OWINGS MILLS – John Harbaugh had plenty to be unhappy about after another defeat, including two senseless penalties committed by cornerback Asa Jackson.
The Ravens committed nine penalties for 121 yards during Sunday’s 22-20 loss to the Jaguars. Elvis Dumervil’s facemask penalty that set up the game-winning field goal got the most attention, but at least Dumervil was hustling and in the process of trying to make a game-ending sack.
Harbaugh was forgiving of Dumervil. The Ravens’ coach was not forgiving of Jackson, who committed two personal fouls on special teams, and who has three personal fouls this season.
Talking about penalties during his Monday press conference, Harbaugh never mentioned Jackson by name, but it was clear who he was referring to. Jackson was called for an illegal low block on a punt return, and for unnecessary roughness for blocking after the whistle.
“The penalties on special teams, as I go back and look at them, the two personal foul penalties, there’s no place for that,” Harbaugh said. “There’s absolutely no reason to leave your feet. I don’t care if you’re slipping or not. You might be slipping, but if you’re out of position to make the block, you don’t make that block. You certainly don’t throw yourself back into a guy’s legs on a return. It’s blatantly illegal.
“Then blocking a guy after the ball’s down and dead? That’s just foolish. That’s what we call a foolish penalty. And for one guy to have three personal foul penalties in a career, let alone a season, and two in a game, is unacceptable.”
Asked about Dumervil’s penalty, Harbaugh said, “He’s trying to make a play, he’s playing the play hard as the ball got snapped, and he caught the facemask. You can’t do it. It’s disappointing, he’s the first one to take responsibility for it. I think it’s an effort play, at the same time we got to be better than that in that situation. He’s one of our best players, he played a heck of a football game. I’m certainly not down on Elvis Dumervil by any stretch.”
The Ravens (2-7) are not good enough to overcome some of the penalties they have committed. That message was delivered by Harbaugh to Jackson.