Ravens say playoff practices were shorter, didn't cause issues

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome refuted a Baltimore Sun report that players were upset with increased playoff practice time and threatened to complain to the union about it.

In fact, Newsome told the Ravens' official website, coach John Harbaugh actually started reducing practice time in November to keep his players fresh.

"I am here for every practice, year-round, and John informs me about the structure of practices, including length and repetitions," Newsome said. "I know practices were shorter, not only the week of the Steelers playoff game, but the weeks before, through our successful run to the postseason in December. The coaches made sure the players were ready to play at their best by gameday."

The Ravens' website reported that practices during the week of that divisional-round game were the shortest of the season.

The issue of practice time arose with Saturday's Sun report, two weeks after the Ravens' playoff loss. Baltimore blew a 14-point halftime lead at Pittsburgh, totaling just 28 yards on offense in the second half, and lost 31-24.

Cornerback Chris Carr and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata backed Newsome's assertion Monday and pointed out that the team mostly took "mental reps" in playoff practices.

"I think the practices were definitely scaled back in our favor," Carr said. "It was beneficial, not a hindrance."

Added Ngata: "The coaches didn't want to have much contact, and it was pretty much the same, just not as physical as earlier in the year."

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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