|Bryant McKinnie is one Raven who could be looking at more, or less, playing time once Baltimore gets back to action against Cleveland on Sunday. (US Presswire)|
Before the bye week, John Harbaugh hinted his football team could see some changes.
On Monday, during a conference call, Harbaugh said not to expect anything drastic when Baltimore takes the field this Sunday against Cleveland. After reviewing the film from the previous seven weeks, Harbaugh said there are a few tweaks that could take place, but nothing out of the ordinary.
“I can just tell you that the whole offensive line is not going to be re-ordered on Wednesday,” Harbaugh said. “The whole defensive line is not going to be restructured either. But there are some things we think we can do in getting some guys involved and using them as we go and kind of take advantage of all of our guys.”
Harbaugh and his coaching staff met for three days last week before taking the weekend off. Without categorizing how he felt a day after Baltimore’s 43-13 loss to Houston two Sundays ago, Harbaugh said he remains confident in his team as he begins preparations for the second half of the season.
“There were some very real concerns,” Harbaugh said. “There were some things we needed to do a lot better, not just from the day before but through the whole seven-game period that we felt like we needed to take a hard look at. I felt like our coaches, our players, the communication -- we really went to work and had some great conversations.”
Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have historically improved following their bye week. Not counting 2008 when Baltimore had a bye in Week 2 due to Hurricane Ike destroying part of Reliant Stadium in Houston, the Ravens have a favorable record after taking a week off.
In 2009, the Ravens finished 6-4 after a bye in Week 7. In 2010, Baltimore went 7-2 after its week off. And a year ago, the Ravens finished 9-3 after an early Week 5 bye.
There's a chance Baltimore will take a look at Bryant McKinnie at left tackle or give Ramon Harewood another chance to start at left guard. The Ravens could also give defensive tackles Bryan Hall and DeAngelo Tyson extended looks in practice. But as Harbaugh said, any major changes appear unlikely.
Baltimore is 5-2 and one game up in the race for the AFC North. Despite the struggles against Houston, the Ravens are still in good shape at the present time. Fresh off his fifth bye as Baltimore's head coach, Harbaugh’s hoping the self-scouting pays off again.
“If I say I am excited about it and we don’t play well then you guys can hammer me,” Harbaugh said. “But I don’t believe that. We have gotten better every single year in the second half of the season since we’ve been here. That’s been something that has been a strength for the Ravens. I expect it to be a strength for us going forward.”