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Five storylines to watch entering Ravens camp

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Five storylines to watch entering Ravens camp

Veterans report Wednesday, and the first training camp practice is Thursday. Here are five storylines to watch as the Ravens begin their eighth training camp under John Harbaugh.

1. The new additions

After losing starters Haloti Ngata, Torrey Smith, Pernell McPhee, and Owen Daniels during the offseason, the Ravens are going to need new players to step up. It could be Breshad Perriman as a deep-threat receiver, or Maxx Williams as a pass-catching tight end, or Kyle Arrington as a nickel corner, or Kendrick Lewis as a starting safety, or Za’Darius Smith as a pass rusher. But for the Ravens to be a Super Bowl contender, some new additions will have to compensate for the talent they lost.

2. The offensive coordinator

Marc Trestman has the experience and the weapons to succeed as the Ravens’ fourth offensive coordinator in four years. But Gary Kubiak is a tough act to follow, and the Ravens have a very difficult early schedule. For the Ravens to start the season fast, Trestman will need to figure out what works and what doesn’t during training camp and the preseason.

3. The injuries

Health is a concern for every team starting camp, and something that can’t be controlled. But after losing Dennis Pitta during camp two years ago, and losing Kapron Lewis-Moore and Brent Urban last season, the Ravens hope they can avoid serious injuries at this camp.

4. The heat

The 10-day forecast calls for afternoon temperatures in the 90’s every day. Any player who’s not in shape won’t do well. Staying hydrated will be important, and cramping could be an issue.

5. The secondary

It has to be better than it was in 2014 for the Ravens to reach their ultimate goal. There are positive signs, like the return of cornerback Jimmy Smith from injury, Lardarius Webb starting the season healthy, and improved depth with the addition of Lewis and Arrington. However, can Matt Elam or Will Hill play effectively as the starting strong safety? And if something happens to Smith, will the secondary suddenly become as vulnerable as last season?

The last time the Ravens faced Peyton Manning in 2013, he threw seven touchdown passes against them. They’ll see Manning again in Week 1. We’ll find out quickly if the Ravens’ secondary is ready.

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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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. 

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