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Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh would like to see less yellow flags against his team next season, which is why he’s asking football officials to closely call all training camp practices this year.
In 2009, the Ravens led the NFL in penalty yards (1,094) and finished fifth in number of infractions (115).
Harbaugh made those numbers part of his offseason focus.
“It’s always been a big emphasis, we think, but probably more so than it has been ever before,” Harbaugh said on Thursday.
The Ravens have already had the NFL official’s meeting, which was led by respected referee Ron Winter.
In ensuing practices, the Ravens have brought in collegiate officials who are candidates to jump to the pros, according to Harbaugh.
“We try to have the best officials we can possibly find,” said Harbaugh. “We’ve told them to call it tight.”
As for what the Ravens can do to cut down on penalties internally, Harbaugh wants his coaches to use the yellow flags that show up as teaching points.
“Our coaches are instructed to coach the penalties – not argue about them – coach them,” he explained. “We’ve always tried to do that, but I think more so this year than ever probably.”
Already, Harbaugh has seen results.
“I think guys have been very conscious about technique,” Harbaugh noted. “There are very few holding calls out here and very few holds. There are very few [defensive pass interference penalties]. I’ve seen improvement in the technique with regard to those things.”