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Gradkowski takes center stage


Gradkowski takes center stage

When the Ravens drafted Gino Gradkowski in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in April, they thought perhaps they had found their center of the future.

With Matt Birk sidelined by back spasms, for now, at least, Gradkowski appears to be their center of the present.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Delaware product has been running with the first unit in practice in Birks absence, and is likely to do so on Thursday night when the Ravens open the preseason schedule at Atlanta.

Birks absence has been a great opportunity for me to get in there with the 1s, Gradkowski said after the open practice at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday. Things move a lot faster going against the first defense. Its a great challenge for me, but its definitely making me a better player.

Gradkowski added that even while sidelined, Birk, the 15-year NFL veteran, has continued to be a mentor to a player who was just 9 years old when Birk broke into the league.

Matts been a huge help along the way even though hes not out there practicing, Gradkowski said. Hes out there answering questions and talking to me every time I come off the field.

Gradkowski admitted that he got chills when I walked out of the tunnel and onto the M&T Bank Stadium field for the first time on Saturday, but said he will be ready for his first NFL action Thursday night.

I feel pretty prepared, he said. I feel good with the offense. You can never be fully prepared for your very first NFL game, so I know I wont be 100 percent ready. But I feel ready and Im very excited, and I know Matt will be right there beside me helping me out.

Birk sat out almost all of training camp last season, then proceeded to start every game for the Ravens. That scenario could play out again. But should anything happen to Birk, 36, Gradkowski is working to position himself to be the next man up.

He is very smart, he is very tough, Harbaugh said after a camp practice last week. He is very competitive, kind of a tough, mean, nasty-type of guy. We like his style."

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


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!

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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.