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John Harbaugh thinks Ravens still have room to improve after 49-point win

John Harbaugh thinks Ravens still have room to improve after 49-point win

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — John Harbaugh likely won’t have another press conference like the one he had Monday. 

After the Ravens 59-10 trouncing of the Dolphins on Sunday in Miami, there wasn’t much to be upset about as the Ravens escaped with as good of a win as they’ll likely have all season.

Baltimore set a franchise record for points in a game (59), touchdowns (eight), total yards (643) and margin of victory (49). Lamar Jackson set a team record with his perfect passer rating (158.3) and tied the record for passing touchdowns (five). 

With that in mind, there wasn’t much negative to be said about Sunday’s game. Here are three things to note from Harbaugh’s press conference. 

Jimmy Smith will only miss a few weeks

The one negative from Sunday’s game was the injury to Jimmy Smith. 

Smith, who got his right leg rolled into, didn’t play the remainder of the game. But the Ravens got good news, as his injury was only an MCL sprain

“It’s the same as we thought last night, it will be multiple weeks,” Harbaugh said. “He has a Grade 2 sprain in there. So it’s not going to be a season-ender by any stretch. How many weeks it is, that depends how fast it heals.”

Smith was one of the team’s top three cornerbacks alongside Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey. 

With Tavon Young out for the season with a neck injury, the Ravens cornerback depth is being stretched thin. But the possibility of putting Smith on IR, with the intention of bringing him back later in the season, seems out of the cards for the time being.

“It’s a possibility, I don’t think it’s a probability right now,” Harbaugh said. “But I haven’t spoken with Eric or Ozzie about that at this time. So we’ll have to see.”

With Smith out of the lineup, Anthony Averett replaced him at cornerback and played 45 plays (90 percent) of the snaps. He’ll have a big role to step into, especially with Kansas City, Cleveland and Pittsburgh on the schedule in the coming weeks.

“I think once he got his sea legs, he really played well,” Harbaugh said.

Still room to improve

Harbaugh noted that, while the end result was spectacular, there’s still a few things that need to be cleaned up. 

“It was really good, but there are many things to work on,” Harbaugh said. “It goes hand-in-hand. It’s an opportunity to improve. And it’s an ever-changing environment. The things we did well, people are going to do everything they can do to stop. We have to stay ahead of that.”

One of the areas Harbaugh said played well, however, was the offensive line. With Bradley Bozeman at left guard, the offensive line plowed the way for over 200 rushing yards between all rushers. 

While he expects the usage of the three running backs (Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill) to vary each week, the offensive line is one area that he hopes to remain the same throughout. 

“It’s not without areas we can improve for sure,” Harbaugh said. “But they were physical, they kept their pads down for the most part, technique in the run blocking and pass blocking was good. We picked up almost all of their pressures every time, and they brought a lot of pressure. Bradley played really well and justified the fact that he was in there (at left guard.)”

Harbaugh did, however, decline to elaborate on Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin’s seemingly low snap counts. Brown played just 14 snaps, while Boykin played 18.

Suggs set to return

Perhaps the biggest storyline this week will be the return of Terrell Suggs to Baltimore. 

Suggs was a Raven beginning in 2003 and was a seven-time Pro Bowler. He left for Arizona as a free agent this past offseason. 

“He’s playing really well, he’s a game-wrecker, and that’s how we’ll be treating him,” Harbaugh said. 

Suggs had two sacks in the team’s tie against the Lions in Week 1. The 36-year old veteran is one of just two players remaining from the 2003 draft class. 

Sunday in Baltimore will be his first time suiting up at M&T Bank Stadium against the Ravens.

“As far as that part of it, the emotional part of it, I’m not going to worry about that,” Harbaugh said. “It’ll be great to see him before the game, hug him and all that maybe, if I happen to see him. Once the game starts, he’s a Cardinal.”

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Whirlwind week: Demone Harris makes Ravens practice squad, loses and then finds engagement ring, gets engaged

Whirlwind week: Demone Harris makes Ravens practice squad, loses and then finds engagement ring, gets engaged

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In the span of a few days, Demone Harris bought an engagement ring, was released by the Buccaneers, traveled to Baltimore — where he lost the engagement ring, earned a spot on the Ravens practice squad and subsequently found the ring and got engaged.

Harris announced on Twitter today that he signed with the Ravens practice squad. The outside linebacker is in his second year in the NFL and originally was an undrafted free agent from Buffalo.

But that’s not the entire story of his signing.

Harris was released by the Buccaneers after returning from London on Oct. 15. He also had plans to propose to his girlfriend that week and had already purchased an engagement ring.

After a workout last Thursday morning in Baltimore, he was unable to find the engagement ring he planned to propose to his girlfriend with that weekend. 

Just a short while after the Ravens texted Harris to let him know he’d made the practice squad, he also received word that his engagement ring was found in the hotel he stayed at. 

The Ravens shipped the ring to him overnight and he proposed to his girlfriend on Friday in Buffalo like he’d planned to do all along. 

He ended his story on Twitter that he wanted to find the person who located the ring and “do something nice.”

For not having practiced with the Ravens yet, Harris has already created quite a stir.

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Ravens cut Justin Bethel, lose Pernell McPhee likely for season

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Ravens cut Justin Bethel, lose Pernell McPhee likely for season

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Just a day after a hard-fought win in Seattle, the Ravens have two roster spots to fill on defense.

The Ravens released special teams standout Justin Bethel on Monday, and coach John Harbaugh announced that Pernell McPhee is likely out for the season with a torn tricep.

Bethel was released after the Titans released Brent Urban last week.

The reason for Bethel's release was that Urban was due to give the Ravens a compensatory fourth-round pick. He signed a one-year deal in the offseason with the Titans as he left the Ravens. 

But Urban, who signed with Chicago on Monday, failed to impress in Tennessee and was released before the Week 10 compensatory deadline. Meaning, the Ravens would have lost the fourth-round pick they were scheduled to receive for John Brown's departure were it not for Bethel's release.

Bethel had six special teams tackles this season and was arguably the Ravens' best special teams player that doesn't snap or kick.

"Justin Bethel unfortunately had to be released due to a funky rule that the NFL has with these compensatory picks," Harbaugh said. "A judgement has to be made in terms of for the future as well. That's tough for us. I told him I think he's the best special teams player in the NFL, and he's playing that way."

Additionally, McPhee will likely be out for the season with a torn tricep. McPhee had three sacks and 19 total tackles in seven games for the Ravens this season.

"Pernell McPhee, it looks like he has a torn tricep," Harbaugh said. "If he has a torn tricep which I believe he does, that'll proclude the rest of the season." 

The Ravens have Aaron Adeoye, a rookie outside linebacker, on the practice squad should they wish to promote someone from within. Otherwise, they'll have to look through the free agent market or poach from another practice squad.

The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday. 

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