OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens aren’t making enough plays, but at least they aren’t making excuses.
If you are looking for signs that the Ravens have surrendered, or fractured, you won’t find them talking to players or coaches at their practice facility. That doesn’t mean jack, unless the Ravens start performing a lot better. But players say their coach, John Harbaugh, is bringing the same confident attitude to work this week, despite the team’s unexpected 1-4 start and a slew of injuries.
“He hasn’t been MF-ing guys, or chewing guys out, or kind of putting on a persona or anything like that,” said guard Kelechi Osemele. “He’s just been a straight professional about it. He calls guys out, and he’s going to let you know if he thinks you need to improve…that’s just how he’s been.”
Most people believe the Ravens’ playoffs hopes are down the drain. If the Ravens start believing that, they’re toast. Instead, the Ravens believe the same approach that has allowed their franchise to make the playoffs six of the last seven years will allow them to weather this storm.
If the 2015 Ravens aren’t good enough, Joe Flacco says the players will eventually have to accept that. But nobody in the locker room is accepting that in mid-October, heading into Sunday’s road game against the 49ers.
“I think it starts with John and the way he’s leading us,” Flacco said. “I think we’ve had a great mindset coming out here and practicing and being able to put some of that stuff behind us, but it’s not easy. That’s the thing you have to love about the NFL. If you’re not a good enough team, it’s going to show up at some point or the other, and it’s going to be very blatant, and that’s kind of how it has been so far. We just haven’t been good enough, and going out there and playing on Sunday makes it very obvious, (that) you don’t win games if you’re not good enough.”
You would rather hear your quarterback say that, instead of harping on how close the losses have been. Every Ravens’ game has been decided by six points or less. But when Flacco is asked about that, two words come to mind.
“I think a loss is a loss,” Flacco said. “I don’t think you can stand here and say, ‘But we only lost them (by a close margin). We had a chance to win.’ You’re going down a slippery slope when you start doing those things. It’s almost like you’re looking for an excuse and pointing the finger.”
If the Ravens lose Sunday to the 49ers (1-4), talking about next season will become much more relevant. However, the Ravens arestill focused on trying to salvage this year.
Sunday’s home loss to the Browns was a punch in the gut. How the Ravens respond Sunday will tell you if they have been knocked down, or knocked out.
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