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Makeshift O-line pushes around Ravens

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Makeshift O-line pushes around Ravens

The pass rush that generated six sacks a week ago went on hiatus vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Third-string quarterback Charlie Batch was sacked twice, though one by Paul Kruger was a coverage sack because Batch had plenty of time but nowhere to go with the ball.

In his 15th season and filling in for Byron Leftwich (ribs), who’d replaced Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder/ribs), Batch punished the Ravens because they weren't able to rattle him the way they did Philip Rivers in a 16-13 win last week at the San Diego Chargers.

Batch completed 25 of 36 passes for 276 yards, his best game since 2001 when he played for the Detroit Lions.  

Batch was able to extend plays with his legs until receivers came open, and the Steelers used a plethora of screen passes to take advantage of an aggressive front that found little success after showing signs of getting better.

In a 13-10 win in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, Baltimore sacked Leftwich three times and only allowed him to complete half of his 38 pass attempts and a 51.1 rating. When pressure was needed in the fourth quarter as Leftwich tried to lead his team back, he was under constant pressure and ended up with cracked ribs.

The Steelers went into the game with a disadvantage, or so it seemed, along its offensive line. Rookie right tackle Kelvin Beachum was making his first start. Drafted as a center, he was the third different player they started at that position in the last eight games because of injuries to Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert.

Maurkice Pouncey was moved from center, where he has been an All-Pro, to left guard. Doug Legursky took over at center.

“They just did a great job of blocking us up front. Sometimes they had max protection, and sometimes they didn’t,” Ravens tackle Haloti Ngata said. “We just didn’t do a great job of converting. I think we were playing a little bit more (to defend) the run game and they did a great job of mixing it up.”

Tackle Terrence Cody didn’t see his team getting off the ball well. They lost the battle at the line of scrimmage on the snap.

“They were picking up blitzes and all that stuff. At the end of the day we got to execute more. We got to wrap up and get the guys down,” Cody said. “We had to get off blocks and rush the passer. We weren’t doing that every play.”

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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