BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens have the bye week this week. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said that he was looking forward to the bye week but took time to look at some areas of improvement for the offense. He identified offensive line coach Juan Castillo’s background with Andy Reid when they were with the Philadelphia Eagles as a way that the transition to a new scheme has been made easier for the offensive line. “We speak the same language from a standpoint of protections and those types of things. Rick’s (Dennison) background as an offensive line coach is a big plus because he knows what we are doing.” Kubiak said at his weekly presser.
Kubiak said that head coach John Harbaugh identified the two big areas that the offense needs to improve on going into this year. One was protecting the quarterback and the other was running the football. Despite losing their previous season’s leading rusher, the running game has improved thanks to the explosive running by Justin Forsett. Going into the bye, Forsett has already set career highs with five rushing touchdowns and 721 yards rushing. He is averaging 5.4 yards per carry which is among the league leaders.
The previous season took a toll on Kubiak. He jokingly answered questions about how this season has treated him when he said; “This league will give you some health issues.” Kubiak continued; “It’s week ten in the NFL. I think everyone is a little tired right now. I’m looking forward to the bye week, getting some rest and coming out refreshed for these last six weeks” Despite being tired, Kubiak said that he has enjoyed the challenge of putting in an offense so quickly and he is really looking forward to the next few weeks.
Kubiak will work to figure out how the make things better for their offense and quarterback Joe Flacco. “I’m trying to go back and look at what Joe’s comfortable with and look as some of the things that I’ve asked him to do that got him out of his comfort zone. We have to clean up some of our decision making. I can help with that with how I call the plays.”
A recent area of improvement has been third down efficiency. Kubiak said that it tailed off over the last three or four weeks. He said that the offense has failed and struggled but needs to get back on course. That won’t be easy but Kubiak has a read on how to get it fixed. “The most important thing to do is look and say ‘ok, this is what we do well. We are fixing to go on a big six game run so let’s stay true to what we do well.”
The offense has achieved a degree of success by averaging 26.1 points per game. They can be even more dangerous if they can protect the football a little better. This is another area that Kubiak wants to take a closer look at and get resolved. In his eyes, the offense isn’t close to what they can get done this year. If that is the case, there are more fireworks to be shown in the final weeks by the Baltimore Ravens.