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Ravens add three players

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Ravens add three players

The Ravens signed a pair of former Oakland Raiders linebackers Thursday, adding to the mix of players competing for rosters spots at the team's signature position.

They also signed an offensive guard, but it wasn't Eric Steinbach, a former mainstay for the Cleveland Browns, who worked out for the Ravens Tuesday in Owings Mills.

The guard they did sign was Cord Howard, 25, who was out of the NFL last season after playing for the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2010.

The linebackers signed by the Ravens Wednesday were Darryl Blackstock, 29, who has played for the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals as well as the Raiders; and Ricky Brown, 28, who has spent most of his career with the Raiders.

If one or both of the linebackers make the Ravens' 53-man roster, they likely will be expected to help on special teams as well as provide depth at linebacker.

With the three signings, the Ravens now have the maximum 90 players on their roster as training camp begins. If they want to add another veteran such as Steinbach, they would have to make a cut.

Blackstock, who played his college ball at Virginia, recorded 20 tackles for the Raiders in 2011. He played in the UFL in 2010.

Brown is the more accomplished of the linebackers. After making the Raiders' roster as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2006, he worked his way into the team's defensive rotation, primarily as a reserve, although he did make 13 starts between 2006 and 2010. He signed with the New England Patriots last year, but was cut and returned to the Raiders. But he spent most of the season on injured reserve after sustaining a concussion early in the season.

In six NFL seasons, Brown has recorded 102 tackles and three forced fumbles.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed Tuesday that the team had worked out several linebackers along with Steinbach, who is trying to play his way back into the NFL after sitting out the 2011 season with a back injury. He remains unsigned.

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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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