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Ravens seek to correct flaws during well-timed bye


Ravens seek to correct flaws during well-timed bye

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) As the Baltimore Ravens began their bye week, the focus was on the future instead of the immediate past.

For good reason.

If the Ravens (5-2) had to think about and dissect Sunday's 43-13 loss to Houston up until their next game, at Cleveland on Nov. 4, it would just be too darn depressing.

``We've got nine games left. We're leading our division, and it's going to be our opportunity to see what we can do with those next nine games,'' Harbaugh said Monday.

The season was going quite well until the Ravens got ambushed in Houston. It was 29-3 at halftime, and by the time the final whistle mercifully sounded, Baltimore had absorbed its most lopsided defeat since a 38-7 loss in Pittsburgh on Nov. 5, 2007 - the year before Harbaugh took over as head coach for Brian Billick.

The Ravens have made the playoffs in four straight seasons under Harbaugh, and history shows they have the ability to bounce back from a sound defeat.

In 2008, the Indianapolis Colts pinned a 31-3 loss on Baltimore. The Ravens won nine of their next 11 heading into the postseason.

After San Diego beat Baltimore 34-14 last Dec. 18, the Ravens didn't lose again until the AFC championship game.

``You can't achieve anything without going through some adversity,'' Harbaugh said. ``So, the opportunity that is presented to us now is an opportunity to get better - to become whatever it is we're going to become.''

Harbaugh can only hope the Ravens play far better the rest of the way than they did against the Texans. The offense sputtered and the defense didn't cash in on the inspirational presence of linebacker Terrell Suggs, who participated in 44 plays during his earlier-than-expected return from a torn right Achilles tendon.

Harbaugh shouldered the blame for his team's uncharacteristic dud of a performance

``It's on me,'' he said. ``We didn't put our players in great position to win the game. We obviously weren't ready to handle their scheme, their intensity, the crowd. All the things we were up against in that game we did not do a good job with. I take full responsibility for that.''

And now?

``The key is reacting, but not overreacting,'' Harbaugh said. ``Understanding that it's a 16-game season and it's a tough league. This is just part of the process of building a football team. ... These are the kind of things you have to work through. This is the worst score we've had, but we've played worse games.''

The Ravens will have a light practice Tuesday and take the rest of the week off.

``We need to rest, we need the recovery. We're going to heal up a little bit,'' Harbaugh said. ``The bye week comes at a great time for us.''

Except for the fact that the Ravens won't get a chance to rebound from Sunday's loss until next month.

``When you have a game like that, you want to get back in there as fast as you can. You want to play,'' Harbaugh said. ``You want to kind of correct it and make it right.''

After taking a beating by the Houston defense, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is more interested in resting his body than getting back on the field.

``It's always good to get off your feet for a little bit and get guys a little bit more healthy than they are,'' he said. ``I don't think it matters that we're coming off a big loss like this or anything like that. It's just coincidence.''

Harbaugh will take a break, too, but not before he and his staff decide upon the best way to move forward. He's not lamenting injuries to linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb; rather, he's trying to figure the best way to make the most of what he's got.

``We have everything we need,'' Harbaugh insisted. ``We have all the players we need and we have all the scheme we need. Now what we have to do is organize it in a way that gives our players a chance to play their fastest and their best under pressure, on the road against good teams, and at home..''

Baltimore has the longest current home winning streak in the NFL, 14 straight, but is 1-2 on the road.

``We've all got to be better on the road,'' Harbaugh said. ``That's something that we're not happy with right now.''


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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


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."