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Cameron finds 'sweet spot' with Rice

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Cameron finds 'sweet spot' with Rice

Ray Rice got his 20 touches and Joe Flacco passed 39 times in the last outing, but offensive coordinator Cam Cameron isn't making any promises going into Thursday night's game vs. the Cleveland Browns.

"We're always wanting to be as balanced as we can be, but it's not going to be the same every week. We know that," Cameron said. "Balance isn't as big of a priority for us as it is for everybody else.

"It's about attacking the defense we're playing. We may throw it every down some game. If we think that's what we need to do to win the game, that's what we're going to do. We ran it 55 times last year against Cleveland because that's what we needed to do."

In a 24-10 win in the first meeting of 2011 that Cameron is referring to, the Ravens ran the ball with Rice 29 times and then-backup Ricky Williams had 16 tries. They combined for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Others combined for 10 carries. Flacco only went 10-for-23 passing.

In a 20-14 win late in the season against Cleveland, Rice ran 23 times and Williams had 10 carries. They totaled 132 yards. Flacco only went 11-for-24 passing.

Cameron insists the Ravens are looking out for Rice, who signed a five-year, 40 million contract extension in the offseason, in the long-term.

"If we as a staff gave Ray Rice the ball as much as everybody wants us to, he would wind up like the rest of the backs in this league," Cameron said. "We're not going to let that happen. I think there's a sweet spot on how much you can use a three-down back in this business over a 20-plus game season.

"We think we've found that sweet spot for him. It will vary a little from week to week, but you can't find many backs in this league that can last 16, 20 games, much less (for) five seasons. ... We've got a good feel for what is best for him and what is best for us."

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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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