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Osemele impresses


Osemele impresses

The Ravens have continually put pressure on tackle Bryant McKinnie to try to get the most out of him in 2012.

When they gave him a 500,000 roster bonus in March, it was with the stipulation that he get himself in better shape.

After he worked through the spring and early summer to do just that, they held him out of the mandatory minicamp in June for conditioning purposes, showing him that more needed to be done.

When he skipped the start of training camp two weeks ago, they trotted out offensive line coach Andy Moeller for a media session in which he effectively said the line would be fine sans McKinnie. The big guy quickly hustled up from his home in Florida and reported.

But with camp in full swing now and McKinnie scheduled to practice all-out for the first time Monday, nothing is putting more pressure on McKinnie than rookie Kelechi Osemele. The 2012 second-round pick has jumped right into the Plan B starting lineup at right tackle, with Michael Oher shifting to McKinnies spot at left tackle.

"Its a lot of responsibility and a lot on my shoulders, but I wouldnt want it any other way, Osemele told the teams official website after Saturdays practice at M&T Bank Stadium. "Its a lot of pressure but thats a good thing. I think its a good thing and think its a good sign.

If anything, Osemele has already exhibited impressive versatility. After playing left tackle as a senior at Iowa State, he played left guard for the Ravens during OTAs. Now he has moved to right tackle.

"The switch has been going pretty good, Osemele said. "It feels good being back out there on the edge. Its fun and its a challenge, so I enjoy it.

Osemele is a big, athletic, tough, smart football player who will get better every snap he plays, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. Hes going to just keep getting better, better and better for the next three or four years. I would imagine hell be just like Michael (Oher) every snap get better, every day get better, every week, every game. Its just a matter of getting his fundamentals down and getting him some game experience. As you guys know, we draft people around here for a reason. Weve got us another one.

In the end, the Ravens probably would rather have McKinnie, with his 147 career starts, on the field in 2012. Veteran blind-side tackles are hard to find, and the mountainous McKinnie is one.

But McKinnies contract is up after this season, and if Osemele continues to impress, it is easy to envision the Ravens going with Oher and Osemele down the road.

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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."