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Jackson still first to return kicks but job still open


Jackson still first to return kicks but job still open

OWINGS MILLS – Asa Jackson will begin Saturday night’s game against the Redskins as the No. 1 kickoff and punt returner, according to Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg. However, Rosburg admitted he was still searching for someone to win the job.

“It’s a work in progress,” Rosburg said following Tuesday’s practice. “We’re working a lot of different guys in practice. We have to come to some decisions soon, because it’s going to happen quickly.”

Jackson, Michael Campanaro, Tom Nelson, and DeAndre Carter are all candidates for the return job, not to mention veterans Steve Smith and Lardarius Webb, who may return punts in special situations. However Campanaro missed his second straight practice Tuesday with a soft tissue issue, leaving his status uncertain for Saturday.

However, Rosburg is not getting much help from the opposition in his quest to find a kickoff returner. The Ravens had six touchbacks against the Saints in the preseason opener, and five touchbacks against the Eagles on Saturday. Jackson has two kickoff returns in the preseason, while Nelson and Carter have one each. But Rosburg was disappointed the Saints and Eagles often kicked the ball deep in the end zone.

“It makes no sense to me,” Rosburg said following Tuesday’s practice. “These young men, they come to your camp and try to make a team, and you kick it out of the end zone and they don’t show what they can do. It’s not fair to the players, in my view. That’s why we kick it to the goal line. Let the guys who came here try to make a National Football League team.”

The Ravens’ returners hope they get a chance to impress Rosburg on Saturday.

RELATED: Is Michael Vick about to join the Steelers?

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."