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Penalties add twist to new PAT rule

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Penalties add twist to new PAT rule

The Ravens game at Philadelphia on Saturday illustrated just how the new extra-point rule could add a major twist this season.

After the Ravens scored their first touchdown against the Eagles, they lined up for a two-point conversion, which was good. Hang on a second. ...  Robert Myers was called for holding on the play. That pushed the ball back 10 yards, and rather than try a two-point conversion from the 12, the Ravens opted for the traditional extra-point kick.

But under the new rule this year, PAT kicks are spotted at the 15. Once the penalty was enforced, the ball was spotted at the 25, and Justin Tucker was suddenly staring at a 43-yard extra point.

After the Ravens next touchdown, they again tried for two, and again there was a penalty. This time, Konrad Reuland was flagged for unnecessary roughness, a 15-yard penalty. So Tucker's extra-point kick turned to be a whopping 48-yarder.

Tucker, who has never missed an exta-point kick in his Ravens career, hit them both. But the idea that the extra point kick is boring and automatic -- which was the reasoning behind the rule change in the first place -- vanishes when the kick is from 43 or 48 yards.

Incidentally, through the first two weeks of the preseason, kickers leaguewide are 90-for-95 on extra points, a success rate of 94.7 percent.

That rate will likely drop if, like the Ravens, teams have to kick PATs from 40-plus yards.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson is his own biggest critic

Kick off your Friday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including how quarterback Lamar Jackson has fared during OTAs.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. Following a January surgery on his left ankle, safety Tony Jefferson remains sidelined after the first week of OTAs. Originally, Jefferson was expected to return 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, now that it's 5 months later, his return timetable is becoming more and more concerning. 

2. Quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke with Ravens media Thursday about his progress not only learning the new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, but learning the names of his new teammates as well. After another day of OTAs, Jackson was his biggest critic despite a solid day of running plays namely passing drills. “I’d say my first day, I sucked,” Jackson said to Ravens media. “Second day, I did better. Today was alright, but it could have been better. I always try to be perfect in practice. It was alright for the first week.”

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: Rotoworld and Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.

The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.

“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”

Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.

“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”

Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.

The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.

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