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Ravens look for Upshaw and Kruger's help

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Ravens look for Upshaw and Kruger's help

Paul Kruger and Courtney Upshaw are two players the Ravens will be looking to for help on defense this season. This topic has been discussed throughout the off-season and coach John Harbaugh touched on it when talking with the media Tuesday.
The Ravens will be asking Kruger to help fill outside linebacker Jarret Johnsons old position. Johnson left to sign with the Chargers, and he was a player who did a lot for the Raven defense. He gave plenty of help against both the run and pass, and the Ravens are hoping Kruger can step up and take over that role.
Upshaw is going to help fill in for Terrell Suggs, who will be out for a large part of the season after surgery to repair a tear of his Achilles tendon during the spring. The rookie from Alabama was probably going to be eased into NFL life and get some playing time, but now hell be thrown into the fire.
Krugers been in the NFL now for four years and had a very good 2011 season. The Ravens will need Upshaw and Kruger both to step in for players who meant a lot to last years defense, one of the NFLs best.
There is a lot to it, because its an opportunity to start for the Ravens, Harbaugh said. Its an opportunity to start in the National Football League. Our goal is to be the best defense in football, and thats not going to change.
Harbaugh said, however, that starting at those two positions is the same as starting anywhere else on defense. The coach is hoping for good things from both.
Those guys have an opportunity to be, obviously, a huge part of a good defense so yeah, its a huge responsibility, Harbaugh said. But I dont think it would be any different than any other position. Any one of those 11 spots is a pretty big deal.

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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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