Ravens’ Jason Pierre-Paul Updates Playing Status vs. Bills

Ravens EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul

Getty Ravens EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul embraces Lamar Jackson after a regular season game on December 16, 2018.

Despite only being in town less than a week with just a handful of practices under his belt, Jason Pierre-Paul is fired up and feels prepared to make an immediate impact on the Baltimore Ravens defense heading into their biggest game of the 2022 season thus far. The team will host the Superbowl-favorite Buffalo Bills and their MVP-caliber quarterback Josh Allen in what will likely be the best game in Week 4.

“Yes, I’ll be ready this Sunday. I’ll definitely be ready,” Pierre-Paul said in a press conference on September 30, 2022.

With four-time Pro Bowl edge defender Justin Houston listed as doubtful on the final injury report, the Ravens are going to need all the help they can get to try to slow down Allen and the dangerous offense he headlines. With Houston sidelined, Pierre-Paul took full advantage of the opportunities to get extra reps and feels like his first week of practice “went well”.

“I think I’m adjusting to the calls pretty well, getting the calls pretty well, getting my legs back under me. I’m playing catch-up, but I’ve been in this position before, so it’s not going to hold me back,” Pierre-Paul said.

The decision to come to Baltimore and sign with the Ravens wasn’t a difficult one for the two-time Superbowl champion to make. The two sides have had mutual interest dating back to the summertime when the team brought him in for a visit in June and they were finally able to get the “business part of it” taken care of when he officially signed a one-year deal on Monday.

“They really gave me an opportunity to play some great football here, so that’s what I’m going to do,” Pierre-Paul said. “And they believe in me, so that’s what really made the decision.”

Last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he recorded just 2.5 sacks in 12 games which were his lowest total since 2015 when he was still with the New York Giants and appeared in just eight games. He was essentially playing with one functional shoulder due to multiple injuries that included a supraspinatus injury, a torn rotator cuff, and a bicep tendon tear.

“Now, I’m back. I feel way, totally, way better. I was playing with only one shoulder last year; since Game 3, I was playing with one shoulder,” Pierre Paul said. “Imagine playing with one shoulder as a defensive end. I did what I can do for the team and holding my own, but not having two shoulders is a big thing; can’t push, can’t grab, can’t snatch – but I can do all that now.”

In addition to providing the pass rush a much-needed boost just in the nick of time and bringing veteran experience and leadership to the table, Pierre-Paul believes that his high-energy level will give the team a jolt and show why he is so fun to be around.

“My energy says it all, especially when it comes to gamedays,” he said. “My energy is just going to take over, and you’re going to see the reason why everybody loves me and likes to have me on their team. So, I’m pretty sure everybody knows that by now, but we’ll see; it’s only a matter of time, right?”

First Round Safety Not Lacking Confidence

After widely being viewed as the top prospect to come out at his position in years and a generational talent, Ravens’ first-year safety Kyle Hamilton had high expectations placed on him long before his rookie season even began. While his Pro Football Focus grades have been very kind to him through the first three weeks of the year with a top 10 overall grade of 77.7 which ranks seventh among all safeties, he has made his fair share of costly mistakes over that span as well.

The No. 14 overall pick made the biggest and most clutch play of his young career in the team’s bounce-back win over the New England Patriots in Week 3. He ran down a wide receiver from behind and forced a momentum-swing fumble on a punchout that set the offense up for what would ultimately be the ‘put-away’ scoring drive.

Despite the primal roar that he let out when he returned to the sideline after making the incredible play, Hamilton doesn’t see it as a confidence booster that made up for the previous week’s glaring errors but rather just an example of what is expected of him and what is to come moving forward.

“I don’t think it had a major boost or change in my confidence,” he said in a press conference on September 29, 2022. “Playing this position you have to be confident, you have to have a short memory. I feel like I was just as confident going into last game as I am going into this game. It was good to make plays last week but now I have to make more.”

Rookie Punter Working To Be More Consistent

Hamilton isn’t the only Ravens rookie that has made a couple of mistakes and struggled with consistency to start the season. After looking like an All-Pro in the preseason, fourth-round punter Jordan Stout has had a bad short punt that travels less than 40 yards in the fourth quarter of back-to-back games.

Against Miami in Week 2, he had a punt of just 36 yards that set up a three-play scoring drive for the Dolphins and in Week 3 he had a woeful 23-yarder that had the Patriots position well to mount a comeback of their own before Hamilton came up clutch with his huge turnover on the ensuing possession.

He still averages 45.9 yards per punt and five of his 11 attempts have been downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line but the team and his coaches want to see more be more consistent and finish games as strong as he starts them.

“Jordan is a young guy,” Ravens special teams coordinator Chris Horton said in a press conference on September 29, 2022. “You look at those first two punts he had, they were great. Our focus with him is just consistency and finishing. These things are coming up late in the game. We’ll correct those things. Those first two punts, again, they were outstanding. We just talked about, ‘Finish the game.’ It was a miss-hit. We’ll try to get him under control – just take care of his business.”

Making mistakes is part of the learning curve for young players and especially when it comes to rookies. However, after nearly two decades of having the model of consistency and technical proficiency at punter in Sam Koch who retired this offseason and is now on the staff coaching Stout, they fully expect him to learn and improve.

“He’s a really confident guy,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said in a press conference on September 30, 2022. “Obviously, he wants every punt to be a great punt, and he’s not happy about the two punts that you’re talking about. He came out and had another really good week of practice, so you just keep building on that. You learn from that situationally.”

Another challenge that Stout and the Ravens will likely have to face on Sunday is inclement weather with expected rain showers. Harbaugh is a former special teams coordinator and knows that “it’s going to be a challenging day for the punter and for everyone out there.”

“That’s going to be something that he’s going to have to deal with,” he said. “I’m sure he’s punted in the rain before at Penn State and all that, but it will be a new experience for him in the NFL.”

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