OWINGS MILLS -- The Ravens’ special teams have become a not-so-secret advantage.
Having blocked kicks in five consecutive games, including the game-winning play Monday night against the Browns, the Ravens special teamers hope to have a major impact again Sunday against the Dolphins.
It’s not just the blocked kicks that make the Ravens’ special teams special. Kaelin Clay is an explosive punt returner, as evidenced by his 82-yard return for a touchdown against the Browns. Justin Tucker is one of the NFL’s best placekickers. Sam Koch is one of the league’s top punters, with a variety of kicks that often pin opponents deep and negate returns.
The Ravens’ special teams no longer catch opponents by surprise, yet they are still making plays. The diligence of special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is clearly part of the equation, but he is quick to deflect credit
“I’ll point to the players,” Rosburg said. “We’ve had some extraordinary efforts by individual guys.”
Brent Urban’s 6-foot-7 size was an advantage when he got a hand on Travis Coons’ field goal attempt Monday night, leading to Will Hill’s 64-yard game-winning touchdown return.
“I thought it was a great reaction by a lot of people,” Rosburg said. “Will picking the ball up, Terrence Brooks not picking the ball up after Will had it in (his) sight. Then at that point, everybody kicked into the return mode.”
On Clay’s punt return for a touchdown, he did several things that can’t be coached.
“He made a couple guys miss and then got back outside,” Rosburg said. “It was an extraordinary play by him. After I watched it on the plane -- I was talking to (head coach) John (Harbaugh). I said, ‘That was a returner’s return'.”
Yet, Rosburg is such a perfectionist that he still saw things that upset him watching film on the plane ride from Cleveland.
“I had to remind (Rosburg) on the plane coming back that we did score two touchdowns on special teams,” Harbaugh said.
Rosburg would love to have more special teams touchdowns to critique on Sunday.