Ravens looking to cut down on penalties

WESTMINSTER --The Baltimore Ravens got tired of seeing yellow flags flying in their direction last season, a trend that never halted as they led the NFL penalty yardage. Ranked fifth in total penalties assessed last year with 115 for a total of 1,094 penalty yards, the Ravens continue to have college officials working their training camp to make sure the players follow the rules.

"I would say it's a big point of emphasis for us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's always been a big emphasis, but probably more so than it has been ever before."

NFL referee Ron Winter and his officiating crew visited the Ravens to go over new points of emphasis and rule changes earlier in camp.

The aspiring NFL officials are told to not hold back with the flags at camp. Sometimes, the players argue and lobby for calls or have a bit of fun with defensive end Cory Redding tossing a flag into the air recently.

"We've told them to call it tight," Harbaugh said. "And our coaches are instructed to coach the penalties, not argue about them. And we've always tried to do that, but I think more so this year than ever probably."

So far, Harbaugh said that the Ravens have been cutting down on holding and pass interference penalties.

He'll judge the real results when the penalties actually count.

"When the games start, we'll find out," Harbaugh said. "I think guys have been very conscious about technique. I've seen improvement with regard to those things."

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