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Veterans to help younger guys as camp opens

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Veterans to help younger guys as camp opens

The fun is beginning for the Ravens. Its time for training camp today.
The Ravens have a mix of talented veterans and younger players who are trying to move up and become a major part of a tough team. This team is going to need some of the less experienced guys to take a bigger role this season and help out since the Ravens lost some key players from the 2011 squad that just missed the Super Bowl.
But the drive for the Super Bowl begins here in training camp. Thats where the learning and understanding everything about the playbook starts.
Its also where the experienced players like starting center Matt Birk can help younger offensive linemen find their ways.

Its important from a team standpoint to be out here and going through the two-a-days and doing the hard stuff, putting your body through it to get it ready, kind of get it calloused, get it ready to endure the physical rigors of the season, Birk said earlier this week. "So, to be honest with yourself, you embrace it. Its part of the process and also to your biological clock, it ticks this time of the year, late July, August. As a football player, you are supposed to be sweating on the football field.
The older players, more experienced guys that have been through so much, can help the younger ones who are not just trying to find their ways, but looking to have an impact on the team.
Coach John Harbaugh believes that veterans be a big plus to younger guys.
Any time you can get experience from a playerA player can give him some ins and outs through is career, and its not just football, Harbaugh said. Its probably how to approach becoming a pro and all that. Its really important.
But in the end, players like Ray Lewis know how hard training camp is, but they love the game so much, they just keep on going. Thats why Lewis said on Wednesday that hes going to keep on playing because he enjoys football too much.
Until passion leaves you for the game, retirement is impossible to think about, he said. I love the game too much, and I have a great connection to Baltimore and as long as Im playing, and my body feels great, then Ill keep doing it.

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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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