Ravens coach John Harbaugh calls out Ed Dickson, O-line
The Ravens were outplayed by the Bills on Sunday. On Monday, coach John Harbaugh pointed out some of the reasons why.
The Ravens offense isn't very good. This isn't us going off half-cocked because the defending Super Bowl champs were thoroughly outclassed by the Bills in a Week 4 game that featured as many Joe Flacco interceptions as Ray Rice rushing attempts: five (!). Nope, the Ravens offense isn't very good because coach John Harbaugh admitted as much Monday, speaking in terms of groups and individuals.
"The whole O-line is disappointing right now," Harbaugh said a day after Flacco was sacked four times and the running game averaged 2.7 yards per carry. The unit was also penalized four times.
Harbaugh conceded that center Matt Birk's replacement -- first-year starter Gino Gradkowski -- has struggled with line calls identifying pre-snap protections, but there's plenty of blame to go around for this offense.
That brings us to tight end Ed Dickson, who mishandled several Flacco throws Sunday, at least one of which resulted in an interception.
"The stats kind of speak for themselves as you're alluding to," Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "He's not the same player right now than he was then obviously. Ed just needs to go catch the ball.
"Make it easy: Run fast, get open and catch the football, put it away and get upfield. That's all he needs to do. And if he's thinking about anything besides that, he's doing himself a disservice. And if he's lacking confidence for some reason, that's on him. When you have that kind of talent, those kinds of gifts, go play ball, go show everybody what you're capable of doing. That's what I expect to see from Ed."
We're guessing this is more motivational prodding through the media than public rip-job by Harbaugh. The Ravens are without tight end Dennis Pitta, and the passing game is in desperate need of playmakers beyond Torrey Smith. Dickson hasn't played well, but there's reason for optimism in Baltimore.
One, there are 12 games left on the schedule and under Harbaugh this team has a history of finishing strong. And two, the 2-2 Ravens are in first place in the dumpster fire that is the AFC North.
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