Ravens Face Quick Turnaround

Baltimore has to quickly get focused on Thursday’s game against San Francisco.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing

Football coaches always talk about not spending too much time focusing on the result of the previous week. Win or lose, teams have to look forward.

This week, the Baltimore Ravens are taking that message to heart as they have a matchup with the one-loss San Francisco 49ers in four days.

“It’s going to come fast. Our coaches will be back in the office tonight,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said minutes after Sunday’s 31-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Thanksgiving Day game features two of the top teams in the NFL, but it also carries even more significance, as Harbaugh will face off against his brother Jim, who is in his first year as San Francisco’s head coach.

“I’m sure, in the back of my mind, maybe that’ll be a consideration,” John said about game planning for his brother. “But, it’s two really good football teams going at it. That’s what it’s really about.

“I think, for our parents, it’s good. But, it’s going to be the Ravens against the 49ers. It’s going to be two very good football teams.”

If there is any consolation in the short preparation week, it’s that both teams have to deal with the same thing, as the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 23-7 on Sunday. Plus, San Francisco has to travel cross-country to face the Ravens, adding another challenge to an already-difficult week.

“There’s no doubt we got the short end of the straw on this one,” 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said. “We’ll see if we can make history in terms of this is the first time two brothers have coached against each other; the first time an NFL team has traveled three time zones to play a Thursday night game after a Sunday game since the league went to a 16-game schedule.”

In a typical preparation week, the team spends Monday breaking down film from the previous game, then the players are off Tuesday, and Wednesday through Saturday are the practice and meeting days.

With only three days between games, that schedule is totally different.

The Ravens don’t have any days off this week, and they are moving to the San Francisco gameplan and practicing on Monday.

“We’ve got to come in tomorrow and get prepared for another great team,” wide receiver Torrey Smith said after Sunday’s win. “After we walk out these doors, I’m sure our iPads will be ready by tomorrow morning, and it will be on to the next one.”

“We’re on to San Fran,” running back Ray Rice added. “It’s so fast that you’re on to San Fran right now. I’m going to have my book loaded up and will try to watch some film on San Fran tonight to get a head start.”

In addition to the short week of practice, the Ravens also have less time to rest and let their injuries heal. That could be challenging for a player like linebacker Ray Lewis who is fighting to come back from a recent injury.

“I’m sure it’s going to be a different week for us,” Rice said. “We’ll take care of our bodies.”

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