Yanda, who doesn't say a whole lot but is one of the most respected players in the locker room because of his toughness and team-first attitude, borrowed a phrase from fellow Iowa native and famed collegiate and Olympic wrestler and coach
"Embrace the grind," Yanda said, producing loud howls from his teammates.
The saying, which was eventually put on T-shirts, was mentioned again Friday by coach
The victory, which was in doubt until Browns rookie quarterback
"I'm really proud of our coaches and our players for what they accomplished in the last 18 days," Harbaugh said. "To me, what we did in training camp and what we've done through the first four weeks of the season, it was a grind. It was three prime-time games … which are high-intensity games. You have to bounce back, you don't get much rest. You had to bounce back in short weeks twice. Our guys deserve a lot of credit for it."
In matching their same four-game start from the previous three seasons, the Ravens have mixed significant improvements with some concerning flaws.
Their best all-around game was probably the season-opening 44-13 rout of the
The 31-30 victory over the defending
On Thursday, the Ravens continued to do some good things on offense and much-maligned cornerback
"We weren't perfect by any stretch," Harbaugh said. "There are plenty of blemishes that we need to work on in all three phases, lots of stuff that our guys, our players and our coaches would be the first to say that we need to go to school on, which we will. But they're up for a well-deserved rest right now, and we'll start building on Monday."
Harbaugh had his players report to the team facility Friday to go over game film, attend meetings and get treatment. For a team that has played three one-score games in a 12-day span, the Ravens are remarkably healthy. Harbaugh said Flacco and Smith are both dealing with
Knowing what was ahead of his team, Harbaugh modified practices and meetings. He acknowledged that his staff had more conversations with players in the first four weeks than it normally would to best gauge where the team was mentally and physically. He also credited the team's training and strength and conditioning staffs for staying on top of the players.
"I don't know if it's ever been done, but if there were any men for the job, it was probably us," said Ravens middle linebacker
The Ravens understand some of the issues they've had through the season's first four weeks will still be there when they return. Those issues are mostly confined to the defense, which entered Thursday night's game ranked 27th in the
"We're giving up too many yards right now on basically chunk plays," Harbaugh said. "It's been that way all year. We've had three, four, five chunk plays every game that have accounted for probably between 100 and 200 yards I would say. That's the stuff we're really going to keep working on to clean up. We don't want that to happen. It just puts too much pressure on everybody on our defense."
While the offense has wracked up 941 yards over the past two weeks, the most yards registered in back-to-back games in team history, the defense has given up 753 yards in that same span. That certainly isn't sitting well with a proud defense that will spend a rare weekend off, relaxing yet also doing some soul searching.
"We definitely have some time to recuperate, to heal all of our injuries, whatever we have on this team, and then to scout ourselves and see where we went wrong and try to correct it," linebacker
Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel contributed to this article.