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New Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller said his offensive line won’t need to be “browbeaten” with the fact that it didn’t perform up to par last year.
Baltimore finished 25th in the NFL in average yards per carry (3.8) after placing fourth the year before (4.7).
Soon after the season finished, Owner Steve Bisciotti and Head Coach John Harbaugh pointed to the rushing attack as the chief offensive component that needed to be fixed.
“I think it’s obvious to everybody we have a need to run the ball better,” Moeller said. “That certainly falls upon our shoulders on the offensive line.”
So what’s Moeller’s plan?
Moeller, who was the Ravens’ offensive line assistant for the past three years before being promoted this offseason, believes it starts at the foundation of running the ball and slowly working up from there.
He feels that in order to have constant success, he and his fellow coaches must build more regularity into the team’s schemes.
“We can block better and we can have more of a physical presence at times, but I think we have to evaluate where we’re running the ball, when we’re running the ball there and what we’re asking our guys to do,” Moeller said.
“Consistent things, without making it obvious what you’re doing, will allow our guys to get better at what they do. We all know the more you do, usually, the less you do well. I think that’s a big part of it.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can practice or run the same play every time, Moeller continued.
“It’s putting ourselves in the best position by scheme and having those scenarios repeated to the extent that we can improve on what we do. That will be determined by all of us as an offensive staff.”
The other important factor Moeller sees in improving the running attack is, quite simply, “the emphasis of working on it.”
Moeller steadfastly believes he has the men for the job.
Last year, the Ravens entered the season touted as having one of the best offensive lines in the game, a rare mix of veteran leadership with Matt Birk in the middle flanked by good, young talent.
Losing tackle Jared Gaither for the season hurt, but even if Gaither isn’t back in Baltimore next year, Moeller believes having one year of experience under the belts of those in altered positions (Marshal Yanda and Michael Oher) will help Baltimore’s returning cast.
And motivation won’t be a problem, Moeller said.
“We finished in the top five in rushing our first two years here and last year we stepped back. We’ve got to get that back,” Moeller said.
“Believe me, we know. And our guys have a tremendous amount of pride, so they’ll look forward to that challenge. They’ll be ready for that challenge.”