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A starter course ...

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A starter course ...

Ravens coach JohnHarbaugh suggested on Tuesday that, as is his standard operating procedure forWeek 3 of the preseason, starters would likely work into the second half against Jacksonville on Thursday night inwhat will be their most extensive action of the preseason.This begs aquestion: Who exactly are the starters?
Sure, manystarting spots are nailed down. It's safe to say that quarterback, free safety, inside linebacker are pretty well set. But coming into camp, several positions were up for grabs. The past month has solidified some starting jobs and cloudedothers.Here's an updateon some of the key battles:
Left guard:Bobbie Williams vs. Jah Reid vs. Kelechi OsemeleWilliams is thepresumed starter, but the 12-year veteran has been bothered at times byswelling in his surgically repaired ankle. Reid was also considered an internalcandidate to fill the void left by the free agency departure of Ben Grubbs, butReid has been slowed much of training camp by a calf injury. Osemele, who has also gotten work at tackle, could bethe starter Thursday night, but look for Williams to be there in Week 1.
Cornerback: CaryWilliams vs. Jimmy SmithThis wasconsidered one of the top battles of camp, and it's fair to say it's stillundecided. Neither has seized the job, and both have struggled against elite receivers in the first two preseason games. For now it appears the job still belongsto Williams, who started every game last season. Smith, slowed last year by an ankle injury, has been bothered attimes by a back injury this summer. Both have been picked on by opposingquarterbacks, which is likely to continuewith Lardarius Webb on the other side.Nose tackle:Terence Cody vs. Ma'ake KemoeatuThis wasn'tprojected to be a battle, but Kemoeatu continues to have a strong camp andHarbaugh implied that he could be the starter. Cody started every game lastseason and is still the likely starter, but the depth at this position hasgotten much stronger with Kemoeatu's play.Outsidelinebacker: Courtney Upshaw vs. Albert McClellanThe prevailingwisdom was that after Terrell Suggs went down with his Achilles injury, Upshaw,the Ravens' first draft pick this past April, would slide in and take over. ButUpshaw missed time with a shoulder injury, and McClellan has continued toimpress. The former practice squad player, who started one game last season, hasstarted both preseason games and seems to have a slight edge over Upshaw fornow, though the Ravens' depth chart continues to list Upshaw on the top line.Kicker: BillyCundiff vs. Justin TuckerOh boy. This isgoing to be one tough call for the Ravens front office. Cundiff has been verygood in camp, which is probably enough to retain his job. But Tucker, the rookiebrought in ostensibly to push Cundiff, has done that and more. He has been themore accurate kicker, and has shown consistency from beyond 50 yards -- a major weakness of Cundiff's the past few years. Tucker evenhit a 63-yarder at the M&T Bank Stadium practice. The Ravens are not likely to keep both. If they cut Cundiff, theRavens part ways with a player they like and very publicly supported after hismiss in the AFC Championship Game. If they cut Tucker, they won't get him back.He will be kicking somewhere in the NFL this year. If Tucker has shown anythingthis camp, it's that there aren't 31 better kickers out there. We'll know forsure by next Friday, Aug. 31, when the Ravens have to get down to their 53-manroster.

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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.

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