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Caldwell: Flacco 'a lot better'

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Caldwell: Flacco 'a lot better'

When Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his new position coach, Jim Caldwell, met with reporters in separate sessions after Tuesdays training camp practice, it was interesting to hear their views of what has transpired in their five-plus months together.

Caldwell, who was the Indianapolis Colts head coach before coming to Baltimore, clearly believes Flacco has improved over the months of practice time they have shared.

The great thing about (Flacco) is he tries to improve, from his drops to his reads. There are a number of things that I think hes doing a lot better than he had done maybe previously, Caldwell said. He just keeps improving. Hes getting rid of the ball quickly. Were trying to work on a lot of the little things.

Were big on fundamentals around here. Thats key, a basic foundation, the basic rudiments of the game; playing the position from the ground up. You start with footwork, first of all. We work on that every single day to make sure thats solid. Thats the start of making a good throw or a poor throw.

Flacco, never one for intense self-analysis, didnt necessarily see the improvement in his technique.

So far were just out here doing our drills and stuff like that, he said with his usual shrug.

But he was extremely positive about the many hours he has spent in the classroom with Caldwell, watching films and discussing various plays.

The biggest thing has been the conversations weve had about certain plays and how we can throw or do that a little better, or take a different way to think about something, Flacco said. The conversations have been great.

Caldwell, he continued, "wants to get it right. Hes in our own (quarterbaks) room to make sure everything is clear to me. Jim is a great guy. You can tell from talking to him for two seconds. Its a very easy relationship. It will be fun this year as we go through the season, win a lot of games and continue to have that communication and just get better.

Flacco is one of the most-debated players in the NFL, but his play during training camp has elicited mostl positive reviews from his teammates and many media observers.

Im on the Joe Flacco bandwagon, receiver Torrey Smith said.

Hes comfortable in his own skin, Caldwell said.

Flacco will finally get to start exhibiting whatever has changed in him under Caldwell when the Ravens open the preseason against the Falcons Thursday night in Atlanta. Although he might not play more than a quarter, he said, Im definitely excited to play a football game and get out there. Its been awhile."

CAMP NOTES

Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw practiced for the first time in more than a week, as did receiver Tandon Doss. Upshaw had been out with a bruised shoulder, Doss with a sore hamstring. Safety Ed Reed (knee) also returned to practice after missing several days.

The team practiced on the indoor field at the Under Armour Performance Center for the second time in five days.

Harbaugh revealed the linebacker Josh Bynes has been out for two weeks with cracked bones in his back and is expected to miss another two or three weeks.

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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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