5 things Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about facing the Bengals

Credit: Gail Burton

Credit: Gail Burton

Like his counterpart with the Bengals, 10th-year Ravens coach John Harbaugh has a team that expects to feature a mix of familiar faces and new pieces when the curtain goes up on the 2017 season Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Here are five takeaways from Harbaugh’s conference call with Cincinnati media on Wednesday.

1. Harbaugh is well aware of the makeover the Bengals pass rush has gotten with newcomers Carl Lawson, Jordan Willis and Chris Smith joining the likes of Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. 

“They look good. They’ve always been formidable as a pass rushing group. They’ve always had one of the best front sevens in pro football year and year out and they restocked the cupboard there a little bit with those young guys and they look really good. Those are guys we liked in the draft as well and they’re playing really hard and really well for them.”

2. He still sees A.J. Green as the best receivers in the NFL. 

“In my mind (defending him has) always been very, very challenging. I think I was the first coach to go on record to saying he was the best in the league and that was maybe five years ago, six years ago and I stand by that. I think he’s a a great player and he’s proven it.”

RELATED: Bengals getting ready to start for real

3. The Bengals have some new faces in key places, but so do the Ravens. 

“Yeah I think that’s probably true on both sides, we’re a very young team as well,” Harbaugh said. “We talked about that with our guys a little bit - we have two young teams with a lot of new faces so it will be interesting on Sunday.

“We’re very excited about our team and our season and we’re looking forward to playing.”

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Like our Cincinnati Bengals News Now Facebook page

4. Baltimore also has made some changes in the secondary with Tony Jefferson, Brandon Carr and Marlon Humphrey joining a group that already included Eric Weddle, Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. 

“They played well in the preseason so we’re really happy with that. They’ve looked good in practice. They are experienced guys and we’ve kind of got a mix there with some veteran guys and some very young guys. The combination has been good for us so far. We’ll find out, we’ll find out in the next few weeks.”

5. The Ravens have also made some changes on the offensive line, where Ronnie Stanley and Austin Howard are listed as the starting tackles, James Hurst and Marshal Yanda will start at guard and Ryan Jensen is the No. 1 center for the opener. 

“From a cohesion standpoint we’re still working on that, because we’re still plugging parts in place there as we go from an injury standpoint. For the first time we’ll have the offensive line intact will be the first regular-season game. They’ve been working really hard. I think the individual things we’ve been working on, the combination blocks, the communication, the individual techniques, they’ve come a long way and they’ve improved tremendously and we’re ready to go.”

About the Author