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Jones ties NFL record with 108-yard return


Jones ties NFL record with 108-yard return

Jacoby Jones took over as the kick-off returner Sunday against Dallas. He hadn’t returned a kick-off yet this season but gambled a bit and came up with one of the game’s biggest plays.
Jones tied an NFL record with his 108-yard return for a touchdown in the third quarter. That gave the Ravens an 11-point lead, and that played a big role in helping Baltimore outlast the Cowboys, 31-29, at M&T Bank Stadium and improve to 5-1.
The Ravens had problems stopping the Dallas offense, which gained a total of 481 yards overall and kept the ball for long stretches. But after the Cowboys cut the lead to 17-13 in the third quarter, Jones fielded the ensuing kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone and took a shot.
He quickly broke to the right, burst through a wide-open hole and nobody touched him. Jones quickly turned on the jets and raced to the 108-yard touchdown that tied an NFL record set by Ellis Hobbs (New England, 2007) and Randall Cobb (Green Bay, 2011).
“Honestly, in practice, we had one that hit the same way,” Jones said. “So I already had a vision. So, when I caught it, I found Anthony Allen, and he said ‘follow me.’ He was my eyes; he led me to daylight. That thing spread like the Red Sea.”
Kick-off returners don’t often bring back kicks that are eight yards deep, but Jones wanted to give it a shot.
“You just get that itch,” he said. “And I wanted to scratch it. So, I took it.”
That gave the Ravens a 24-13 lead with 11:24 left in the third quarter. It put extra pressure on Dallas because Baltimore had a two-possession lead. The Ravens held on for the win, thanks to a missed field goal in the final minute, but that kickoff return proved crucial.
Coach John Harbaugh, a former special teams coach, was very happy with Jones’ return and how it helped change the game.
“The 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones…We’ve been talking about getting a big play and breaking a play like that all year,” Harbaugh said. “To set the National Football League record for a kickoff return, in what was the difference in the game, was pretty special.”
Deonte Thompson handled kickoff returns for the first five games and fumbled last week against the Chiefs. Harbaugh and the coaches changed up and went to Jones, a move that paid off handsomely in this game.
“He’s a guy that’s got experience in there, that’s probably the biggest thing,” Harbaugh said. “He’s done it before. I know one thing, he wants the ball in his hands, so that might be as big a part of it as any.”

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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."