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Pick-and-whew: Refs' calls key for Ravens


Pick-and-whew: Refs' calls key for Ravens

High on the list of the things the Ravens should be grateful for regarding Sundays 9-6 victory over the Chiefs: the presence of the NFLs regular officials.

Two key offensive pass interference calls went against the Chiefs in the fourth quarter. On the strength if thats the right word of how the replacement referees performed in the first three weeks of the season, its not unfair to assume the Ravens would not have gotten the benefit of either flag without a veteran crew working the game.

Both penalties came when two Chiefs receivers ran crossing patterns and one receiver picked off a Ravens defensive back. Running a pick is all well and good in basketball, but not legal in football.

The first time, on third-and-five from the Ravens 45 with 12:40 left in the game, Dwayne Bowes pick sprung Dexter McCluster for a 25-yard pass play. But instead of first down at the Baltimore 20, the Chiefs were pushed back to their own 45, failed to connect on a pass and had to punt.

A bit later, the Chiefs tried it again, maybe thinking they wouldnt get called for it a second time. With 5:24 remaining, on third-and-11 from the Ravens 15, McCluster and Bowe reversed roles. This time, McClusters pick busted Bowe open across the middle for what would have been a touchdown and, with the extra point, a 10-9 Chiefs lead. But the flag came down, and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal.

And the Ravens could breathe a big sigh of relief and give thanks for the end of the NFLs lockout of its officials.

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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."