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Browns rookie emerges from rocky past


Browns rookie emerges from rocky past

The arc of Nate Orchard’s life follows a somewhat similar path to that of former Raven Michael Oher’s “Blind Side” story. ESPN.com laid out the history this week.

Orchard, a linebacker from Utah taken by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the draft, went through a great deal of upheaval in his young life.

Born in California, Orchard was sent to live in Salt Lake City with his brother at 10 or 11 when his mother decided she couldn’t provide for him. (Orchard doesn’t know his father.) After three years, financial woes forced his brother to move in with his in-laws, leaving Orchard with no home. With few other choices, Orchard approached his high school basketball coach. Dave and Katherine Orchard took him in, and a temporary arrangement became a permanent one — the Orchards took over as his guardians.

Not that it was all smooth from there out.

"They've been great to me, never gave up on me," Orchard said. "I ran away a lot as a kid, was stubborn and didn't want to be in the environment. It was such a culture shock, but I made it work."

In addition to running away, he fathered a daughter at 15 (the girl was adopted).

However, Orchard’s life stabilized. He went to Utah and turned into an NFL prospect by showing enough pass rushing ability to record 18.5 sacks last season. Two years ago, he married his girlfriend from high school and also changed his last name, Fakahafua, assuming the name of the family that helped raise him from runaway teenager to potential pro football player. And when he and his wife had a daughter, they named her Katherine, in honor of Katherine Orchard.

"Being married and having the stability and realizing that football is the way that I am going to feed my family and I have to take it more seriously and do my work and become the best player I know I can be, and I did just that," he said.

[RELATED: Ed Reed retires from NFL]

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season


Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward.