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A short night for starters

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A short night for starters

If you want to see the Ravens best-known players in action Thursday night in the teams preseason opener, youre advised to be in your seat for the opening kickoff.

Head coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday he doesnt expect many of his starters to play more than a quarter, if that much, in the teams preseason opener against the Falcons in Atlanta.

It will be a standard first preseason game concept, so well be looking at anywhere from a certain set number of plays to about a quarter, maybe a quarter-plus for some of the starters, Harbaugh said. Some guys wont play at all. Some of the more senior veteran guys wont play at all by design.

Once the known quantities are on the sidelines, the rest of the game will belong to the backups and fringe players fighting for roster spots.

I think you will get an opportunity to see most of the guys we have here on the roster at the (quarterback) position, Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell said.

Joe Flacco will start under center and probably take several series. Asked what he expected, he seemed caught off guard.

I dont know, I havent even figured out how long Im playing yet, Flacco said. So, well see, but hopefully my expectations will be we get the ball, whether its to open the game or once they turn the ball over on downs or whatever happens, and we go down and score a touchdown, and then thatll be a good day.

Backup Tyrod Taylor presumably will replace him in the second quarter, and if Caldwell is right, Curtis Painter and undrafted rookie Chester Stewart will also see some playing time.

Its all about timing and execution, Harbaugh said when asked what he is looking to see. How crisp do we play? How do we execute under pressure? How do the guys take that execution from a practice environment and take it to a game environment against another team in a live-type situation? Its all about executing our offense.

Defensively, it isnt clear whether Ray Lewis or Ed Reed will even suit up. The majority of the night will belong to unknowns and rookies getting their first taste of NFL football.

While the game will provide fans with the first live look at the Ravens since their AFC title-game loss, Harbaugh was careful not to overplay its importance. The coaches have zero time game-planning for the Falcons.

Its part of the training camp process. Its not a regular season game, so we dont treat it like that, Harbaugh said. But its a big part of the training camp process. Its going to be really fun to get down there and see where were at.

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What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

What the Marcus Peters trade means and how it shows the Ravens are making 2019 a priority

The Ravens have a problem in the secondary; no one can stay healthy. 

Baltimore suffered season-ending injuries to Iman Marshall and Tavon Young at cornerback and Tony Jefferson and DeShon Elliott at safety. Cornerback Jimmy Smith hasn’t played since Week 1 with a Grade 2 MCL sprain and Maurice Canady currently has a hamstring injury, coach John Harbaugh said. 

So on Monday, the Ravens traded for cornerback Marcus Peters from the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. 

Peters, 26, is in his fifth year as a pro and is in the final year of his rookie deal that is paying him just over $9 million against the cap this season. 

A true ballhawk, Peters has an NFL-best 24 interceptions since he entered the league in 2015 as a first round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Peters was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was a Second Team All-Pro that season. He was a First Team All-Pro a year later. 

With a host of injuries at cornerback and in the secondary the Ravens will likely use Peters right away opposite Marlon Humphrey, who has been one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks this season. Peters excels at turning the ball over, something safety Earl Thomas did in Seattle and a statistic in which the Ravens coaches have expressed a desire to improve.

The Ravens rank 13th in yards allowed per game, 30th in yards per play against and 25th in pass defense. Peters figures to help out in those departments.

Smith is expected to return sooner rather than later in the secondary, meaning the Ravens will have to find a way to get Humphrey, Peters, Smith and Brandon Carr on the field in a positive way.

And while Peters’ contract is up at the end of the season, the final 10 games could be a tryout to see how he fits into the team’s short-term and long-term plans. Should he impress, it’s not inconceivable the Ravens could re-sign him and make he, Humphrey and Young the team’s top three cornerbacks headed into the 2020 season.

If they don’t, they’ll be awarded a compensatory pick in 2021. As for what round, that will depend on how much Peters signs for. 

Either way, the move is an aggressive one to shore up a notable area of concern for the Ravens this season. It adds a cornerback who has had incredible success in his young career and adds a piece in the secondary to pair opposite Humphrey. 

The price wasn’t hefty, either. The Ravens moved on from Kenny Young, a linebacker who had fallen out of their plans, and a 2020 draft pick, one of many they possess next year. 

It’s a true low-risk, high-reward situation for a team that still thinks it can contend this season.

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6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

6 moments that show how awesome newest Raven Marcus Peters is

Marcus Peters is a Raven now. Baltimore made it official Tuesday when they sent linebacker Kenny Smith and a draft pick to the Rams for the two-time All-Pro.

A two-time Pro Bowler, Peters has plenty of career highlights. It's hard to narrow it down, but here are some of his best.

He's got a game-sealing pick-six on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. He was fined for his "celebration" as he entered the end zone, but at least he was having a good time.

His entrance into the end zone was not nearly as smooth on this pick-six. His path to the goal line was much more difficult and he had to leave the game after this big hit.

Back when he was still with the Kansas City Chiefs, he showed a knack for finding the ball, stripping it from Jamaal Charles, scooping it up and returning it for a touchdown to open the scoring on Monday Night Football against the Broncos.

He also spent a whole game mic'd up, which was genuinely entertaining.

Peters similarly just ripped the ball right out of Kelvin Benjamin's hands, though he didn't return this one for a touchdown.

Most importantly, he's got a competitive attitude.

The Ravens needed reinforcements in their secondary, and Peters and his highlight-reel plays are on the way to help.

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