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Past and present players on Modell


Past and present players on Modell

Ravens players present and past weighed in on the passing of former owner Art Modell.

Linebacker Ray Lewis, who led a vaunted defense to the franchises only Super Bowl championship in 2001, told the Baltimore Sun: "When I was with him yesterday, I prayed with him and shared with him things that a son would say to a father."

Former running back Jamal Lewis and defensive tackle Tony Siragusa took to Twitter to express their feelings about Modell, 87, who died of natural causes at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

RIP to Art Modell.... It was a great pleasure and a privilege to play under one of the great pioneers of the NFL, Lewis wrote.

To a man that I consider not only a friend but a second father Art Modell you taught me a lot about life and being a man thank u ! RIP! wrote Siragusa.

Torrey Smith, in just his second season with the Ravens, wrote on Twitter: RIP Mr. Art Modell...without his dream I would have never been able to play for this great city...thank you

Added 10th year linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who joined the Ravens in 2008, four years after Modell sold his majority interest in the team: RIP to the late great Art Modell prayers go out to your family and ravens nation for losing a great one.

Kevin Byrne, Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations, had worked for Modell since 1981. He talked to WNST 1570 in Baltimore on Thursday morning about seeing Modell before his passing with Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome. He received a call from his son, David:

"David Modell called both Ozzie and I early yesterday morning and said the doctors had said they weren't sure that Art was going to make it through the day. He said you should come and say goodbye to Art so Ozzie and I went down to the hospital. It was special to be there," Byrne said. "Even though Art was in and out of consciousness basically, we're pretty sure he heard us. A couple times he tried to move his lips. I felt privileged to be there and felt privileged to be standing there with Ozzie Newsome.

"I'm not ashamed to say this. Art was like a father for me. ... He loved his players. He loved the game. And he felt a responsibility to give back to the community because they kept you in business. That combination worked for him ... A lot of people don't know this, he's a high school dropout. He dropped out of school when his father died so he could help support his mom and his two sisters. An amazing man who is not afraid of debt, not afraid of borrowing money. Bought the Cleveland Browns for four million dollars in 1961 when he had approximately 25,000 dollars to his name. So he was bold and willing to take chances."

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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."