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Philip Rivers and Steve Smith: A meeting of trash-talkers


Philip Rivers and Steve Smith: A meeting of trash-talkers

Steve Smith and Philip Rivers will be on opposite sidelines Sunday, but they share similar personalities. Both are fiery competitors. Both love to talk trash.

When the Ravens (1-6) host the Chargers (2-5) on Sunday (1 p.m.) at M&T Bank Stadium, you can count on seeing passion from the Chargers’ quarterback and from the Ravens’ top receiver. Both play wearing their emotions on their sleeve. And that’s part of what makes them so good.

Stopping Rivers is the focal point of the Ravens’ defensive game plan for Sunday.  Watching Rivers on film reminds Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees of game-planning for Smith when he played for the Panthers.

If the Ravens trash-talk Rivers, it will be against Pees’ advice.

“Rivers is a very, very competitive guy, so he always wants to have that last word,” Pees said. “Let me use a guy on our team that I think is like that – Steve Smith Sr. I used to tell our guys when we’d play Carolina, ‘Don’t make him mad. All you’re going to do is make him play harder, and you’re not going to like the results. Just leave him alone. Let him spin the ball and walk away.’ I really think Rivers is a lot like that. I think the more you try to get in his face – the more you try to do any of that – I think he actually loves it. I think he thrives on it a little bit.”


Ravens linebacker C. J. Mosley played against Rivers for the first time last season, and still remembers.

“He threw a pick to Buck (Daryl Smith), and he walked up to Buck and was talking smack to him,” Mosley said. “That was a little funny.”

However, trying to stop Rivers is no laughing matter. He led the Chargers to a comeback victory at M&T last year, throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. On Sunday, the Ravens hope to keep Rivers from having the last word. The Chargers are thinking the same thing about Smith.

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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."