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Rice looks to continue success against Bengals


Rice looks to continue success against Bengals

One of the lasting images from last season's two Ravens-Bengals games -- both won by the Ravens -- is Ray Rice running in the open field.

The Ravens back broke off three runs of 50-plus yards against Cincinnati last season, essentially ripping through a defense that ranked 10th in the league against the run.

Rice had 20 carries for 104 yards and two scores in the Ravens' 31-24 win over the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium, including a 59-yard run early in the third quarter.

Then in the regular-season finale, a 24-16 Ravens win, Rice carried 24 times for 191 yards, including touchdown runs of 70 and 51 yards.

"Ray Rice has tremendous balance. He has great speed," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "With his lower center of gravity, hes a great cut-runner. He has ability to run through the arm tackles. When he gets a crack, hes got enough speed to make it a bigger play.

"You have to get in your gaps, stay on your feet and make the tackle," Lewis added. "Thats how you prevent any run from going the distance. ... You cant give up those explosive plays like that. That makes for a long day."

In the first meeting, at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens brought Torrey Smith in motion for what looked like a possible end around. The Ravens had run two straight end-arounds the week before in Seattle, so the Bengals were ready.

Except the ball never went to Smith. It went to Rice, who blasted up the middle for 59 yards.

Then in the regular-season finale at Cincinnati, Smith again came in motion on a possible end around. Instead, Rice shot through a gap off right tackle, thanks in part to a punishing block from Vonta Leach, and went 70 yards for a score.

"You don't just run at a group like that," Rice said. "You scheme up runs like that. ... They play the run really well, but the big runs we had it's usually one guy out of place, or it's a missed tackle or something that we schemed up."

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, though, gave credit to the players.

It was discipline on Rays part of running his track and his course, reading his key, and every guy getting a guy blocked, Cameron said at his weekly session with the media on Friday. We got people covered up, we got a hat on a hat, we got him to the point of attack where he can be aggressive, and then he did the rest once he broke free.

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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.