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Praise for 'versatile' Graham

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Praise for 'versatile' Graham

A minor war of words broke out when the Ravens three unit coordinators met with reporters after Thursdays training camp practice.

No, they werent talking trash. (I might pay to see that.)

They were seemingly, if unwittingly, competing to see who could say nicer things about Corey Graham, the Ravens new defensive back and special teams specialist.

We are really pleased with him, defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. Im just really, really pleased with where he is right now.

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said, Hes such an experienced veteran, and today is a primary example. The first kickoff repetition that we had during practice was directed at him I was trying to beat him, because the whole design of the play was to beat him and he didnt fall for it. And he called me out right afterwards. So yeah, hes very crafty. Hes good to have in the (meeting) room, too, because he can help a lot of the young players.

Graham, 27, signed with Baltimore during the offseason after spending his first five years in the league with the Chicago Bears. He made it to the Pro Bowl for his special teams play in 2011, and the Ravens recruited him to shore up that area, which was a problem spot for them at times last season. But he changed teams partly because he also wanted to play defense as well as cover kicks, and the Ravens said he could.

During the first week of training camp in Owings Mills, he has had an impact in both areas, immediately becoming one of the cornerstones of the coverage units while also intercepting several passes on defense.

The guy is versatile, Pees said. He has come in and played some corner. We knew he was a real good special teams player. We put him in at nickel. Very smart, very intelligent, love guys like that. Hard worker, doesnt say boo, just goes to work. Told him to learn a little safety; you never know what might happen. We always want to try to have all our bases covered. He does it.

Meanwhile, Rosburg was asked if it seemed Graham had been with the team a lot longer because of the veteran knack he has displayed.

Thats a very good observation, Rosburg said.

When asked about Graham a day earlier, secondary coach Teryl Austin was similarly effusive.

Corey is a really good football player. He has a lot of savvy, great ball skills, understands the game and what youre doing. You see him in the team situations, and he gets around a lot of balls, and when he does, he has the ability to finish, Austin said.

Its hard to say who won the war of words, but its clear the Ravens feel they won by adding Graham.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens place Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson on reserve/NFI list

With training camp just six days away, here is the latest news surrounding the Baltimore Ravens.

1. Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens have placed Marquise Brown, Jaylon Ferguson and two others on the reserve/NFI list. He later added that Brown is still recovering from Lisfranc surgery but is "progressing well" and Ferguson is dealing with a "minor hamstring" injury.

2. The entire Baltimore Ravens class is officially under contract after the signing of wide receiver Miles Boykin. Boykin was a third-round pick out of Notre Dame.

3. Michael Vick joined The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan Friday morning and when asked which young quarterbacks in the NFL most emulate his style, he answered: "Lamar Jackson" along with Kyler Murray and Cam Newton.

Looking Ahead:

July 24: Ravens training camp begins. Rookies are set to report a week earlier on Wednesday, July 17. 

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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A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

A big Year 2 ahead, Lamar Jackson isn’t worried about Madden ratings

The number eight is sports royalty in the city of Baltimore thanks to Cal Ripken Jr.

If Lamar Jackson has the career many are hoping for, he’ll be another reason for that one day down the road.

For now, he’s a young, athletic quarterback entering his second season in Charm City. But his successful rookie year hasn’t been reflected in Madden NFL 20’s newest ratings.

Jackson came in with an overall rating of 76, tied for 24th among all quarterbacks. Unsurprisingly, his athleticism is highly-regarded, as he leads all signal-callers in speed, acceleration, agility, and elusiveness.

Questions abound about his throwing abilities, leading to the low rating. But that’s not a concern for Jackson himself.

“I can’t feel no way,” the quarterback told media members prior to throwing out the first pitch at the Orioles-Nationals game Wednesday night. “You know, I don’t make Madden. That’s them. But I feel like our team, we’re going to show ‘em this season.”

Jackson continued to praise the Ravens roster. When asked about the high ratings for teammates like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Earl Thomas, Jackson put his thoughts quite succinctly: “We look stacked!”

Of course, with speed and acceleration ratings like Jackson has, it’s fun to imagine how he might fit in on a baseball diamond as well.

“Whew, somewhere in the middle, to make a play,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde decided when asked where the Ravens quarterback might play on his roster.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’m a big football fan, so watched him play a lot. And if he wanted to play center field or up the middle, it’d be great,” Hyde continued.

The speedy quarterback agreed, though it came with a caveat.

“Probably,” Jackson quickly answered when asked about his best fit being center field. “But you know, I’m the Ravens QB right now, so I’m good.”

He doesn’t know what his walk-up song would be if he played baseball, but Jackson was definitive about one thing at least: his hot dog preferences.

“I don’t really eat mustard,” he emphasized. “So I just put ketchup, relish...I just go from there. Pretty standard.”

When he’s not eating hot dogs, Jackson is working hard to build chemistry with his new receiving corps, and he seemed optimistic about the results it will bring on the field.

“Looking pretty good,” he described. “You’ll have to see for yourself.”

Knowing how many dual Orioles and Ravens fans there are in Baltimore, Jackson was also happy to provide a little hope as the city’s attention starts to shift from baseball to football. He gave a message to O’s fans who have sat through months of losing baseball and are looking to the Ravens to bring winning back to the city.

“Look forward to us coming out and balling,” he said. “Can’t say too much right now, [the] season’s not here!”

The Ravens season will be here soon enough, and when it is, Jackson will be ready to go out and show both local and national fans what he can do, regardless of what his Madden rating says.

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