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Harbaugh exasperated by wave of penalties

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Harbaugh exasperated by wave of penalties

A day removed from the Ravens stunning overtime loss to Cleveland, coach John Harbaugh remained exasperated over the role penalties played in that game, and the role they have played in the Ravens' franchise-worst 1-4 start.

"The ones that were most hurtful were the offsides, where we lined up in the neutral zone, twice in the same drive. That was unfathomable," Harbaugh said at his Monday news conference.

He was referring to penalties on linebackers Za'Darius Smith and Jason Babin that occurred within four plays of each other and essentially handed the Browns 10 yards on a drive that ended with a Browns go-ahead touchdown.

"The penalties, for the most part, were inexcusable – late especially," Harbaugh had said moments after the game on Sunday. "Lining up in the neutral zone, I don’t understand that penalty. How do you explain that one?"

But that was far from the only key penalty against the Ravens, who were flagged 12 times for 98 yards. Lawrence Guy was called for roughing the passer, which negated an interception by Lardarius Webb. Babin was called for a hands-to-the-face penalty on third down that gave the Browns a first down at the Ravens 10-yard line. They scored two plays later.

Earlier, shortly before halftime, receiver Darren Waller was called for an illegal block, which pushed the Ravens back 10 yards. Two plays later, Justin Tucker missed a 51-yard field-goal attempt.

Through five games, the Ravens have been flagged 42 times for 368 yards, the fifth-most in the league. They had more than 100 penalty yards in back-to-back games (vs. Oakland and Cincinnati) for the just the second time in team history.

"Some of them are the cost of doing business, some of them are tough, technique penalties, and some of them are inexcusable penalties," Harbaugh said. "We look at all of them.”

It's pretty clear that for a Ravens team struggling to get off the field on defense, handing the opponent extra plays and yardage will only make a bad situation worse.

[RELATED: Harbaugh not considering coaching changes]

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

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USA TODAY Sports

As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 

RELATED: BEST QUOTES FROM RAVENS PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE

The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

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Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Robert Griffin III went from Heisman Trophy winner, to second-overall pick, to Offensive Rookie of the Year, to unemployed, to backup quarterback all in the matter of six years.

That's a rollercoaster of a career for a 28-year old, but RGIII is fully embracing the opportunity the Ravens have presented him with.

“I feel like I knew coming into this situation that this is Joe’s [Flacco] team," Griffin said at a press conference Wednesday.

"I understood that when I came in to work out; I understood that when I signed. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from him. Whatever capacity the coaches ask me to help, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to compete, and I’m here to get better every single day – work hard. I think they saw that from me in the workout and in our general conversations together. I think they realize I’m ready for the opportunity and I’m ready for this role – whatever that role may be.”

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

Finding a backup quarterback that you can put some faith in during a time of desperation in today's league is a hard find, with the exception of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

While Griffin hasn't played since January of 2017, he offers legitimate experience that isn't being offered by typical backups. 

 "I feel like I’ve been able to get a better grasp of how to play the game in the NFL, what coaches are looking for. I think that’s a benefit, whereas in 2012 when I came in, it was more so learning everything on the fly and just going out and playing. Now I feel like I have to ability to go out and play and also know what I’m doing, be able to protect myself better, get the ball to the guys that need to get the ball and help a team win – in whatever way that is.”

The Ravens signed RGIII on a one-year contract worth $1 million - we're assuming- with hopes he'll never see the field during the regular season. Griffin made it clear he understands that role, but is looking forward to learning how to lead a team under a ten-year veteran. 

RELATED: RAVENS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

“Most of my interactions with Joe have been at midfield. I really do look forward to getting in the quarterback room with him. It’s a great opportunity for me. I still feel like I’m a young player. I’m 28, but I feel like I’m 25. He’s been through a lot of things in his career, been to the pinnacle and won a Super Bowl – Super Bowl MVP. I think that’s a great opportunity for me to learn and learn from him, and to just see the way that he attacks the game of football, the way he attacks the meeting room, practice, interacting with teammates – all those types of things – the way he leads." 

The RGIII saga in Baltimore is an open book right now, one that could come with an interesting ending.