OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens held an indoor bye-week practice on Tuesday. It was one in which most veterans did not take part. One vet who did was Derek Wolfe. The defensive end has been out all season with back and hip issues. The team designated him to return off the injured reserve list. Baltimore has 21 days to place him on the active roster.
When he cracks the lineup he should provide some much-needed help in the football fundamental category of tackling. Baltimore hasn’t been good at it and it showed up again in Sunday’s blowout 41-17 loss to the Bengals.
"The biggest problem we have on defense this year, in terms of big plays, is not getting guys on the ground," said head coach John Harbaugh on Monday. "Until we get that fixed we will be a very mediocre defense, generally speaking."
There are multiple culprits when it comes to missing tackles this season. However, the poster child seems to be Patrick Queen. The second-year linebacker said he has been overthinking instead of just executing.
"There are a lot of times where I just threw my shoulder in there and I wish I could take those plays back and just redo them, relive them and just execute on that part. The only thing I can do now is just improve on that."
His inside linebackers coach, Rob Ryan, continues to see his potential, especially since moving Queen to the weak side.
"This young guy is going to have a big career in front of him," said Ryan. "I know everybody wants to see him be Ray Lewis right away but Ray Lewis wasn’t Ray Lewis when he first got here. So, things take time."
"I know I’m great. I know I can do everything that I’m capable of and other people are capable of. So, I just got to go out there and handle my part and uplift the standard that our defense requires," added Queen.
The Ravens are expected to practice once more on Wednesday before scattering for their bye-week off days. They will return to the facility on Monday to start game week preparations for their next opponent, the Minnesota Vikings.