
"It's a great feeling knowing the coaches have faith in me, bringing me back up," Trawick said on Wednesday. "Now I just have to show them what I got."
Brown, originally signed as an undrafted rookie out of Marshall last season, spent most of last season on the practice squad as well, but was promoted to the active roster late in the season and played in three games. He had three tackles and a sack. He battled with Trawick for a backup safety spot in training camp but was among the final cuts for the second straight year.
"It's a good feeling to be up and playing some football," Brown said on Wednesday.
Harbaugh was livid about the special teams breakdown at Pittsburgh that allowed Emmanuel Sanders to break off a 44-yard kickoff return that set up the game-winning field goal. It was Huff who failed to hold containment, giving Sanders a sideline lane.
Both Trawick and Brown have made their name on special teams in the past with the Ravens, and that is likely to be their calling card again in the near term.
"I see a lot of opportunities out there on special teams," Brown said, adding that when he was informed of the roster move, "I had a smile and was happy. I'm ready to go now."