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Where’s “The Suggs Package?”
Remember when Joe Flacco handed the ball off to Troy Smith in the Ravens 29-10 win against the Oakland Raiders last year? Who can forget the sheer excitement when Flacco became a receiver and Smith threw a 43-yard pass that pushed the ball inside the 10-yard line?
With Baltimore’s recent scoring troubles, one wonders if a little trickeration couldn’t give the Ravens’ slumping offense a little spark. Where is the formation that offensive coordinator Cam Camerson dubbed “The Suggs Package” (named after Terrell Suggs last year because he thought Smith should be playing more)?
“I get asked that all the time as far as the ‘Suggs Package,’” head coach John Harbaugh said with a smile. “We do what we think we need to do, and what’s best, week to week. I don’t want to get into any reasoning for it. We have our reasons for what we do every week. We try to do the best we can to try and score as many points as we can. Some games we’ve done better than other games. That’s a part of who we are, it’s in the mix, but if I get into it, it’s kind of tactical.”
“I know that’s a cop out. Am I ducking the question? Yeah,” he said. “I understand that. But I just don’t want to talk about it.”
Allowing Harbaugh to Rescind Challenge Was A Mistake
Hey, officials have made mistakes before. Finally, this mistake played to the Ravens’ favor.
The NFL has admitted they made a mistake during Sunday’s Colts-Ravens game when the referee allowed Harbaugh to take back his challenge.
Harbaugh originally contested that Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne did not manage to keep his feet in bounds when he caught a pass along the sideline. After a brief discussion with the officials regarding what he was specifically challenging, Harbaugh was allowed to pick up the hanky.
“That’s not right,” said NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira on NFL Network’s Total Access. “He threw the challenge flag, and if you throw the challenge flag, and you either get information from us or get information from your coaches’ booth that the call on the field was right, you’re taking advantage of the system to get out of the challenge.”
Pereira said that he instructed all NFL officials this week not to allow coaches to rescind challenges, and specifically used the situation with Harbaugh as an example of what not to allow.
“If a coach throws the challenge flag for a play that is reviewable,” Pereira said, “then we’re going to go through with the challenge, even if he subsequently sees that the call on the field was going to be right — so they’ll end up getting charged with the challenge and with the timeout, since they’re going to lose the challenge. It’s the only fair thing to do.”
It was a brutal week for the AFC North. All four teams lost their matchups and the football world wasn’t impressed.
Considering the Ravens’ troubles this season in defending the pass, it was interesting to listen to defensive coordinator Greg Mattison discuss with former Ravens head coach Brian Billick how his defense was able to defend the passing attack against the league’s best, Indianapolis Colts.
Mattison said the team’s key to success was to give Colts quarterback Peyton Manning – a quarterback who spends chunks of time studying opponents’ schemes – the same looks, but move into different coverages from those looks.
The strategy seemed to pay off, as the Ravens’ defense was able to pick Manning off twice and limit their typically high-scoring machine of an offense to just 17 points.
Mattison also discussed how he will defend the Pittsburgh Steelers’ receiving corps and specifically Hines Ward. The defense looks to get physical.
“If [Ward] has a chance to lay a hit on somebody he’s going to do it, within the letter of the law, within the rules,” Mattison said. “We’d love to get a shot on him if he’s around the pile also.”