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Cam: Fast start is key for Ravens offense


Cam: Fast start is key for Ravens offense

Ravens offensivecoordinator Cam Cameron has heard plenty this preseason about the Ravensno-huddle offense, and Ray Rice's new contract, and Joe Flacco's impressive play. But to him, the key to a good start this season is, well, thestart."I think wedefinitely want to get off to a fast start," Cameron said in his weeklysession with the media on Friday. "Thats one of the expectations, notonly in the season, but you want to get off to a fast start in the game ... Thestatistics show that if you start fast, you win a lot more than you lose."The Ravens lastseason were 10-0 when scoring first.Ironically, theRavens got off to a rough start last season in their home game against the Bengals, their opponent in Monday night's season opener at M&T Bank Stadium. In thefirst quarter of that game, the Ravens managed one first down, fumbled a snap(which they recovered), were outgained 93-22 and fell behind, 7-0. The Ravens,though, scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns and never trailed again in a31-24 win, one of their two when not scoring first.If the Ravens arelooking for a fast start, it begs the question: If they win the coin toss, willthey elect to receive the kickoff? Inthe past, conventional wisdom said if the Ravens win the toss, defer and putthat vaunted Ravens defense on the field right away. Get a stop, get the ball,and then get the ball again to start the second half.Monday night,we'll see if the Ravens take the ball right away if given the choice. Aseason-opening, 'sugar-huddle' touchdown drive would be just the kind of startCameron and the Ravens are looking for.

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?