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Brown: Ravens have been knocked down, not out


Brown: Ravens have been knocked down, not out

OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens aren’t making enough plays, but at least they aren’t making excuses.

If you are looking for signs that the Ravens have surrendered, or fractured, you won’t find them talking to players or coaches at their practice facility. That doesn’t mean jack, unless the Ravens start performing a lot better. But players say their coach, John Harbaugh, is bringing the same confident attitude to work this week, despite the team’s unexpected 1-4 start and a slew of injuries.

“He hasn’t been MF-ing guys, or chewing guys out, or kind of putting on a persona or anything like that,” said guard Kelechi Osemele. “He’s just been a straight professional about it. He calls guys out, and he’s going to let you know if he thinks you need to improve…that’s just how he’s been.”

Most people believe the Ravens’ playoffs hopes are down the drain. If the Ravens start believing that, they’re toast. Instead, the Ravens believe the same approach that has allowed their franchise to make the playoffs six of the last seven years will allow them to weather this storm.

If the 2015 Ravens aren’t good enough, Joe Flacco says the players will eventually have to accept that. But nobody in the locker room is accepting that in mid-October, heading into Sunday’s road game against the 49ers.

“I think it starts with John and the way he’s leading us,” Flacco said. “I think we’ve had a great mindset coming out here and practicing and being able to put some of that stuff behind us, but it’s not easy. That’s the thing you have to love about the NFL. If you’re not a good enough team, it’s going to show up at some point or the other, and it’s going to be very blatant, and that’s kind of how it has been so far. We just haven’t been good enough, and going out there and playing on Sunday makes it very obvious, (that) you don’t win games if you’re not good enough.”

You would rather hear your quarterback say that, instead of harping on how close the losses have been. Every Ravens’ game has been decided by six points or less. But when Flacco is asked about that, two words come to mind. 

Nobody cares.

“I think a loss is a loss,” Flacco said. “I don’t think you can stand here and say, ‘But we only lost them (by a close margin). We had a chance to win.’ You’re going down a slippery slope when you start doing those things. It’s almost like you’re looking for an excuse and pointing the finger.”

If the Ravens lose Sunday to the 49ers (1-4), talking about next season will become much more relevant. However, the Ravens arestill focused on trying to salvage this year.

Sunday’s home loss to the Browns was a punch in the gut. How the Ravens respond Sunday will tell you if they have been knocked down, or knocked out.

MORE RAVENS: How can the Ravens save their season?

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It's Friday and the Ravens still haven't announced who their starting quarterback is for Sunday

It's Friday and the Ravens still haven't announced who their starting quarterback is for Sunday

The suspense is killing us.

Will it be Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III or actually Joe Flacco starting for the Baltimore Ravens Sunday in the most important game of the season, in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals?

Well, it's almost time for happy hour on a Friday and we still don't have a definite answer.

Flacco, who is nursing a right hip injury, did not practice this week and was listed as doubtful on the team's Friday injury report.

But the good news is that Jackson, who missed Thursday's practice with an illness, was a full participant Friday. When asked whether Jackson missing the most crucial day of practice is concerning, head coach John Harbaugh had us scratching our heads.

“It’s not ideal,” Harbaugh said. “Was it part of the plan? Apparently, it was.”

Jackson admitted that the possibility of his first NFL start Sunday would bring on a few butterflies but that once the ball was snapped,"it's on."

"You have to have trust with your guys," Jackson said Wednesday. "You have to have them believing in you to put points on the board. So, that’ll be my job if I’m out there.”

And in the latest version of 'The NFL is wild,' Robert Griffin III was the only Ravens quarterback who participated in a full week of practice.

The 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year hasn't started an NFL game since January 1, 2017, but has stayed up to speed in case a moment like this occurred. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Prior to this week, Flacco had only been on the team's injury report eight times and had missed only three regular-season practices. In 11 years, Flacco has missed just six games, starting the last 41. 

Guard/tackle James Hurst (back) has been ruled out for the fourth week as well as Tim Williams (ankle).

Cornerback Tavon Young (ankle), tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and safety Tony Jefferson (thigh) are listed as questionable. 


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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline


Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player were seen plundering his locker Wednesday in front of reporters. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow.