Good coverage helps Ravens' special teams

Good coverage helps Ravens' special teams
November 21, 2012, 3:30 pm
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Jacoby Jones has been able to break three touchdowns this season with kick/punt returns, because he's gotten very good blocking that's blown up the coverage from opposing teams. So far, the Ravens haven't run into that problem against their opponents.

The Ravens gave up three touchdowns on various returns in 2011, and each hurt when it happened. But they're doing much better this year with that and are holding opponents down on returns.

The Ravens made a bunch of changes on special teams in the off-season. They brought in Jones to help with returns, but they also pointed at making their kick coverage better, which likely makes coach John Harbaugh a bit happier.

Last summer, The Baltimore Sun reported that the Ravens gave up 29.2 yards per kickoff return in 2011. That was the second-highest number in the entire NFL. As for punts, they were ninth-highest at 11.9 yards per punt return.

It's still just over halfway through the season, but the Ravens have fared better at limiting oppnents' return on both punts and kicks. Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said last week that he's happy with what he's seen so far. 

"The guys were working really hard, and you see the progress that’s being made on a daily basis," Rosburg said when talking to the media. 

The Ravens are doing better especially at tackling on the returns. That seemed to be an issue at times last year when they missed open-field tackles on several occasions. But they're making the necessary plays this year. 

Good teams usually get good special teams play, and not just on the returns, the area that most people see. They need to stop other teams from not only scoring but getting the ball into good field position. The Ravens have done that all season long.