John Harbaugh calls out Ravens' O-line, Ed Dickson
- By Chris Wesseling
- Around the League Writer
- Published: Sept. 30, 2013 at 04:46 p.m.
- Updated: Oct. 1, 2013 at 01:56 a.m.
NFL fans saw Joe Flacco throwing the Baltimore Ravens' Week 4 hopes away with five interceptions in a 23-20 loss at Buffalo on Sunday.
As we pointed out on the "Around The League Podcast" Sunday recap, though, the roots of the Ravens' problems lie hidden beneath the surface in the form of an ineffective offense line and unreliable pass catchers.
An ornery coach John Harbaugh took aim at both groups Monday, pulling no punches in his assessment of the offense's slow start.
"The whole O-line is disappointing right now," Harbaugh said, pointing out that it hasn't been a smooth transition exactly from Matt Birk to Gino Gradkowski making calls from the center position.
Offensive tackles Bryant McKinnie and Michael Oher have struggled to open running lanes, while Gradkowski and left guard Kelechi Osemele have allowed too much pressure on the interior.
With Dennis Pitta sidelined, a drop-prone Ed Dickson took the brunt of Harbaugh's ire at the pass-catching woes of the Ravens' tight ends.
"The stats kind of speak for themselves. He's not the same player right now that he was (when he caught 54 passes in 2011)," Harbaugh added. "If he has a confidence problem, that's on him. Ed needs to catch the ball. If he's thinking about anything besides that, he's doing himself a disservice. You got that kind of talent and those kind of gifts, go play ball."
While Pitta's injury and the inability to replace Anquan Boldin have left the Ravens undermanned in the passing attack, it's easy to identify with Harbaugh's frustration. The offensive line was a major asset during last year's Super Bowl run, and Dickson caught 54 passes just two years ago.
The Ravens might be frustrated because the offense is holding them back, but they're still in fine shape in a division that is up for grabs through the quarter-season mark.
"We're not the same team we were two months ago," Harbaugh explained, "and we won't be the same team two months from now."