Late For Work 9/29: Attn: Opponents. Ravens Can’t Stop The Run!

Plus Ray Lewis campaigns for instant replay on QB penalties and Ray Rice’s treatment.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at 9:03 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Attn: Opponents. Ravens Can’t Stop The Run!

A week after panic hovered over Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the sky is now falling on the Ravens’ run defense after the unit surrendered 144 yards to the Browns’ Peyton Hillis last Sunday. The Ravens now rank 23rd against the run in the NFL.

Instead of trying to convince fans on his weekly radio show on WBAL last night that the defense can still stop the run, Head Coach John Harbaugh took a different approach.

“I would love for our opponents to think that we can’t stop the run,” Harbaugh said. “That’s great. You opponents out there listening, the Ravens can’t stop the run, OK? So just run it at us, and we’ll see how that turns out.”

Ha!

Harbaugh and his defensive unit now turn their anger toward Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who ranks fourth among running backs in the NFL with 332 yards.  Mendenhall just hopes the Ravens aren’t so angry that he leaves the game with another broken shoulder.

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin isn’t biting on Harbaugh’s recommendation, however.

The fact Cleveland had some success doesn’t bode well for us,” Tomlin said yesterday, according to The Associated Press. “I’d felt better if Peyton Hillis had run for 40 as opposed to 140 because I know the type of men that play for that [Baltimore] team. Great defenses like the Baltimore Ravens usually bounce back quickly.”

Lewis Seeks Instant Replay For QB Penalties

Linebacker Ray Lewis made several media rounds yesterday. He interviewed with ESPN’s Mike and Mike and First Take, FoxSports.com and even the Boomer (Esaison) and Carton show on WFAN radio in New York.

In three of the four interviews, Lewis delivered the same message and it wasn’t, “Buy Old Spice body wash.” (Although he talked about those commercials on all four shows too).

Lewis believes the NFL should institute instant replay on penalties that protect the quarterback.

I know, I know, we’ve moved on from this issue. But Lewis makes a compelling argument.

“Just like any other play that has any type of confusion, why not instant replay it?” Lewis asked FoxSports.com.

“Why not see, did the person intentionally try to hurt him? Did the person make a clean hit and [the official] saw it differently? I mean, look at that stuff. Don’t just tell us that it’s a judgment call and tell me to go deal with my emotions by myself. I just don’t think that’s the right way to handle it.”

Of course the latest “judgment call” against the Ravens came in their Week 2 matchup against the Bengals when linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs was flagged for roughing the passer.

Instead of a 2nd-and-10 from the 41, the Bengals had a first down on Baltimore’s 26-yard line. The Ravens were able to hold Cincinnati to a field goal, but it gave the Bengals a 12-10 lead with less than five minutes remaining in the game.

“Those plays are so big of plays, they are so crucial in games, I think what you have to do is you have to take a real look, a real hard look and see, should we review those plays?” Lewis explained on First Take. “Should we really go to instant replay to see were those plays that personal to where you give them a 15-yard penalty and give an offense a first down off a play that’s already stopped?

“So if I was commissioner for a day, that would be the first thing I would definitely address is, should we review those plays?”

Best Treatment For Rice’s Knee = Rest

Running back Ray Rice missed an appearance with the mayor, reported Baltimore Sun’s Jamison Hensley, but Rice is optimistic that he will return to the field “ASAP.”

“Knee feeling a lot better I was so happy when I found out it was just a bruise no worries I will be back asap,” Rice wrote on his Twitter account.

It’s unclear if “ASAP” is this Sunday in Pittsburgh, but Edward Lee of the Sun had an interesting interview with Dr. Alexis Colvin, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, who said that with a knee bruise, the best treatment is rest.

“The good thing is it’s not something that needs surgery, but on the other hand, you’re kind of waiting on your body to heal it,” Colvin said. “And there’s not much you can do to speed up the healing except to rest it. … [Heat and ice] don’t accelerate it. If you’re having pain, you can treat the symptoms, but that’s not going to make it heal any faster.”

Harbaugh Defends Mason

On his show last night, Harbaugh defended Derrick Mason after the receiver was whistled for a delay of game for throwing the ball in the air in last weekend’s game vs. the Browns.

Harbaugh said that Mason is a “consummate pro and competitor” and that his emotion and passion are a big part of what drives his will to win.

Host Gerry Sandusky asked Harbaugh whether he discusses those types of penalties privately with players or with the entire team.

“Well, we’re real open about that stuff,” Harbaugh said. “You do both. You talk to guys one-on-one. I talked to Mase on the field when it happened, and he was fully composed. I was under control. It wasn’t any kind of emotional thing. He knew. But we talk to the team about that stuff all the time. It’s just part of developing ourselves as a football team.”

Ravens Must Protect Flacco From This Guy…

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was responsible for two of the Steelers’ four sacks on Flacco in Week 16 last season. With Gaither down, either Marshal Yanda, who has started at right tackle for all three Ravens games this season, or Oniel Cousins will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Woodley Sunday.

This Sports Science video shows why the offensive line will have its hands full this weekend.

Power Rankings

  • ESPN: Ravens are ranked No. 8, not moving from last week’s ranking. The boys at ESPN are buying into what the Steelers are selling – ranking them No. 1 overall.
  • CBSSports: Ravens are ranked No. 10, up from No. 12 last week. Pete Prisco is on board with ESPN – Steelers No. 1.
  • FoxSports: Ravens are ranked No. 8, up from No. 17 last week.  Steelers are No. 1 here too, but FoxSports is all over the place with the Ravens.  Up nine spots after beating the Browns? Maybe Adam Caplan was just making up for his ridiculous ranking from last week.
  • USA Today: Ravens are ranked No. 4, up from No. 6 last week. Who’s No. 1? I’m beginning to see a trend.
  • NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora: Ravens are ranked No. 4 for the second week in a row. Do I even need to write his pick for No. 1 overall?

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