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Past motivates Ellerbe to excel

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Past motivates Ellerbe to excel

There's an emptiness in the locker room for Dannell Ellerbe.

Without Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb, both out for the season with injuries, the atmosphere undoubtedly has changed.

"It feels different without them guys. You can notice when one of your teammates gone, when they're hurt," said Ellerbe, the starting weak-side linebacker. "Webb's locker is right beside mine. We talk junk and joke every day.

"Me and Ray Lewis are in the same (linebacker) meetings. It's different without hearing him comment on things to help us get better, the stuff he knows through 17 years and the stuff he give us to take with us."

Players have fielded so many questions about whether or not they talked with Lewis and his torn triceps, Webb seems forgotten. He is the Ravens' best cornerback and was having an All-Pro season before tearing a knee ligament in last week's 31-29 win vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

"He was devastated because it was his second one but he's trying to keep his spirits up," Ellerbe said. "I told him he went through it before, he knows what he's going to have to do to get back so he 'll come back stronger. He promises he'll do it."

The good news for the Ravens is that they went 4-0 without Lewis last season when he was out with turf toe. Of course, they had Webb and eventual 2011 Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs (Achilles), too. What was the secret then?

"We knew all eyes was going to be on us and we didn't want to let the team down. We don't want to put bad film out on our defense because its still our defense without starters or whoever," Ellerbe said. "It's still the Ravens defense."

They done plenty to scar their reputation this season. The Ravens' defense gave up a franchise-record 227 rushing yards to the Cowboys last week. In the game before that, the Kansas City Chiefs rushed for 214. They're just 26th in overall defense.

In Houston, they'll be facing Arian Foster who is arguably the NFL's best running back and a dual threat as a receiver. Containing him could give the Ravens' defense a confidence boost, but it won't wipe the taste out of their mouths from what has happened recently.

"We can go out here and play good but I don't think it task away what we did the last two weeks. Somebody set a record on us so it's always going to be there," Ellerbe said. "Only thing we can do is go out, focus on this game, start here and get back to the run-stopping defense that we have been."

While key figures on the defense have been annoyed by their performance in recent weeks, and constantly hearing about it, Ellerbe isn't among them.

"You need to hear things like that to keep you grinding, keep you on our toes and keep you striving to be better," he said.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson has his best practice yet

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. The Ravens are hopeful Earl Thomas will be a leader for their new defense which Thomas called "very complex." "This defense is very complex compared to what we were doing in Seattle,” Thomas said to Ravens media. “We were just playing Cover-3 all the time. Now, we’re making calls on the fly. That’s the biggest adjustment for me.”

Additionally, Thomas told media members after practice that he's made "fast friends" with quarterback Lamar Jackson. "He's a very funny guy, I don't know if you all know that," Thomas said.

2. Speaking of Lamar Jackson, he reportedly had his best day of practice so far this offseason according to Ravens media. Jackson's throws looked much better and he was quick in the pocket.


Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

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RG3 likens KD's desire to play hurt to his own injury in 2012

Like most athletes, Robert Griffin III was empathetic towards Kevin Durant when he first went down, taking to Twitter on Monday night to voice his concern. 

Today, the Ravens' veteran quarterback told ESPN's The Undefeated that he's all too familiar with Durant's decision to play and subsequent injury. RG3 likened it to his own brief playoff stint in 2013. Just four weeks removed from an injury to a knee that required reconstructive surgery in college, RG3 started – only to get hit late in the fourth and watch both his season and career come to a screeching halt. 

But that's not how RG3 views it. 

"I was looking at it like I'm out for here for my brothers. I'm out here for my team. And that was the only place I wasnted to be." 

And Griffin doesn't believe he's alone in that thought process, suggesting it was KD's mindset ahead of Game 5 as well.

"Most of us are built to fight. So whenever we get a situation where we’re a little injured or a little banged-up, our first reaction isn’t to get out of there and rest. Our first reaction is to figure out how we can keep going. That’s what makes a guy like Kevin Durant great." 

It remains to be seen whether KD's recovery will be smoother than RG3's. The former Heisman Trophy winner never came close to matching his breakout rookie season, eventually losing his starting job in Washington in 2014.

Durant will miss all of next season, meaning the former Montrose Christian star's next NBA appearance would be as a 32 year-old.