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How is Ravens' rookie class looking so far?


How is Ravens' rookie class looking so far?

With the Ravens getting a day off Sunday, here’s a quick look at how their draft class is shaping up so far:

WR Breshad Perriman

Having missed 11 straight practices with a knee injury, it’s time to wonder how ready Perriman will be for Week 1. The Ravens are still hoping Perriman will be their primary deep threat. But the time he’s missing could slow his development.

Perriman still not at practice, no timetable for return

TE Maxx Williams

He delivered a highlight play Thursday night, barreling over a Saints defender to pick up a key first down. Williams is showing the hands and route-running ability to make some plays this season, although his blocking needs to improve.

DT Carl Davis

He got plenty of work Thursday night, and it looks like he’ll be in the defensive line rotation. A promising run-stuffer who can provide depth behind Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan.

OLB Za’Darius Smith

He had the Ravens’ only sack Thursday, and they need him to help their pass rush. However, Harbaugh also said Smith needs to stay more disciplined when rushing the quarterback, or he’ll leave running lanes open that could hurt the defense.

RB Buck Allen

Allen has shown flashes in practice, but running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was impressive Thursday night. Allen will need to step up, or Taliaferro will win the battle for backup running back behind Justin Forsett.

CB Tray Walker

Not showing enough coverage skills so far to show he should be on the field every Sunday. Has the size (6-foot-2) to be a quality corner, but this may be a development year for him.

TE Nick Boyle

Boyle has looked good in practice and had four catches Thursday. With Crockett Gillmore, Williams, and Boyle, the Ravens have depth at tight end.

G Robert Myers

He has missed time lately with a concussion. Myers will be a backup who won’t see much time unless the Ravens have injuries up front.

WR Darren Waller

His size (6-foot-6) is intriguing, although his route running needs to improve. I think Waller will make the final 53, and will be given this year to develop.

Local furniture store takes major gamble with Redskins, Ravens 


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New host of talent helping Ravens defense recover from tough early stretch

New host of talent helping Ravens defense recover from tough early stretch

BALTIMORE — Just under two weeks ago, neither Josh Bynes, L.J. Fort or Jihad Ward were on the Ravens roster. 

On Sunday, the three of them contributed to the defense much more than anyone would have thought a few weeks, or days, ago. 

Through two games, it’s fair to say that the new additions are working out.

“I give the credit to them,” coach John Harbaugh said. “Our coaches have done a great job, obviously. And the good thing is, they’re veteran players. So they’ve been coached, they know how to play schemes. They know how they fit certain fronts.”

Bynes was a free agent that didn’t have a team from March to October, when the Ravens came calling. He had an interception last week in Pittsburgh and tipped a pass which led to an interception on Sunday against the Bengals.

Fort was released by the Eagles at the end of September and brought onto the Ravens roster three days later. He played mostly special teams last week, but saw an increase in defensive snaps against the Bengals. 

Both linebackers, Bynes and Fort were brought in to help fortify the Ravens run defense. 

Ward, a defensive lineman, was signed on Oct. 7 and immediately made active in his first game in Baltimore. Ward and Fort each had two combined tackles. 

“I’ve been on the field plenty of times, just keep it simple, just ball,” Ward said. “Just do what I’ve got to do. Give it all I got. Just show my respect to let them know me, that I’m a Raven. Just keep hustling to the ball, do what else we’ve got to do.”

The trio has come in and made an immediate impact on a Ravens defense that struggled through the first three weeks. 

While none of the new additions have been game-changers, they’ve filled their roles admirably in the best way they could.

“We need more vets in the NFL,” Pernell McPhee said with a chuckle. “They want to go young now, the NFL wants to go young, they want to cut all of us out. It is all good, but that is what happens when you get guys that know how to play the game and have been in the game a long time.”

All of the new additions downplayed the difficulty of learning the playbook, since they’ve been in the league for a few years now. 

Teammates have raved about how they’ve come in and done their jobs, too. 

There might not be a ton of game-changing plays from them yet, but for now, they’ve been exactly what the Ravens defense needed.

“They’re proud to be here,” Harbaugh said. “They want to be here and they’re playing at a high level for us. And really, just what we needed at the right time.”


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Lamar Jackson makes history with career day in win over the Bengals

Lamar Jackson makes history with career day in win over the Bengals

BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson set the tone for Sunday’s game on the Ravens' first drive of the afternoon. 

He rushed just twice, one of which went for a touchdown, but had 57 yards on the game-tying opening drive. 

Jackson finished with 152 yards on the ground — a career high — to carry the Ravens to a 23-17 win over the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. 

“I take advantage, like I said before, and I’m trying to win at the end of the day,” Jackson said after the game. “If I’ve got to run, I’ve got to do it and today that’s what it was. Sometimes I had to pass. Sometimes I had to run.”

He did throw for 236 yards and completed 21 of 33 passes, too. But the story was his legs, which kept the Bengals off-balance all day.

“Lamar was able to get out and run because of the way they were playing,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They were playing kind of spill defense. They really didn’t want us to run the ball up inside with our running backs, and that opened up some other things."

Jackson now has 460 rushing yards on the season and is on pace for over 1,200. He’s also on pace for just over 4,000 passing yards.

His dual-threat ability has flummoxed nearly every team the Ravens have played this season. Jackson has had over 300 scrimmage yards in all but one (last week in against the Steelers) of the Ravens' games. 

“That’s the most frustrating thing for a defense,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “You have a play covered, and he’s an elite athlete. We’ve played a couple of good athletes. He’s one of the rarest I’ve seen in person. Just one little crease and he’s got 30 yards on you.”

Cincinnati sold out to stop the interior run, and Jackson and the rest of the Baltimore running attack burned the Bengals on the outside. 

Jackson’s elusiveness was never more evident than on the Ravens' last full drive of the game. The Ravens received the ball with 13:32 left in the fourth quarter and a 20-10 lead. They didn’t give the ball back to the Bengals until there was just over three minutes to play.

“I catch myself on the sideline stretching because, you know, they’ll be holding the ball for a minute and we’ve got to stay warm,” Matthew Judon said. “He picks us up in crucial times and keeps getting first downs. It’s hard, man. You can’t cover everybody and keep a spy on him [at] all times.”

The nine minute, 46 second drive, highlighted by a 16-yard Jackson scramble on 3rd and 14, put away any realistic chance the Bengals had of pulling off an upset.

It capped off a historic day for Jackson and his place in the NFL record books. He became the first player in NFL history to rush for more than 150 yards and register at least 200 yards passing in a regular season game.

The Bengals sold out to stop interior rushes and mostly took away big passing plays from the Ravens. Jackson just made the Bengals pick their poison when it came to choosing what to stop. 

And Jackson made Cincinnati realized that whatever it chose was still poison.

“He was cutting it back, throwing outside and running around,” Bengals linebacker Preston Brown said. “He was just having fun on us, and that’s what you never want to have done.”