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Gillmore embracing role as starting tight end

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Gillmore embracing role as starting tight end

Crockett Gillmore has answered the challenge this preseason. He has earned the right to be the Ravens’ starting tight end Week 1 in Denver. More importantly, Gillmore looks capable of being a pass-catching target for Joe Flacco, a quarterback who loves throwing to tight ends.

Gillmore made an eye-opening play Saturday night during a 31-13 loss to the Redskins. Running a seam route, he caught a pass at about the 15-yard line, but Gillmore wasn’t done. He broke one tackle after making the catch, barreled toward the goal line, and dove into the end zone from around the two-yard line, even though Redskins’ linebacker Keenan Robinson was draped around Gillmore’s legs.

The play showed Gillmore’s strength and athleticism, even though the 33-yard touchdown play was nullified due to a penalty on Marlon Brown. Gillmore is a load to bring down as at 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, and he has improved as a route runner.

“He’s a guy that I have had a lot of faith in all the way through, as a blocker and a pass receiver,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “People want to label him a blocker; he’s a very good blocker, but he has a chance as a pass receiver too. And, it was nice to see that play.”

It’s not like other tight ends won’t play. The Ravens drafted two tight ends, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle, knowing that the future of Dennis Pitta (PUP list) was in doubt due to his severe hip injury. Williams has also caught the ball well during preseason, but he didn’t play Saturday night (undisclosed injury). Gillmore is a much better blocker Williams, and Boyle is more blocker than pass-catcher at this stage.

That leaves Gillmore as clearly the No. 1 tight end right now, and that’s fine with Flacco. He was also impressed with the touchdown play that was called back.

“That just gives you a little bit of an insight as to what he’s capable of doing,” Flacco said.

Gillmore is quietly confident, and had a funny line about the trash talking during Saturday night’s game.

“He may have been talking, but I don’t pay any attention to that,” Gillmore said about one Redskins’ player. “It’s like a mosquito, they just keep flying around, and you just keep smacking them.’

Asked if he was ready to be the starting tight end Week 1, Gillmore said, “I felt ready from the beginning, from the moment I started training.”

Gillmore looks ready. And that’s a good sign for the Ravens.

MORE RAVENS: Ravens stock watch: Who's up, who's down after Redskins game?

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Free agent Gerald McCoy to visit Baltimore

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Free agent Gerald McCoy to visit Baltimore

Kick off your holiday weekend with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. One of the most obvious needs for the Ravens is help rushing the passer, and they're hoping to find some of that help on the interior in the form of free agent Gerald McCoy. The longtime Buccaneer DL visited Cleveland last week, but left town without agreeing to a contract.

Reportedly interested in playing for a contender, the former top-five pick is scheduled to visit the Ravens on Tuesday.

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is still struggling to throw the ball, as he noted things aren't right yet when it comes to accuracy. Media members noticed the ball wobbling through the air on many throws, and Jackson told them he thinks his hand is too high on the ball. If he's going to successfully run Greg Roman's new offensive scheme, Jackson will eventually need to be able to hit his receivers in stride with greater regularity.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning. 

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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