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Ravens 'embrace the grind'

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Ravens 'embrace the grind'

It was guardMarshal Yanda who implored his teammates to 'embrace the grind,' and that'swhat the Ravens did during a grueling opening quarter of the season.Ravens ownerSteve Bisciotti had lobbied hard for a Monday night home game, and he got itthis year. The schedulemakers gave the Ravens a season-opening Monday night date with Cincinnati. Then they gave them three more games in the next 17 days, including two nationally-televised night games in a span of five days.The Ravens wonboth of those, beating New England, 31-30, on Sept. 23 and then Cleveland, 23-16, the following Thursday,giving them a 3-1 record after the first quarter of the season.
"I am reallyproud of our coaches and our players for what they accomplished in the last 18days," coach John Harbaugh said the day after the win over Cleveland. The four-gamestretch, Harbaugh said, "was a grind. Football is a grind a little bitanyway. This was a real grind, and it was three prime-time games. ... You don'tget much rest, and you have to bounce back."Looking tomotivate the players during a grueling stretch of training camp, Harbaugh askedYanda, one of the most respected players in the locker room, to speak to theteam at the end of a practice. Yanda, an Iowa native who played for theHawkeyes, borrowed a phrase credited to Iowa's legendary wrestling coach, DanGable. "Embrace thegrind" quickly became a team slogan that found its way onto team T-shirts.And embrace itthey did, scoring two AFC North wins as well as a big win over New Englandduring a frenetic opening month that also included a 24-23 loss at Philadelphia.
"We weren'tperfect by any stretch," Harbaugh said. "There are plenty ofblemishes that we need to work on in all three phases lots of stuff thatour guys, our coaches and our players will be the first to say that we need togo to school on, which we will."One benefit to playing the Thursday night game: The Ravens players enjoy a rare weekend off.
"Im tired, man," running back Ray Rice said after the Browns game. "Four games, 17 days, 3-1 (record), I just cant wait to have this weekend off."

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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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