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Recent mistakes won't stop Marty Mornhinweg from aggressive calls

Recent mistakes won't stop Marty Mornhinweg from aggressive calls

Marty Mornhinweg says recent criticism won’t keep him from being aggressive against the Steelers.

The Ravens’ offensive coordinator heads into Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers showdown under the microscope – again. After Joe Flacco threw a red-zone interception in Week 15, with the Ravens leading by 10 points and just more than six minutes left to play, head coach John Harbaugh described the decision to pass in that situation “the all-time worst call ever.”

Harbaugh took responsibility, saying he should have vetoed the play. But it was Mornhinweg who called it.

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With the Ravens facing a virtual must-win situation in Pittsburgh, Mornhinweg says the mishap against the Eagles isn’t going to change his play calling approach.

“That is not the worst call I have ever made,” said Mornhinweg, drawing laughter, before turning serious. “I have made some really bad calls. Sometimes you get away with them, really, and the players tend to cover that thing up. That is not the first time…When you are trying to stay aggressive and score some points, it pays off, typically tenfold throughout the course of the game or a season or certainly a program. Every now and then, it backfires. When it backfires, we have to recover. We have to recover quick.”

When the Ravens beat the Steelers, 21-14, on Nov. 6, it was only Mornhinweg’s third game as offensive coordinator after replacing the fired Marc Trestman. The Ravens only scored one offensive touchdown in that game, when Mike Wallace used his speed to turn a short completion into a 95-yard catch-and-run.

It will likely take more than one offensive touchdown to beat the Steelers (9-5) on Sunday. They have won five straight and are playing their most consistent football of the season.

It’s a high-stakes situation, one that Mornhinweg is looking forward to. But except for their 38-point outburst against the Dolphins, the Ravens’ offense has been inconsistent all season. Mornhinweg hopes he can mastermind another breakout game Sunday.

“What a big opportunity we have this week in Pittsburgh,” Morhinweg said. “Our players are going to be jacked up and out of their minds for this one.

“They are already jacked up…We don’t want to peak too soon; we want to peak at the right time.”    

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The Ravens didn’t sign Michael Brockers — now what?

The Ravens didn’t sign Michael Brockers — now what?

Earlier this week, the Ravens touted their defensive line as the most improved position group through the first wave of free agency. They even felt comfortable enough to trade rotational piece Chris Wormley to the Steelers. 

Now, the defensive line has more questions than answers. 

The team confirmed early Friday morning, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic originally reported, they were unable to come to a deal with defensive lineman Michael Brockers over concerns because of a physical. More specifically, there were concerns over the status of Brockers’ left ankle.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ravens team doctors were unable to examine Brockers themselves and instead had to rely on the work of independent doctors. 

During a conference call with reporters Thursday, new acquisition Calais Campbell said he had to go to the Mayo Clinic to receive his physical. He called the process tricky. 

Brockers quickly signed a very similar deal to the one he signed with Baltimore to stay in Los Angeles with the Rams just hours after the Ravens deal fell through. His new deal is a three-year deal worth $31.5 million. 

So now, the Ravens are left with the difficult reality that a handful of potential targets are no longer viable options due to the first wave of defensive linemen having signed elsewhere. They also shipped off Wormley and a 2021 seventh-round pick for a 2021 fifth-round pick, further depleting the defensive line. 

Michael Pierce, a talented run-stopping defender, left during free agency to sign with the Vikings, too. 

Baltimore now has Campbell, Brandon Williams, Justin Ellis, Jihad Ward and Daylon Mack on the depth chart at defensive line. Not only do the Ravens need more depth at the position, they also need another starter. 

While the Ravens have the 28th pick in the draft, including seven picks in the first four rounds, the front seven’s needs now have been thrust into the spotlight. Before, an argument could’ve been made that the Ravens should devote resources elsewhere: inside linebacker, interior offensive line, wide receiver, or perhaps an edge rusher. 

Now, the defensive line, and front seven as a whole, is once again the team’s biggest need. While it’s not necessary to address in the first round specifically, the Ravens are now almost guaranteed to make a handful of picks in the front seven for next month’s draft. 

The Ravens could dip their toes into the free agent market once again with their newfound cap space and make a run at a few veterans still left on the market. They could also go after an edge player, or an inside linebacker instead, to help cover up an additional need before the draft. 

The Ravens had a plan entering free agency, and quite simply, it went as well as they expected. 

Now, though, the Ravens are left with a questionable physical and a handful of questions to answer about the future of the defensive line.

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Ravens say they will not sign Michael Brockers after two sides fail to come to an agreement

Ravens say they will not sign Michael Brockers after two sides fail to come to an agreement

The Baltimore Ravens announced Friday that they will not be signing free agent defensive tackle Michael Brockers as previously reported.

The announcement comes two days after it was reported the deal hit a potential snag after Brockers' high ankle sprain from last season was flagged during a physical, so the reported deal between the two sides could not be agreed upon, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Now, Brockers will head back to the Los Angeles Rams, where the two reportedly agreed upon a 3-year, $31.5 million deal, according to Rapoport. 

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