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Smith: Receivers don't fear press coverage


Smith: Receivers don't fear press coverage

Handling the press coverage coming off a sloppy, 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs is one thing for the Ravens.

Handling the press coverage from opposing cornerbacks is another.

Is too much being made of the receivers' inability to handle the physical, bump-and-run play of secondaries such as the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles before that?

Both used a Cover 1 scheme in which cornerbacks hug the line of scrimmage and attempt to knock receivers off route within the five-yard area. Those teams only use one safety over the top to cover the deep zone in case a receiver gets by.

In the last six quarters on the road -- and against the Cover 1 -- the Ravens have failed to score a touchdown.

Sunday, they'll face the Dallas Cowboys at M&T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens have won an NFL-high 13 games in a row. The Ravens (4-1) average more than 30 points per game in three home dates this season.

"I look at each game for what it is. We're going to win some games that way,"  Ravens receiver Torrey Smith said of the three field goals in Kansas City. "We're not going to be able to play good all the time.

"There's nothing we need to do (different). It's really about completing plays. Everybody keeps talking about press coverage, but if we would've made a few more plays last week it would be a different game and we wouldn't be talking about it. We make some plays and we're alright. It's a collective effort."

Dallas has young, physical corners, too, in rookie Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr.

"We've been open in every game we've gone against press and man," said Smith, who had only three catches for 38 yards against the Chiefs and two catches for 51 yards in the 24-23 loss to Philadelphia in Week 2. "Now press does make it a lot tougher. The quarterback's window is smaller, but also if you beat them it's definitely a lot easier."

The Cowboys mix up their packages, but when they're in a Cover 1 it's not quite the same look.

"They do play a lot of single high (one safety over top), but they help their guys. With guys that athletic that does make it tough on receivers," Smith said. "They're going to be more aggressive and use their natural ability."

Fortunately for Smith, he had good tutelage at the University of Maryland and credits former coach Ralph Friedgen.

"We ran a pro-style offense so therefore we had to understand to read and react to defenses. Defenses don't change much. It's nothing that I haven't seen in college," said Smith, who played four seasons at Maryland and was drafted by the Ravens in 2011. "It's really about understanding and reacting.

"Whenever I got pressed in college I'd burn them. They wouldn't really have safety help. ... Corners now get paid to stay in front of you. They're overall better. They're able to be more aggressive with certain schemes. They're going to win some, they're going to lose some."

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


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.