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Flacco: A man in command


Flacco: A man in command

Maybe its thehurry-up offense. Maybe its new quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell. Maybe itsthe motivation of a contract year. Heck, maybe its being a new father. Whatever thereason, Ravens quarterback JoeFlacco has been in a groove this preseason, throwing balls with conviction and with confidenceand taking command of this offense as perhaps never before.You just go bywhat you see in practice every day, Harbaugh said lastweek. (Flacco) has stepped it up. He is playing better. Every day in practiceshows it. He is doing everything a little bit better than he has. Everysingle day he continues to improve, so how that shakes out this year, thatswhat well find out.
Flacco pickedapart Jacksonville in a little more than two quarters on Thursday night,completing 27 of 36 for 266 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens 48-17 win.He threw one interception, on a Hail Mary heave on the final play of the firsthalf.He looked sharp.He did a great job, coach John Harbaugh said after the game. He was accuratewith his throws. Guys made catches for him, timing was good, realdecisive. I think even with the offense, running the offense, determiningthe run pass those kinds of things, he did a really nice job all the wayaround.Yes, its early,and the games dont count yet. And once the Ravens lose a game, talk-showswitchboards are sure to light up with criticism of the fifth-year quarterback.But for now, he looks every part of the confident field general who wants hisfingerprints all over this offense.
Much has beenmade of Ray Rice's new contract, and how much the running back means to theRavens offense. All very true. But Flacco still makes the offense go, and thispreseason, he has done it better than ever.

Everything about his play -- laser-like throws on out routes, a confident gait on the field, checks and reads at the line of scrimmage, suggests a comfort level that bodes well for this offense.
"He isplaying real confident right now," tight end Dennis Pitta said afterpractice on Saturday. "He is making all the right throws. He is being atrue leader for our offense, and were running a lot of good plays for him wherehe can get the ball out quickly and make decisive reads. He is doing a greatjob with it."

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


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."