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Spotlight on: Bernard Pollard

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Spotlight on: Bernard Pollard

Few Ravens saw their stock rise more in 2011 than safety Bernard Pollard.

His prior team, the Houston Texans, didnt mind letting him go after the 2010 season, during which he failed to record an interception. When he signed with the Ravens after the lockout, he was expected to compete with Tom Zbikowski for the starting job alongside Ed Reed, and many saw their competition as a tossup.

Well, it wasnt.

Pollard won the job and became a play-making fixture in the secondary, finishing fourth on the team in tackles and third in passes defended, relegating Zbikowski to a backup role as the Ravens advanced to the AFC title game.

After the season, the Ravens let Zbikowski, their 2008 third-round draft pick, depart as a free agent (he signed with the Indianapolis Colts) and gave Pollard a nifty three-year contract extension, turning him into a cornerstone.

Entering the 2012 season, the Ravens see their secondary as one of their strengths, with Pollard a key component. According to the wonks at Pro Football Focus, he has piled up the fourth-most tackles of any NFL defensive back over the past three years while ranking in the top 10 in total quarterback pressures.

Quite simply, the hard-hitting Pollard showed himself to be a perfect fit for the Ravens aggressive defensive style in 2011. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano utilized him almost as an extra linebacker, sending him into the run defense to blow up tacklers and runners as well as defend passes. Paganos replacement, Dean Pees, surely took note and will follow Paganos lead in 2012.

That Pollard is settled and comfortable in Baltimore was plainly apparent during the spring season of minicamp and OTA practices. Pollard was impossible to miss, his loud voice stirring the energy of players on both sides of the ball.

"Bernard showed last year that he is a Raven, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. He's smart, tough and brings a passion to the games, our practices and in the weight room. His physical presence on the back end is very important to the way we play defense."

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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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AP Images

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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