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C. Williams finding his way in the secondary

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C. Williams finding his way in the secondary

When the defense is playing better, the criticism calms down. One player who heard plenty of negative things in the first part of the season is cornerback Cary Williams.

He had problems at various points, getting beaten in different ways as the Ravens seemed like they just couldn't control passing games on a regular basis. But things have been changing in recent weeks. 

The team's pass rush has slowly been awakening, mostly since the return of Terrell Suggs, something that's helped the defense control the passing game a little better. However, Williams is one of the players who's also been faring better.

Williams often got beat on downfield patters but that's slowed in recent weeks. 

"I think the thing he’s been is a little more consistent, and that’s what we were looking for," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said when talking to the media on Thursday. "That’s what we didn’t have earlier in the year. I think we’d have some real good plays, and then we’d have some plays that … I’m talking about everybody, not just necessarily Cary [Williams]. I just think he’s been more consistent – feels a little bit more comfortable."

Williams looks more settled out there. The Ravens really needed him to do better due to all of the injury problems. Lardarius Webb is out for the year, and Jimmy Smith will be gone for awhile, so Williams was the cornerback who'd played the most in the last few years.

Pees said the recent improvement of Williams kind of goes along with what many on the defense have done recently.

"Just like all of them, they all have their moments," Pees said. "Nobody has played a perfect game in the 40 years that I’ve been coaching; I haven’t seen one of those. He’s just more consistent. He works hard during the week and prepares himself.”

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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