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Don't expect full-scale changes from Ravens

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Don't expect full-scale changes from Ravens

Some people are feeling that the Ravens are going to come out after the bye week with a whole different look in a lot of ways. 

That's doubtful.

If you like to bet, rolling the dice on the fact that the Ravens are going to make some kind of change is a safe one. The defense is really having problems and lost two of its key players while the offense also has some issues. So, coach John Harbaugh and his staff will certainly look at changes. 

But don't expect a major overhaul.

It's just not realistic.

The coaches are going to  have to decide how to help the injury-depleted defense be more effective, especially against the run. Is the return of Terrell Suggs enough to help the pass rush and how the team plays the pass? 

The question is how they're going to do it. Most likely, they'll adjust schemes and try players in different spots. They're still looking for the right combinations on the offensive line, and the defensive line simply hasn't come through yet. 

It's not like baseball where you can make big trades mid-season. Harbaugh's already said that the players they have is who they're going with. They just need to figure out what to do with them.

The Ravens have played very well at times, even on defense. That's why next Sunday's game is going to be very interesting to watch to see what the coaches come up with. Remember, the Ravens remain on top of the AFC North and still will be there heading into that game in Cleveland.

Teams make all kinds of changes during the season, and the Ravens know that. The fans need to understand that there likely won't be a huge overhaul. After all, it's not realistic and the team still is 5-2.

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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