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Jerry Rosburg: Ravens did 'great job' with intentional holding

Jerry Rosburg: Ravens did 'great job' with intentional holding

Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg seemed to have a sly grin on his face on Thursday as he recalled how his punt team "understood the concept really well" on the final safety against the Bengals.

The concept, of course, was blatant holding, some involving takedowns that would please a wrestling coach. That allowed punter Sam Koch to wander around near the goal line and burn off the final seconds of the game clock before taking a safety for a 19-14 win.

"The guys did a great job," Rosburg said at his Thursday news conference, saying each player was "really impressive and using different techniques with their hold, some around the neck, some hanging on to a leg, some on a shoulder pad, but they all understood the concept really well."

Penalties have been a problem for the Ravens all season, but on this play, they were openly encouraged and embraced. The Ravens Web site even put together a short clip of the best takedowns on the play.

Rosburg, who has been a special teams coach in the NFL for 15 years, said he had no doubt the play would be officiated exactly as it was: Yes, it was a penalty — or, really, about eight of them — but since they occurred in the field of play and not in the end zone, the game would not be extended. Clock at 0:00, game over.

Rosburg said that after the play, as the officials huddled and discussed it, "Guys kept asking me on the sideline, but I was confident they’d get it right."

The next day, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told NFL Network that the Ravens found "kind of a loophole" in using intentional holding, and said, "I think you'll see the Competition Committee review this."

The Competition Committee addresses potential rules changes.        

For his part, Rosburg said the Ravens simply played by the rules.

"The rule is what it is now, and we just played it that way," Rosburg said. "It’s up to them. If they change the rule, then we’ll do something different.”

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What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

The Ravens have a problem in the secondary; no one can stay healthy. 

Baltimore suffered season-ending injuries to Iman Marshall and Tavon Young at cornerback and Tony Jefferson and DeShon Elliott at safety. Cornerback Jimmy Smith hasn’t played since Week 1 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and Maurice Canady currently has a hamstring injury, coach John Harbaugh said. 

So on Monday, the Ravens traded for cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. 

Peters, 26, is in his fifth year as a pro and is in the final year of his rookie deal that is paying him just over $9 million against the cap this season. 

A true ballhawk, Peters has an NFL-best 24 interceptions since he entered the league in 2015 as a first round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Peters was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was a Second Team All-Pro that season. He was a First Team All-Pro a year later. 

With a host of injuries at cornerback and in the secondary the Ravens will likely use Peters right away opposite Marlon Humphrey, who has been one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks this season. Peters excels at turning the ball over, something safety Earl Thomas did in Seattle and a statistic in which the Ravens coaches have expressed a desire to improve.

The Ravens rank 13th in yards allowed per game, 30th in yards per play against and 25th in pass defense. Peters figures to help out in those departments.

Smith is expected to return sooner rather than later in the secondary, meaning the Ravens will have to find a way to get Humphrey, Peters, Smith and Brandon Carr on the field in a positive way.

And while Peters’ contract is up at the end of the season, the final 10 games could be a tryout to see how he fits into the team’s short-term and long-term plans. Should he impress, it’s not inconceivable the Ravens could re-sign him and make he, Humphrey and Young the team’s top three cornerbacks headed into the 2020 season.

If they don’t, they’ll be awarded a compensatory pick in 2021. As for what round, that will depend on how much Peters signs for. 

Either way, the move is an aggressive one to shore up a notable area of concern for the Ravens this season. It adds a cornerback who has had incredible success in his young career and adds a piece in the secondary to pair opposite Humphrey. 

The price wasn’t hefty, either. The Ravens moved on from Kenny Young, a linebacker who had fallen out of their plans, and a 2020 draft pick, one of many they possess next year. 

It’s a true low-risk, high-reward situation for a team that still thinks it can contend this season.

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6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

Marcus Peters is a Raven now. Baltimore made it official Tuesday when they sent linebacker Kenny Smith and a draft pick to the Rams for the two-time All-Pro.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Peters has plenty of career highlights. It's hard to narrow it down, but here are some of his best.

He's got a game-sealing pick-six on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. He was fined for his "celebration" as he entered the end zone, but at least he was having a good time.

His entrance into the end zone was not nearly as smooth on this pick-six. His path to the goal line was much more difficult and he had to leave the game after this big hit.

Back when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs, he showed a knack for finding the ball, stripping it from Jamaal Charles, scooping it up and returning it for a touchdown to open the scoring on Monday Night Football against the Broncos.

He also spent a whole game mic'd up, which was genuinely entertaining.

Peters similarly just ripped the ball right out of Kelvin Benjamin's hands, though he didn't return this one for a touchdown.

Most importantly, he's got a competitive attitude.

The Ravens needed reinforcements in their secondary, and Peters and his highlight-reel plays are on the way to help.

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