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Coordinator's Corner: LeBeau and Haley

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and offensive coordinator Todd Haley talk about Sunday's game against the Ravens.

Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau

Re: Jarvis Jones:
I cannot [provide any information], although he is pretty good today. I think they are going to continue to check and monitor him. He has some symptoms of being hit. They watch those things pretty close now. The medical team will decide everything on that. I am optimistic on it.

Re: Level of play at outside linebacker from Jones and Jason Worilds:
I think they are growing and doing a good job. Jason was going through what Jarvis is going through right now. He has a little bit more experience, but they are both young players. I think our outside linebacking situation with those guys and the other guys that we got, we are going to continue to build and be okay.

Is that as good of a game that Worilds has played for you last week?
If you look at the video and really the team record, you will see that Jason played pretty dag gone well last year. He was a young player, kind of fighting his way through it. He had a good season for us last year. He showed up on the sack, and that gets you noticed. But a lot of times it’s what you do at the point of attack and the effort that you give to get the other guys around you free. Jason has always been excellent at that. He is a good, growing young player. We are glad we got him.

Do you think your defense is heading in the right direction?
Let’s put it this way, we won the football game. That’s definitely heading in the right direction.

Has anything changed dramatically with the Ravens’ offense?
No. If you were the defending World Champions, I don’t think you’d change a whole lot either. They have a great quarterback and a good corps of wide receivers that can go deep. They kind of live on that big play, outside and over the top of you. And then they have Ray Rice that keeps you honest on first and second downs. They have a nice compliment of what you need in the NFL to be successful on offense. I don’t think they are going to change a lot.

Is Joe Flacco one of the better deep ball passers you’ve seen?
I would say that is a true statement. He is excellent.

Re: Sean Spence:
It’s great [to see him back on the field]. I had a special feeling yesterday when he stepped on the field and in uniform. You know what that young man has been through, and the work that he has put in. He is going to be a success in life, and in all probability, a success in the NFL. He is a special young man.

Do you have a theory as to why teams don’t run the ball as well now as they did 10-15 years ago?
Well, we are more of a throwing league. I think if you look at the stats, the number of times they throw versus the number of times that they run. Whatever you do the most, you are probably going to get a little bit better at. But there are a lot of great running teams still around. I don’t think they run as much as they used to.

Do you think that’s because it’s easier getting that five yards on first-down by throwing the ball?
I think it’s easier to throw it over somebody’s head for 40 yards than it is to pound down the field three yards at a time.

Teams passing more on third-and-short and teams that don’t convert on third-and-short and forth-and-short, is it just easier to throw the ball now?
Again, I think it’s the fact that they don’t run it as much as they used to. The players that they get are more skilled in pass protection. They spend more time, certainly, at pass protection, because they throw the ball more. They can still run the ball. But if there is any statistical evidence that they aren’t quite as successful in that situation, my only answer would be that they don’t quite run as much as they used to. I think you will find that they still make third-and-one-or-two quite often. These are big NFL players with good running backs. That would be my only answer. There is no reason why they can’t. There are still very talented running backs and offensive linemen.

When game planning, are you guys more aware of play-action in those situations than you used to be?
No. Everyday, we have to defend the whole field. We have always taken that approach. We have never stressed one against the other. We have to be able to hold up. We aren’t in the huddle with those guys. We don’t know whether they are going to run or throw it. Hopefully, we’d like to make them throw every now and then. There is a chance they might drop it. If you just have to hand it to the tailback, he’s probably not going to drop it.



Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley

There are different faces on defense for the Ravens. Do they still bring the same intensity?
Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been looking at clips all week from the history of the series and throughout it, regardless of who’s been in there, it’s a physical, tough game every single time you put the tape on. It’s usually close.

Re: Kelvin Beachum having a good test in facing Terrell Suggs:
He’s got his work cut out for him. There’s no doubt about it. One thing about Kelvin is that every time we say he’s this, he shows us he can be something more. That’s happened at every position. Now, it’s left tackle. This will be the biggest test to date. He’s working hard to get ready, but 55 [Suggs] is a great player.

Is Beachum still a primary backup at some of the other positions along the line if there is an in-game injury?
No, we’re taking some of that off of him so he can just focus on one job. He’s the left tackle and he’s getting ready to play.

Antonio Brown just had the most prolific three-game stretch by a wide receiver in team history. He seems to be getting more opportunities. I assume that’s by design?
We’re doing what we always do and trying to play to each guy’s strength, but he’s our number one guy. When Mike [Wallace] left, he knew he had an opportunity to step into that role. He’s embraced it, he’s worked hard and he’s making plays. That’s tough to do when you are the guy because that’s the guy that generally sees some of the double coverage that’s going on within games. We’ve moved him around and he’s done a good job with that. We’ve got to just keep him playing fast and making plays.

Brown seems like he’s the kind of guy where you can put him in different situations and he can be equally as effective.
The good thing with him, last year for the first half of the year he was playing flanker, which is generally on the strong side – some of the slot looks, as we got about halfway through the year, we moved him out to X. So, he’s had some experience at multiple positions and that always helps.

Does he play as fast getting into his routes as any receiver you’ve seen?
He’s lightning fast, lightning quick, quick hands, very good hands and as you saw last week, very good after the catch. You can throw him a short one and he can run long. Those are always good, especially against pass-rushing teams like the Jets.

Le’Veon Bell yesterday was somewhat critical of his play so far. He said he hasn’t played up to his standards. What are your thoughts after two games of watching him?
I think his progression has been really good. We don’t have anything but good things to say about what he’s done. That being said, he is a young player who is still finding his way in the league as a starter. The good thing is each week he’s gotten better and we expect that to continue.

Is it safe to say that you like that approach from a younger player?
It’s usually a good sign. You don’t want them when they think they’re better than they are. That’s a problem.

Rushing numbers are down across the league. Are the attempts just as important as maybe the yards gained?
The efficiency of the runs is critical. I think you saw that in the game last week. We had one of our better runs in the game to start the second half and it led to pretty good play-action splash plays, as Coach [Tomlin] likes to say, for us. You need to put some efficient runs on the field. Depending upon the situation, it might be a two-yard gain on second-and-two and it might be a one-yard gain on third-and-less than one. You’ve got to keep handing it off and I think it ends up paying dividends, generally speaking. The hard part is having patience to do that and in some of these games we haven’t had the luxury to do it because we’ve been behind. You want to get the ball handed off also. I don’t think it’s going to do you any good to hand it off 25 times for 25 yards. That would be counterproductive. We’ve just got to get better, continue getting better, because we have. There’s been progress. We talked about Le’Veon being a little boost for us. We’ve got to just continue to make progress in the run game. I think some of these guys are getting more comfortable up front, although we’ve continued to have some moving pieces, but that’s life. They’ve got to step in and do their job and do it better each week.

Why do you think that every year the running is less emphasized by the league? It seems every year the average is going down, the attempts are going down – why is that?
It’s a copycat league. You know in college what’s happening and that’s defining some of the bodies that are coming out in the draft. It’s harder to find fullback bodies, it’s harder to find tight end bodies that are true tight ends. It kind of all just plays off each other a little bit, I think, at times.

They don’t grow Heath Miller on trees anymore, huh?
No.

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