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QB pressure key to Ravens' victory

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QB pressure key to Ravens' victory

One of the big keys to the defense Monday night, especially in the second half, was the pressure they were finally able to get on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
That pressure helped the Ravens finish with four sacks and make some big plays on defense that paved the way for the 27-point second half and turned a close game into a 44-13 laugher
Haloti Ngata got two of the sacks as the Ravens did better in the second half. The Ravens found some good spots up the middle where they were able to get to or pressure Dalton throughout the game.
They also blitzed and either got to Dalton or forced him to throw in a way he wasnt comfortable with.
The Dalton pass that sailed over his receivers head and right to Ed Reed, which then turned into a touchdown return was one of those plays. Dalton said they had the right read, the right call and everything in place, but he just had someone right at his feet.
I think people think were going to have a tougher time without Terrell Suggs, but weve been working hard all training camp to create pressure and to get to the quarterback, Ngata said. We did a great job up the middle the pressure him inside, so it was a bit easier for our guys outside to get to the quarterback.
It also was easier in the second half to reach Dalton because since the Ravens were pulling away, the Bengals needed to shelve the running game. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Cincinnati had to be more one-dimensional in the second half, but he liked the fact that his team was able to at least get near Dalton and affect him throughout.
I dont know how many sacks we got, but we sure had pressure on him and made it a little bit tougher for him, Harbaugh said. Even when he got the ball quick, there was pressure in his face. Thats a credit to our defensive front.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

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."

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