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Snapping issues are front and center for Urschel


Snapping issues are front and center for Urschel

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was encouraged that center Jeremy Zuttah would recover quickly from the shoulder injury that sidelined him during the Chargers game, but the Ravens know they must be better prepared should Zuttah miss any additional time.

After Zuttah left the game on Sunday, second-year lineman John Urschel stepped in as the Ravens center. But Urschel struggled, snapping one ball past quarterback Joe Flacco and sending back a couple of other floaters in the shotgun formation.

“Shotgun snaps are something I have to work on,” Urschel said after the game. “It’s always nice to get the win, and be able to smile. I’m very grateful to my teammates that they got me through that, and they kept me calm through the game.”

Harbaugh admitted on Monday that Urschel  "did not do a great job with the snaps, obviously. It was tough for Joe to handle the gun snaps, and we had one missed snap on the under-center snap, too. That’s something we really have to go to work on, even if Jeremy comes back for this next game.”

Harbaugh, though, sounded optimistic that the Ravens would have Zuttah back when they face Jacksonville at M&T Bank Stadium a week from Sunday. All players are off from Thursday through Sunday this week for the bye week.

“Things do look good for Jeremy,” Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s bye week practice. “We’ll know more Monday."

RELATED Harbaugh confident in Ravens' behavior during bye

The Ravens also have Ryan Jensen as a candidate at center, but neither he nor Urschel have been called upon much in that role. Zuttah has started every game since joining the Ravens last season.

Urschel was a guard throughout his Penn State career and is considered the Ravens top backup guard and backup center. He has seen time at all three interior line positions -- left guard, center and right guard.

“That’s just the deal as a backup offensive lineman,” Urschel said after the Chargers game. “I did play right guard earlier in the game. Someone else goes down, you just go right in, and try to do the best you can.”


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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?