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With QBs, no Supe means no dice

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With QBs, no Supe means no dice

This wont be another list of the top this or the other, but the proliferation of them got me to thinking about the greatest of all time lists and how quarterbacks are held to a team standard that isnt necessarily used for other positions.

For example, the Ravens Ray Lewis would rank high on any list of the top linebackers ever. But how important is it that Lewis won a Super Bowl? It helps, sure, just like the Steelers Super Bowl history elevates Jack Lambert.

However, suppose the Ravens never won a Super Bowl during Lewis career? Would he still rank among the best ever? The answer is yes. The proof is that the man many consider the greatest middle linebacker of all time is Dick Butkus. His Bears were never championship-caliber during his tenure in Chicago.

The Ravens Ed Reed didnt arrive in Baltimore until after the Super Bowl season, but hes high on anyones list of the best safeties ever. Also on that list? Larry Wilson, who was stuck on often-futile Cardinals squads in the 1960s and early 70s.

Compare that with the most common rankings of best quarterbacks. Whos most often near the top? Tom Brady, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre. All of them won NFL titles. Whos just as deserving and gets downgraded for never winning a Super Bowl? Dan Marino, as good a passer as ever played in the league.

The quarterback gets extra credit and extra blame for the teams success in a way no other player is. Look up a QBs stats and youre likely to see the teams won-lost record listed along with his passing numbers. Thats not done for anyone else.

Thats just how it goes. Maybe its as it should be. After all, the quarterbacks need to earn those supermodels.

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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