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Teams have lost big players before-- and won

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Teams have lost big players before-- and won

Remember what happened to starting quarterback Bob Griese and the 1972 Miami Dolphins? How about starter Phil Simms and the 1990 New York Giants? 

Each of those starters got hurt and missed big chunks of the season. But in the end, the same thing happened-- their teams won the Super Bowl. 

There's plenty of other stories in the NFL of when a key starter missed a big amount of time, and the team still stayed the course. That's what Ravens fans need to realize when thinking about this year's team.

The loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb will hurt the defense in a huge way. That's been discussed too much already, and there's no way to change it. The question now is what can those replacing them do. The Ravens got a bad break by running into an angry Houston team last weekend. Now, they might have a bit of an easier team as they get Cleveland and Oakland after the break, but those aren't guaranteed wins either, especially because the Ravens have to meet the Browns on the road. 

But look back at those first two examples. Griese got hurt in the fifth game of the 1972 season (which was 14 games). He missed the rest of the regular season and didn't come back until coach Don Shula put in him at halftime of the AFC title game in Pittsburgh. Back-up quarterback Earl Morrall didn't miss a beat, helping guide the Dolphins to a 14-0 regular season record. But Griese got the Dolphins through the AFC title game and finished the 17-0 season with a win over the Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Simms didn't get hurt until late in the 1990 regular season, and Jeff Hostetler took over as the Giants' quarterback. He also didn't miss a beat and the team went on to win the Super Bowl that year, a 20-19 upset of the Bills.

Does this mean the Ravens will win the Super Bowl? Of course not. What it does mean is that people should relax a little and give it time. See what happens. The season's not over yet.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

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