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Well traveled Trestman embraces challenge as Ravens OC

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Well traveled Trestman embraces challenge as Ravens OC

OWINGS MILLS – Will the latest stop in Marc Trestman’s coaching journey lead to offensive success for the Ravens?

Trestman’s arrival as the new offensive coordinator is one of the major storylines of the Ravens’ offseason. To call Trestman well traveled would be an understatement. At age 59, he is a coaching lifer. He has been either a head coach or assistant coach with nine other NFL organizations – the Bears, Vikings, Buccaneers, Browns, 49ers, Lions, Cardinals, Raiders, and Dolphins. He was also a successful head coach with the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL.

Finding someone more experienced than Trestman to replace Gary Kubiak would have been difficult. However, his recent two-year stint as the Bears head coach ended abruptly, when he was fired after a 5-11 season in 2014. Now Trestman has been hired to put his stamp on a Ravens’ offense that gelled in 2014 under Kubiak, now the Broncos’ head coach.

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Inquiring minds want to know. Will the Ravens’ offense change subtly, or dramatically?

Trestman isn’t giving many clues. But he has been animated at Ravens OTA sessions - shouting instructions and jogging downfield as plays develop. With each day, Trestman is finding out a little bit more about veteran offensive players like quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett, and wide receiver Steve Smith, as well as rookies Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams.

“That’s what we want to do, is what these guys can do best,” Trestman said. “And that’s part of the daily process of throwing so much at them, is to find out what’s best for this group of guys.”

Trestman said he had not decided if he would call plays from the sidelines, or from upstairs during games.

“I’ve done both,” Trestman said. “Recently I’ve been on the field. I’ve been on the field for most of my career doing it, but I’ve been up in the box as well. It’s whatever is best for our football team. Whatever John (Harbaugh) thinks is best, that’s what we’ll do.”

Either way, Trestman is obviously excited to be doing what he loves – coaching football. The Ravens are hoping that Trestman’s latest stop helps them get back in the playoffs.

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

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Steelers players plunder Le'Veon Bell's locker a day after missed deadline

Le'Veon Bell decided not to return to the Steelers this season, and his former teammates have apparently decided they can have his belongings. 

The All-Pro running back didn't sign his $14.5 million franchise tag by Tuesday's deadline, and thus is ineligible to play this season.

Steelers player were seen plundering his locker Wednesday in front of reporters. Defensive end Bud Dupree went right for Bell's cleats, thanking him for the Jordan brand shoes and saying he wishes Bell success.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters he sent Bell his well-wishes, but got no response from his former backfield mate. 

It's unclear what Bell plans to do next, but it's crystal clear the Steelers have moved on, with his shoes in tow. 

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

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Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III prepared to start if hip injury sidelines Joe Flacco

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has had his fair share of life changing moments. 

Winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016, being drafted by the Ravens in the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and come Sunday, possibly his first NFL start.

With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury suffered against the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 9, the 21-year-old could be leading the Ravens for a full 60 minutes against division rival Cincinnati Bengals in what could be a defining moment of their season.

"I'm just going into it like any other week," Jackson said Wednesday. "Just preparing for whatever."

While Jackson has appeared in all nine games going 7-for-12 for 87 passing yards and one touchdown, he is the only first-round quarterback out of the 2018 draft that has yet to start this season. 

When asked how he would feel if his name is called Sunday, Jackson said he would have butterflies at first but added once the ball is snapped, "it's on."

Through the Ravens' first half of the season, how and when Jackson is utilized at either quarterback or receiver, has lacked consistency. Add in the lack of highlight reel passes from him and many are concerned he's not ready for an NFL start. 

The fast style of NFL play compared to that of college football was something Jackson admittedly struggled with throughout the preseason. But with nine regular season games under his belt, Jackson feels that is the area where he's taken the biggest strides. 

"Calling the plays," Jackson said. "Before I'd have to ask coach a hundred times, 'say it again, say it again,' but now he says it one time to me. Don't get me wrong, sometimes if [the call] is long or whatever I have to ask [coach to] say it again, but other than that I'm getting better with that."

Head coach John Harbaugh offered no insight on who would be their starting quarterback on Sunday and it can be expected he'll keep hush up until the last moment. Flacco was not on the practice field during media availability Wednesday, either. 

But let's not forget the other veteran quarterback on their roster; Robert Griffin III

For the first time since 2009, the Ravens decided to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for this very reason.

After sitting out of football for a year, RGIII was given a second chance in Baltimore, but has been a gameday inactive since the start of the season. If the week progresses and neither Flacco or Jackson seem ready, it could be the comeback of the once Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

"That's my job. That's why they brought me here," Griffin III said Wednesday on if he feels prepared to possibly start. "They brought me here to be a pro. They brought me here to help this team if need be. I try to help the defense every week on scout team and then do those [reps], and if my number's called I'll be able to go out there and lead this team."

Both RGIII and Jackson said that it would be "awesome" if they were named the starting QB on Sunday, but that no matter who it ends up being they're all here for one another.

"I'm going to continue to help [Lamar] just like I have all season because we're about the Ravens here," Griffin III said. "It's not about individuals. We've got a pretty daunting task ahead with this Bengals team and then just with the rest of our schedule, so we've got to make sure we make the most of every opportunity."

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