After an offseason dedicated to improvement in areas of weakness, the Ravens through two weeks of the 2016 NFL season are leaving a lot to be desired with their running attack.
Head coach John Harbaugh has time and time again bellowed his thoughts on the need for the run game to be effective in order for the rest of the offense to fall into place.
Through two narrow wins to open the season, his offense’s ground game has been anything but.
“I think it’s a work in progress,” stated right guard Marshal Yanda following practice on Wednesday. “Obviously, we would want to run the ball better in those first two games. We just need to keep working at it. It’s something that we’re working hard at every day.
“It’s something that’s important to us as a team and as an O-line. I think that it’s going to get better, and we’re grinding at it. We’re missing some things here and there, a block here, a missed assignment there. We’re 2-0, and we’re happy about it, but we definitely need to get the run game going.
“We understand that, and we’re working hard toward getting that going.”
Running backs Justin Forsett and Terrance West have combined for 152 rushing yards on 47 attempts. While the total yards gained isn’t too terribly bad, their average yards per carry average is concerning. Forsett has totaled 3.3 yards per carry and West picking up just 3.2 yards per carry.
Many will point fingers at the offensive line’s struggles in run blocking while others will ponder whether the Ravens run difficulties are a Marc Trestman issue.
Yanda provided some insight on whether or not the Ravens have seemingly abandoned their zone blocking scheme.
“No. It’s still in there,” responded the Ravens veteran guard. “That’s still what we want to do. We’re just trying to find more effective ways to run it versus those looks and try to give us the best possibility.”
He did point out there were new staples to their style of running the football as opposed to last year.
“I feel like the run game changes every year,” stated Yanda. “It’s not always going to be exactly the same. We’re not running as much, but we are definitely doing more than just the stretch-zones scheme.
“When Gary [Kubiak] was here, we were doing that exclusively. We’re definitely trying to switch it up and do a little bit more gap scheme, a little bit more tight zone along with the stretch.
“We’re definitely throwing a few wrinkles in there, not just all zone.”
The old mantra of why try and fix something that isn’t broke certainly comes to mind, considering the Ravens rushing attack was considered on of the league’s best under Kubiak’s watch.
While it’s been a small sample size, their rushing identity thus far has been a head-scratcher to say the very least.
As the seasons start to change and with cold weather football on the horizon, the Ravens run game must find its way, STAT!
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