Bringing the noise

Speaking with reporters this afternoon, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said that Seattle's stadium - which is now called CenturyLink Field - is the loudest he's ever been in.

A few seconds later, Cameron corrected himself.

"I take that back," he said. "The loudest I've ever been in are our practices."

The 2-6 Seahawks and their 29th-ranked offense might not present many matchup problems for the Ravens this Sunday afternoon, but one issue John Harbaugh's squad will have to deal with is the noise that's created by the 66,000-plus that pack the Seahawks' home stadium.

As they do before every road game, the Ravens have prepared for that inconvenience by blasting in fake crowd noise during practices to get the offensive players acclimated to not being able to hear play calls or the snap count.

"Seattle's the loudest stadium I've been in, because, at times, you can't even hear the quarterback screaming at the top of his lungs in the huddle," Cameron said. "But it'll be equally (loud), if not louder, in practice. You just try to simulate it as best you can. Doesn't do much for your hearing. Trust me when I tell you."

So what do players do when you can't hear the quarterback calling the plays?

"Just read his lips," Cameron said. "That's what you do. The same thing you guys would do. It's no different if you were in a critical situation. you just read the person's lips and play ball. That's what you do."

Seattle's home fans (known as "The 12th Man") have created quite a home-field advantage for the Seahawks over the years. Since 2005, the Seahawks' opponents have been whistled for 107 false start penalties, which is the most in the NFL.

Opposing teams are flagged for a false start 2.1 times per game during that time, indicating just how hard it is for an offense to get on the same page when the crowd dials up the noise.

"Once we get that crowd going, it speaks for itself," Seahawks quarterback Tavaris Jackson said. "We've led the league in the last seven, eight years, however long in false starts, so they pride themselves on getting involved in the game. So, as long as we can keep our crowd in it and use it to our advantage, they'll be a great help."

The last time the Ravens played in Seattle was 2007, so very few members of the Baltimore offense have actually experienced that noise for themselves. Still, partly because of the fake crowd noise pumped in during practice, and partly because of the loud environments they've played in recently, the Ravens don't expect it to be a major problem.

Quarterback Joe Flacco pointed out that the more damage the Ravens can do early, the tougher it will be for "The 12th Man" to maintain the high decibel levels. Rack up the points, and CenturyLink Field is likely to go quiet.

"We're going to be going into another place that is tough to play," Flacco said. "Obviously, Pittsburgh is a pretty tough place to play, and Seattle is going to be another one of those places that's just a really loud place. And these guys have got some talented guys over there on the defensive side of the ball, so I think it's going to be our job to get off to a quick start, and we do that by just going and executing and trying to be as efficient as we can.

"I think as long as we do that, then hopefully we can go put some points on the board early on and try to take all of those other factors out of the game as quickly as we can."

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