“No Reason” For Penalties

Head coach John Harbaugh is disappointed with the Ravens’ special teams penalties.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

One week after they were penalized a season-low two times, the Ravens earned nine flags last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sure, it was nice to still come away with a 20-17 overtime victory, but the margin for error gets slimmer by the day as the playoffs near.

Baltimore is currently the fourth-most penalized team in the NFL, with their 78 accepted infractions falling behind the Green Bay Packers (87), Dallas Cowboys (83) and Philadelphia Eagles (82).

And they are costing the Ravens to the tune of 773 surrendered yards.

Head coach John Harbaugh said he was especially disappointed with the way his team earned silly flags on punt returns.

Safety Tom Zbikowski was cited 15 yards for unnecessary roughness on a first-quarter return that essentially negated a 17-yard punt returns.  In the fourth quarter, wideout Daivd Tyree didn’t help when he got a 10-yard illegal blindside block called against him on a kickoff, and later, linebacker Tavares Gooden’s illegal block erased Chris Carr’s 43-yard punt return.

“Very disappointed, just special teams-wise, with the penalties,” Harbaugh said.  “There’s really no reason.  We work on it every single day.  There’s no reason to put your hand on the guy’s back.  It’s hard to do, now, because you’re trying to get a block and you’re reaching for a guy.  But we have to be better than that. 

“It’s not just the 10 yards you lose; it’s the yards that you gain on the return that you lose.  Those can be huge penalties, and at the end of the game that was probably a 50-yard penalty.  That’s an area that we as a staff work really hard on and the players work really hard on, and we’ve just got to be better in that area.”

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