Baltimore safety Kyle Hamilton gestures during the second half against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Nick Wass/Associated Press

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Marcus Williams has already contributed three interceptions in two games since joining the Baltimore Ravens.

Problem is, that’s not really the story when it comes to this team’s secondary.

As the Ravens prepare for this week’s trip to New England, they’re trying to figure out how to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s fourth-quarter collapse in their 42-38 loss to Miami. Baltimore allowed four touchdown passes in that final period and six in the game, and in the aftermath of those defensive breakdowns, the question is whether it’s an issue of talent, health, experience or preparation.

Or perhaps some combination of the above.

“Last week was last week. We’re just going to prepare and get ready for the game,” Williams said Wednesday. “We’re going to take our time this week and dial in to the things that we have to do to prepare for this game, so we don’t have what we had last week.”

The Ravens ranked last in the NFL against the pass a season ago, but they took steps to improve their defensive backfield in the offseason, acquiring Williams via free agency and drafting safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round. Cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters have both made multiple Pro Bowls, so on paper, Baltimore should certainly be better than it showed last weekend.


Humphrey, however, was nursing a groin issue last week, and Peters was in his first game back after missing the whole 2021 season with a knee injury. Neither was at practice Wednesday. Defensive back Brandon Stephens (quad) didn’t play Sunday and was limited in practice Wednesday.

“This week, most of everybody should be back. I’m hoping, crossing my fingers I’ll be back this week,” Stephens said. “We’re just trying to get healthy.”

The most glaring miscues came when the Ravens let Tyreek Hill behind them for touchdown catches of 48 and 60 yards. Coach John Harbaugh explained these plays in good detail, although without naming names.

“We didn’t play the technique right on the post to our defensive left. You have to stay on top of that as a corner. You have to stay on top of that as a safety. It’s three-deep coverage. Those guys know that,” Harbaugh said. “Then the other one was we didn’t have anybody in the deep half. That was a miscommunication if you want to call it that, and the deep-half player didn’t realize he was a deep-half player and he needs to get back there.”

Communication has been a buzzword in the aftermath of the loss. That’s the type of thing that can improve as young players gain experience, but it’s a big part of the attention to detail that is necessary to win.

“Just doing it out at practice, talking about it in the film room,” Williams said. “If we keep doing that week in and week out, it will take care of itself on the field on game day.”


BUCCANEERS: Tampa Bay will face the Green Bay Packers without leading receiver Mike Evans, whose appeal of a one-game suspension for his role in an on-field brawl was denied on Wednesday.

The NFL disciplined the eight-time, 1,000-yard receiver for “violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules” after Evans knocked New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore to the ground, escalating a dust-up that began with Tom Brady exchanging words with the Saints star.

Evans will miss Sunday’s home game against the Packers. With wide receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) still dealing with injuries after sitting out last week at New Orleans, the Bucs signed veteran Cole Beasley to the practice squad.

• Bruce Arians, former Bucs head coach, has received a “strongly written letter” from the NFL warning him about his sideline behavior.

Arians, who serves as the Bucs’ senior assistant to general manager Jason Licht, argued with officials from the sideline during Sunday’s 20-10 win over the Saints. The letter warned Arians that any further inappropriate sideline conduct could result in “discipline against him and the club.”

Arians, Licht and other members of the Bucs front office watched the game from the team’s sideline because they said the Saints did not provide them with a sky box or suite. There were, however, numerous seats in the press box reserved for the organization that they did not use.


JOE HADEN will finish where he started. A three-time Pro Bowl cornerback for seven seasons with Cleveland, Haden will sign a one-day contract with the Browns so he can retire as a member of the team that drafted him in the first round in 2007.

The Browns will honor the 33-year-old Haden at a game later this season. Haden was a productive and popular player during his time in Cleveland. He made 81 starts, played in 90 games and made 19 interceptions before the Browns released him before the 2017 season.

RAMS: Rams tight end Brycen Hopkins has been suspended for three games for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse, the league announced Wednesday.

Hopkins, a third-year pro, cannot return to the active roster until after the Rams’ Oct. 9 game against the Dallas Cowboys. Hopkins, a fourth-round draft pick in 2020 from Purdue, was inactive for much of his first two seasons but stepped up with a dynamic performance in the Super Bowl. His development led to the Rams carrying only two tight ends on their 53-man roster, veteran Tyler Higbee and Hopkins.

TITANS: Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan did not practice Wednesday for Tennessee after suffering a knee injury during  a 41-7 loss to Buffalo on Monday night.

Outside linebacker Bud Dupree (hip), defensive back Ugo Amadi (ankle) and reserve offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (triceps) also did not practice Wednesday.

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