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Upshaw thinner and quicker, but better?

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Upshaw thinner and quicker, but better?

Just as the regular season draws near, Courtney Upshaw is suggesting he's on the verge of showing his best form.

The rookie linebacker, the Ravens' top pick in this year's draft, weighed in at 271 pounds.

"It's been a long time coming. I'm feeling good. I look skinny, right?" Upshaw said with glee.

"I knew that's why they wanted me to lose the weight. I'll be well-conditioned when I'm out there, last longer in the games."

Coming out of Alabama where he posted 8.5 sacks last season in helping lead the Crimson Tide to a national championship, Upshaw could've carved out playing time with the first unit. The Ravens lost linebackers Jarret Johnson to free agency and Terrell Suggs for at least the first six games of the season as he recovers from an Achilles tear.

But Upshaw was saddled with shoulder problems. He missed practice time during training camp with it and then re-injured it in the preseason finale last week.

"The shoulder was kind of giving me problems but I don't (excuse) that for the way I played," said Upshaw, who will be behind the linebacking tandem of Albert McClellan and Paul Kruger.

The preseason didn't sit well with Upshaw. Coach John Harbaugh sounded under-enthusiastic at one point when asked about his progress.

Upshaw insists he has a new focus, evident by his comments on Twitter a few weeks ago:

-- "Can't sit back and wait on things to happen I got to make happen I'm all in I'm trying to be great"

-- "From here on out I'm approaching everything I do in a way where when I'm done I know no one out worked me on and off the field"

The source of his angst? The Ravens lacked sacks and pressure on the quarterback.

"Just thinking back to the preseason game and not getting sacks and stuff like that I just want to go out and be a better player and help the team," Upshaw said.

"I want to get sacks. That's my goal. Being drafted, coming in, it feels like a lot of people was doubting my pass-rush skills so I do want to get to the quarterback."

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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!

A post shared by Baltimore Ravens (@ravens) on

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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. 

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