NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - INSIDE SLANT
The Baltimore Ravens sent offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie packing to the Miami Dolphins, trading the demoted veteran left offensive tackle in exchange for a conditional late-round draft pick.
By trading him to the Dolphins, the Ravens granted McKinnie his wish by returning the 34 year old to South Florida where he played collegiately at the University of Miami and lives during the offseason.
The Ravens explored the trade market for McKinnie for the past few weeks since acquiring Monroe through a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars with only a few teams expressing interest, according to league sources.
"It's a good move for us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a good move for Bryant. I'm happy for Bryant. It's a good opportunity for him, more than anything. That's the most important thing. It's just an opportunity to go down there and play and do well."
The Ravens gave up on McKinnie after a series of poor performances months removed from a successful postseason during their Super Bowl run. McKinnie allowed one sack, 15 quarterback pressures and four quarterback hits and was penalized twice, according to Pro Football Focus, which ranks him 66th among NFL offensive tackles.
McKinnie could wind up replacing offensive tackle Tyson Clabo, who has given up eight sacks in six games.
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Ravens for Bryant," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said in a statement about the former Miami consensus All-American and Outland Trophy winner. "He's a proven and experienced player who will be a great addition to the offensive line."
NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - NOTES, QUOTES
--In his starting debut this season since being activated from the physically unable to perform list, weak-side inside linebacker Jameel McClain recorded five tackles to rank third on the defense.
McClain graded out well as he replaced Josh Bynes in the lineup after Bynes had surgery to clean out an infected finger. It was his first game since suffering a spinal cord contusion last December against the Washington Redskins.
"I thought he played a good game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Given the circumstances, probably played really well. Hadn't played in a long time, hadn't practiced much, was thrown into a situation because of Josh's situation where he had to play quite a few snaps.
"He did a solid job, and he's only going to get better from here on out. He came out of it healthy, so that's important. He'll really benefit from the next couple days of work."
Since getting hurt against the Washington Redskins last year, McClain was told by at least one doctor that he would never play football again. However, he dedicated himself to resuming his career and was placed on the active roster Saturday after being removed from the reserve-physically unable to perform list.
"I waited a long time for this moment," McClain said. "My vision was something different than what happened. On a personal note, it's good I was able to get the opportunity to go back out there when it wasn't believed it was possible. On a team note, it's very disappointing. It's not even sweet. It's bitter.
"We lost, so I played bad. You can't play good when you lose. It's a bad feeling. It's tough, man. It's like a nightmare come true."
--An aggressive gambit backfired on the Ravens in the fourth quarter when kicker Justin Tucker's onside kick didn't travel the required 10 yards and dribbled into Steelers linebacker Vince Williams' hands.
The play was designed for Tucker to recover the football, but didn't work out as planned. It wound up leading to a Steelers field goal.
"It was one of those calculated risk plays," Tucker said. "Their center on kick return made a good play and hit me right as I was making contact with the ball. We're trying to steal a possession and give our offense the ball with good field position.
"No one is going to question our stones, ever. We're playing to win the game. We're not into moral victories."
--Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had a penalty-filled series in the third quarter, flagged three times with one of them declined.
Dumervil jumped offside and then delivered a late hit after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had already released a pass intended for Jerricho Cotchery that fell incomplete.
"I got to do a better job of being aware of the strike zone," Dumervil said. "I think I played a little too aggressive. I have to do a better job and not cost the team."
Later in the drive, Dumervil combined with nose tackle Haloti Ngata for a sack on third down at the Ravens' 17-yard line.
It was nullified, though, because Dumervil committed a facemask penalty and led to a Steelers field goal.
"You just can't grab the facemask, but Ben ducks all the time," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "What do you say? This is the biggest, strongest quarterback in the NFL. We have to wrap him up strong and bring him down, but you feel yourself around the face area, he drops down, you have to get your fingers out of there somehow. Maybe there's a way to coach that other than talking about it, but you don't want to get the facemask."
NFL Team Report - Baltimore Ravens - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--QB Joe Flacco has been off on deep passes lately, a strength of the team a year ago during its Super Bowl run.
--WR Torrey Smith's pace has slowed lately, catching 31 passes for 629 yards and one touchdown.
--TE Dallas Clark has been playing well, catching 23 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
--RB Ray Rice looked better against the Steelers, but rushed for only 45 yards on 15 carries. For the season, he has just 242 yards and three touchdowns.
--MLB Darryl Smith, the replacement for Ray Lewis, has 62 tackles, two interceptions and 1 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble and leads the team with eight pass deflections. The past two games, the run defense has faltered with 281 yards surrendered.
--OG Kelechi Osemele indicated he'll likely need offseason back surgery, which he admitted is affecting his play
--RB Bernard Pierce's hamstring continues to bother him, and could prompt the Ravens to add depth at the position at some point.
--ILB Josh Bynes Is expected to return next week from an infected finger that required surgery to clean it out.
--NT Haloti Ngata was able to practice this week despite an elbow injury that has limited him the past few games.
--TE Dennis Pitta is unlikely to return until late November or December, but coach John Harbaugh said the player remains on schedule as he recovers from a fractured and dislocated right hip.
REPORT CARD VS. STEELERS
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Joe Flacco was accurate and poised, but misfired on a key potential touchdown pass in a tight ballgame. He was sacked just once.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D-plus -- The Ravens rushed for only 82 yards on 26 carries, a 3.2 average per run.
PASS DEFENSE: C -- The Ravens sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times, but allowed one touchdown and 17 of 23 accuracy. He was held to 160 passing yards. His leading receiver was Antonio Brown: six catches, 50 yards.
RUSH DEFENSE: D -- The Ravens allowed rookie running back Le'Veon Bell to rush for a career-high 93 yards on 19 carries, surrendering 141 rushing yards overall on 29 carries.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- The Ravens allowed a key kickoff return to set up the game-winning field goal. They flubbed an onsides kick attempt.
COACHING: D -- The Ravens were too aggressive under John Harbaugh in going for the onsides kick, and it backfired.