In a matter of weeks, Corey Graham’s role with the Ravens has taken on even greater importance.
Primarily used in nickel coverage packages and special teams, he’s now part of the base defense as the starting cornerback with Jimmy Smith being out because of groin surgery Thursday. Smith had replaced starter Lardarius Webb, who tore a knee ligament last month and is out for the season.
"It’s a little different. I’ve played outside before," Graham said of his new role. "It’s not like the first time I get the opportunity to do it. … Keep your eyes on your guy, you’ll be alright."
Earlier this week, the Ravens signed free agent defensive back Chris Johnson who played for the Oakland Raiders last season. Johnson has played nine NFL seasons. Neither is as big as Smith, who stands 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
Cary Williams is in his first season as a starter at the other cornerback slot. He beat out Smith in the preseason to play opposite Webb. Now Williams is the veteran presence along with Graham, who is in his sixth season after spending five years with the Chicago Bears.
Chykie Brown also figured into the secondary rotation behind Graham with Smith out of last week's 55-20 win vs. the Oakland Raiders. He was playing most of his snaps on special teams.
“I thought they played OK. … There were some plays they made and some plays they didn’t make,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said of Graham and Brown. “We have to do a good job of putting them in the right spot and not asking them to do things that they really can’t do.”
Catching on quickly could prove difficult for Johnson. The Ravens also could activate cornerback Asa Jackson, a rookie fifth-round draft pick. Jackson has yet to be active for a game this season.
“Well all got to go out there and help him get up to speed on what the defense is trying to do,” Graham said. “When you come in this late in the season during the week and you’re expected to play its going to be tough for him.”
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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