Will the Ravens figure out how to start faster?

Will the Ravens figure out how to start faster?
November 7, 2013, 7:00 am
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Harbaugh: "People are playing us a certain way."

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens on Thursday, over a month since their last victory, which was Oct. 6 against the Dolphins.

Two-minute topic: Can the Ravens figure out how to start faster?

The Ravens have just one first-quarter touchdown this season. One. And it came Week 1 against the Broncos.

That makes seven straight games that the Ravens have failed to score a first-quarter touchdown. No wonder they are 3-5. The Ravens are understandably frustrated by their slow starts.

“I’m seeing us not get first downs,’’ said quarterback Joe Flacco. “We’re putting ourselves in situations that are tough and uphill. We usually come out in the second half and start it pretty well there, but it’s just taking us awhile to get going.”

The Ravens are still searching for the key to fast starts. They pre-script some of their early offensive plays, hoping players will execute better if they already know what will be called. However, because the Ravens have struggled, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and head coach John Harbaugh have wrestled with ways to make the play-calling more effective.

“I’m not going to tell you exactly how we do it,” Harbaugh said. “Coach Caldwell has his way of doing it. That’s his style. Every play-caller has their way of doing it. We do (script). It goes back to Bill Walsh. It’s a West Coast system idea. We’re not a West Coast offense, but that is kind of where it originated. Yes, we’re going to look at how we do it. We’ve tweaked a few things. Jim has tweaked a few things, and we’ve got to continue to do that to start faster.”

 If the Ravens can get an early lead Sunday, Harbaugh believes it could be a key to victory.

“Let’s come out of the gates,” Harbaugh said. “Let’s find a way to get a lead.”

Morning thought: “To my surprise, I came in and Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, (Terrell) Suggs, Haloti (Ngata) took us right in (saying), ‘Alright, we need you to be ready to play. We don’t have time to haze. You’ve got to sing, buy Popeye’s, but that’s it.’ It’s more so about a family atmosphere and welcoming you instead of tearing you down and trying to isolate you. I don’t get how hazing even brings a team closer. It’s stupid to me.” – Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith.

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