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Torrey Smith eyes 'monster' season

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Torrey Smith eyes 'monster' season

Now it can be told: the sports hernia Ravens receiver Torrey Smith dealt with down the stretch of last season was, well, no small thing.

The biggest thing about it, Smith said after Mondays training camp practice, is everything I was doing was painful.

Wait ... everything?

Well, I was fine cutting and fine once I got going, Smith said, but actually getting going, the transition to that, was painful (and) when it started to get cold, that was terrible.

Smith still put together a highly productive season, grabbing 50 passes for 841 yards, with seven of his receptions going for touchdowns a record for a Ravens rookie. He caught a last-minute game-winner against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, scored a touchdown in the AFC title game and generally made a name for himself as one of the NFLs best young deep threats.

But dont expect him to beat his chest over his accomplishments. Rather than focus on what he accomplished, he said he has watched films of the catchable balls he dropped and the plays he didnt make which were more numerous than he wanted.

I have high standards for myself, he said, and looking back at the end of the year and seeing all the plays I left on the field, it could have been a monster season for me. I know (now) that as long as I can be consistent, I can reach those goals. I just want to get better and better every time I walk off the field. Being consistent on my technique, on catching the ball, in my routes, thats what Im working toward.

Smith underwent surgery to repair the hernia after the season and was back to full speed for the spring practice season. The Ravens love whatre seeing from him in his second training camp. A year ago, he was admittedly clueless, having come to camp cold, without the benefit of spring OTAs and minicamps due to the lockout.

I could barely walk and chew gum at the same time, Smith said. I was so busy thinking about my assignments and worrying about things I shouldnt worry about. For me, coming in this year, understanding the offense, just trying to develop as a player, its a lot less stressful.

This year, he has been the best receiver in camp, a playmaker and frequent target of quarterback Joe Flaccos. Ravens coach John Harbaugh cant praise him enough.

This is a guy who comes to work every single day and all he thinks about is how he can get better, Harbaugh said. Hes the most efficient improver, if thats a word, that Ive ever seen. He gets the most out of every day. I think thats why hes going to continue to become a great player.

CAMP NOTES

Although Bryant McKinnie was in full pads for the first time, the Ravens went with Michael Oher and rookie Kelechi Osemele as their starting offensive tackles. But McKinnie drew praise from Harbaugh.

He worked hard. He made it through the whole practice. I thought he looked athletic. He looked like he was moving well. Now he just has to stack (good practices), Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh said he reached out to Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid after hearing that Reids oldest son had died at the teams training camp at age 29. Harbaugh was an assistant under Reid in Philadelphia for almost a decade.

With the sun burning down, Harbaugh pulled guard Marshal Yanda and receiver Jacoby Jones from practice early just to give them a break. Theyd done enough, he said.

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Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

Baltimore Ravens' 2018 regular season matchups, dates and times

We've known the Ravens' 2018 preseason and regular season opponents for some time now, but the NFL finally released their full schedule with exact dates and times.

As they do every year, the Ravens will be seeing the Bengals, Steelers and Browns twice. 

For the ninth consecutive year, Week 16 and 17 will be divisional games with playoff implications.

The Ravens will also be playing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game against the Chicago Bears in Canton, Ohio, bringing an extra preseason game to their schedule.

In the regular season, the birds will be flocking south to take on the Panthers, Falcons and Titans. They haven't seen the Panthers or Falcons since 2014 - both ending in wins - and came up just short against the Titans in their 23-20 loss last season.

The Ravens will only have to travel to the west coast once when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers, who they last saw in 2015 and earned a 29-26 win.

Not including AFC North rivals, the last time the Ravens saw their remaining five home opponents they came away with wins. Hopefully history will repeat itself.

Prime-time games, which the Ravens have two of, will kick off at earlier times than in the past. Monday Night Football will now start at 8:15 p.m. while Thursday and Sunday Night Football will start at 8:20 p.m.

Ravens 2018 Regular-Season Schedule:

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9 vs. Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 2: Thursday, 9/13 @ Bengals, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: Sunday, 9/23 vs. Broncos. 1:00 p.m.

Week 4: Sunday, 9/30 @ Steelers, 8:20 p.m.

Week 5: Sunday, 10/7 @ Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 6: Sunday 10/14 @ Titans, 4:25 p.m.

Week 7: Sunday, 10/21 vs. Saints, 4:05 p.m.

Week 8: Sunday 10/28 @ Panthers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 9: Sunday 11/4 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 10:  BYE week

Week 11: Sunday 11/18 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m.

Week 12: Sunday 11/25 vs. Raiders, 1:00 p.m.

Week 13: Sunday 12/2 @ Falcons, 1:00 p.m.

Week 14: Sunday 12/9 @ Chiefs, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Sunday 12/16 vs. Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m.

Week 16: Saturday 12/22 or Sunday 12/23 @ Chargers, TBD

Week 17: Sunday 12/30 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m.


PRESEASON 

Hall of Fame Game: Thurs., 8/2, vs. Chicago Bears (Canton, OH), 8:00pm (NBC).

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. Los Angeles Rams

Week 2: Mon. 8/20,  at Indianapolis Colts (Monday Night Football, ESPN).

Week 3: at Miami Dolphins*

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30 at Washington Redskins

* - Game date and time not yet determined

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

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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