Less than a week from facing his old team in the Cincinnati Bengals, all Bobbie Williams could do is smile.
The Ravens offensive lineman, who spent his last eight seasons in Cincinnati before leaving as a free agent, admits it'll be strange look across at his former teammates.
"For a split second," Williams projects of the double-take he'll do Monday when the Ravens open the season at M&T Bank Stadium vs. the Bengals on Monday Night Football. "Then you know what? It's business. It's go Ravens.
"I know a couple of those guys over there. I'm going to enjoy playing against them. I'll make sure I keep this smile on my face. It's no hatred."
Williams broke his right ankle in December while still with the Bengals and has had a tough time getting back to form as he dealt with swelling from the surgery. Entering training camp, he was expected to be the starting left guard.
But the emergence of rookie Kelechi Osemele, who has shown the ability to play at guard and tackle, has put Williams' starting job in doubt. When right guard Marshal Yanda injured his knee late in the preseason, however, Williams was moved there.
Williams evaded the question if whether or not he knew he was starting. But he did so with a smile.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis lauded Williams in a conference call Wednesday.
"Bobbie has been a great, great workhorse here as one of the leaders, one of the lieutenants," Lewis said. "(I'm) happy he's been able to continue to play and nobody has anything but great things to say about Bobbie."
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.
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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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