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Ravens’ recently fired strength coach takes harsh criticism from NFLPA, players

Mike Florio and Chris Simms sift through the results of the NFLPA’s recent survey, which brought to light “inexcusable” concerns with the Cardinals weight room, a rodent issue in Jacksonville and more.

The NFL Players Association’s report cards for all 32 teams found that the vast majority of players think highly of their strength coaches. The Ravens were a major exception.

The NFLPA report card gave 16 teams’ strength coaches a grade of either A or A+, and only two teams got a grade lower than B. Those two teams were the Falcons, with a D-, and the Ravens, with an F-.

Why did the Ravens score so low?

The finger is being pointed at Steve Saunders, who had been the Ravens’ strength coach for eight years before he was fired last month. The NFLPA made clear that it is hoping for improvement from the Ravens with Saunders gone.

“30 of the 32 teams in the NFL gave their strength coaches fairly positive reviews. Baltimore was one of the two teams that fell well below the rest, and they were even significantly below the second-worst team,” the NFLPA said in its report card. “Players do not feel like the strength staff helps them be more successful. The team recently parted ways with Head Strength Coach Steve Saunders, so we will be interested to see if this area improves in his absence.”

Several former Ravens players have also taken to social media to blame the team’s strength staff for injuries. The Ravens have addressed the issue by firing Saunders, but it’s clear that many players think the Ravens waited far too long to make a change.