Harbaugh: Suggs is right

Harbaugh: Suggs is right
October 25, 2011, 10:03 pm
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By John EisenbergRavens InsiderCSNbaltimore.com
It appears Ravens coach John Harbaugh will not be disciplining linebacker Terrell Suggs for criticizing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after the Ravens 12-7 loss in Jacksonville Monday night.

In the locker room after the game, Suggs said it baffles him that Ray Rice carried the ball just eight times in the game, while Jacksonvilles Maurice Jones-Drew received 30 carries.

We have phenomenal players. You have to use your phenomenal players, Suggs said.

The comments generated plenty of headlines and comments on the Internet, but Harbaugh seemingly had larger issues on his mind Monday, like figuring out how to fix his offense.

I have a lot of respect for Terrell Suggs. His heart is always in the right place, Harbaugh said Monday. Hes a leader on this team. I listen to all of our guys. I definitely listen to Terrell Suggs. The things he says are right. (Getting Rice carries) is what were trying to do. Its not like were not trying to do it. So were all on the same page.

Rice is averaging 16.2 carries and 71 rushing yards per game this season, but gained just 28 on those eight carries Monday night. Add his five pass receptions and he totaled 13 just touches, his season low.

Cameron, who calls the plays, relied more on quarterback Joe Flacco and the passing game, which accomplished virtually nothing until the games final minutes.

Harbaugh conceded that Rices light workload was an issue.

Hes got to get more than eight carries, Harbaugh said.

But the coach added that he understood that Cameron, who calls the play, was just trying to get anything going on offense, as opposed to force-feeding Rice. The Ravens failed to generate a first down for 39 minutes.

When you go three and out, three and out, three and out, three and out, its hard to get those carries stacked up, Harbaugh said. Youre searching for things to get you jump-started. Those eight carries werent exactly gashing them (for gains) so youre searching a bit for a way to get a first down. Its not, Lets get certain carries for Ray, or get the ball to certain people. Were just trying to get a first down.

Cameron, in his fourth year as the teams offensive coordinator, was already a popular target for talk show callers and Internet posters before his offenses miserable performance on Monday Night Football convinced Suggs to join the chorus.

Harbaugh said he wasnt concerned about Cameron being subjected to scrutiny and criticism.

Cams got broad shoulders. Hes a tough guy. He has been doing this for a long time, Harbaugh said. Everyone in this building respects him and no one is going to fight harder to make this offense achieve what it can achieve. Its still early in the season, but we cant afford more performances like that. We all know that.

The Ravens will carry a 4-2 record into their second straight game against an opponent with a 1-5 record Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. The Arizona Cardinals have lost five in a row.

But so had the Jaguars before Monday night.

Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith didnt play much Monday night because his sprained ankle started to hurt again during the game, Harbaugh said,

Safety Ed Reed suffered a neck burner on the other side from where has chronic pain, Harbaugh said. Reed was wearing a neck brace after the game.

Follow John Eisenberg on Twitter at @CSNEisenberg