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Secondary focused on more turnovers this year

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Secondary focused on more turnovers this year

In an 11-on-11 drill at Ravens training camp on Saturday, Joe Flacco threw a deep pass down the middle, and cornerback Lardarius Webb made a nice, leaping interception.

The Ravens are counting on Webb and the other defensive backs to make that kind of play more often this season. It didn't happen nearly enough last year.

How bad was it? Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata tied for the team lead in interceptions with two, and no defensive back had more than one. The Ravens finished with 11 interceptions, tied for the fewest in franchise history, and five of those came from Ngata, linebacker C.J. Mosley (2) and Daryl Smith (1).

"Obviously, we have to get picks. That’s huge," cornerback Jimmy Smith said on Friday.

Smith had one interception last season in eight games before missing the second half of the season with a foot injury. But as Smith emerged as the Ravens top corner, teams actively looked to stay away from him, driving his interception chances down.

Others did not pick up the slack.

Through the first nine games last year, Smith was the only defensive back with an interception. Webb, who missed three of the first four games last year, did not have an interception until Week 16.

If healthy, those two figure to start at cornerback, but the  Ravens have added two veteran defensive backs -- safety Kendrick Lewis and cornerback Kyle Arrington -- with some ball skills. Each has nine career interceptions, and Arrington tied for the NFL lead with seven in 2011.

True, the Ravens don't have a ball-hawk extraordinaire like Ed Reed anymore, but the Ravens have a potentially outstanding pass rush once again after recording 49 sacks last year, tied for second-most in the league. When they pressure the opposing quarterback into a mistake, the secondary must make him pay.

"We need to create turnovers," coach John Harbaugh said after Friday's workout. "We need to be a defense across the board that people fear in the sense that you want to throw the ball out there, there’s a good chance it’s going to come back the other way. You have to have that from your back end."

 

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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