Harbaugh confident Flacco, Ravens can bounce back
Quarterback Joe Flacco is a big reason why the Baltimore Ravens
are struggling to score points.
Coach John Harbaugh Monday guaranteed that his third-year
signal-caller will play better. He needs him to turn around
The third-year quarterback threw a career-high four
interceptions in Sunday’s 15-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. In
Baltimore’s opener, a 10-9 win over the New York Jets, Flacco lost
a fumble and threw an interception.
Because of their offensive struggles the Ravens trail unbeaten
Pittsburgh in the AFC North despite not having given up a
But Harbaugh defended his quarterback on Monday.
”Hey, four interceptions is too much,” Harbaugh said. ”It’s
not just the quarterback. Joe would be the first to tell you he
wants to play better. (But) I’m not going to single one guy out.
It’s a long season. He’s going to play a lot better, I guarantee
Baltimore’s focus during the offseason was to enhance an offense
that has long been overshadowed by a strong defense. But the
addition of wide receivers Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh,
along with a willingness to throw the ball downfield, have not yet
produced the desired results.
The Buffalo Bills, with 17 points, are the only AFC team to
score fewer points than the Ravens after two games.
”It’s going to materialize. It’s going to be a winning offense,
there’s no doubt about that,” Harbaugh insisted. ”We’ve got good
players, we’ve got a good, physical offensive line, we’ve got a
great scheme. You’re going to have ups and downs because it’s
competitive. You’re going against different defenses, they come up
with different ideas.”
The Bengals’ strategy against the Ravens was pretty simple:
Combine a strong pass rush and tight coverage to render Flacco
”This game was a tough game for us,” Harbaugh acknowledged.
”We did not play as well on that side of the ball as we expect
That physical offensive line is missing tackle Jared Gaither,
and his absence has been felt. Gaither has been replaced by
Marshall Yanda, who usually plays guard, and Chris Chester has
assumed Yanda’s spot at right guard.
Flacco was sacked once and often threw under duress, but
Harbaugh is confident his quarterback will return to form –
hopefully by this Sunday, when Baltimore hosts the Cleveland
”He’s always bounced back. He bounced back from a tough first
half and led us on that drive to start the second half,” Harbaugh
said, referring to Baltimore’s lone touchdown march.
”He’s always done it in the past. That’s the type of person he
is,” Harbaugh said. ”He’s a competitive guy, he’s a talented guy.
He’s starting his third year. You look at the history. There’s
going to be ups and downs.”
Instead of being 2-0 with two road wins against teams that
reached the AFC playoffs last season, the Ravens are in rebound
”It’s a disappointing loss because I think we had an
opportunity the first two weeks to really do some damage and put
ourselves in good position,” Harbaugh said. ”It would have given
us a big leg up. So we move on.”
The Ravens liked the makeup of their roster coming out of
training camp, and that hasn’t changed.
”Nobody’s got a better perspective on it than us, in house,”
Harbaugh said. ”We’re not one bit concerned about our talent level
at any position. We know we can win with the guys we’ve got, and
that’s what we intend to do.”