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Defense looking for answers after opener


Defense looking for answers after opener

There were several things in the exhibition opener that probably caused some concern for coach John Harbaugh and his staff. The troubles of the Ravens starting defense was likely near the top of the list.
Theres always problems in the first exhibition game. Thats normal, but when the Falcon offense moved up and down the field as easily as they did in just over a quarter Thursday night in Atlanta, concern is understandable.
They did a great job against our defensive scheme, Harbaugh said when talking the media after the game. Matt Ryan took his offense right down the field against us a couple of times, which was disappointing.
Ryan especially had little trouble moving the ball through the air. His receivers, especially Julio Jones and Roddy White, not only found room to run but made some good catches against a secondary that gave the Ravens a strong effort in 2011.
Jones finished with six catches for 109 yards and one touchdown while White added three more receptions for 46 yards. Ryan ended up completing nine of 13 for 146 yards plus a touchdown and an interception.
They definitely have some playmakers on their team, Harbaugh said. As a unit, we have lots to look at and lots to improve upon.
In addition, one reason the secondary had some trouble was that the guys up front werent able to put a whole lot of pressure on Ryan. Now, before everyone panics, please realize that the Ravens are not going to show all of their defensive cards in the first exhibition game one month before the season begins.
But they are going to have to get more pressure than they did. Ryan found plenty of time to throw the ball. They did go with a bunch of quick passes, but the Ravens need to improve there. It will be interesting to see what happens in the second game.

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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?