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When Elway called, Kubiak listened and left Ravens

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When Elway called, Kubiak listened and left Ravens

When the Broncos called, Gary Kubiak couldn’t say no. It was the team Kubiak spent his entire nine-year playing career with. It was the team run by his close friend and former teammate, Broncos executive vice president John Elway.

So Kubiak left the Ravens after just one year (2014) as their offensive coordinator and became the Broncos head coach. His leadership is a key reason why the Broncos have reached Super Bowl 50. Handling quarterback Peyton Manning during the twilight of his career has not been easy. Neither has joining an organization that had Super-Bowl-or-bust expectations.

Yet, Kubiak has navigated some difficult situations successfully, leaving Elway with no doubt he made the right call to fire coach John Fox last year, after the Broncos had won four straight AFC West titles.

“The hot seat that Gary stepped into was hotter than any seat in the league,” Elway told reporters following the AFC championship game. “We had great success before he got here and to be able, for him to come in…the things he had to handle, not many guys would have handled it as well as he has.”

Kubiak originally intended to remain with the Ravens, even issuing a statement that he was staying after several teams wanted to interview him for head coaching positions. But when Elway called, Kubiak listened. Considering the Broncos are in the Super Bowl, and the Ravens finished 5-11, many Ravens fans also wish Kubiak had stayed. But unlike the Ravens, who were decimated by injuries and simply didn’t play well enough, the Broncos kept finding ways to win, and have landed on the game’s biggest stage.

On Tuesday, Kubiak thanked Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome, and coach John Harbaugh for the year he spent with the Ravens, something Kubiak has done often.

“Working for John, for that organization, for Ozzie, for Steve Bisciotti, really helped me as a football coach, watching them operate, watching them do things,” Kubiak said. “To have chance to come back her with John (Elway), I feel very fortunate.”

Kubiak has won three Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach – one with the 49ers, and two with the Broncos. But winning a Super Bowl as a head coach would be even more special. Kubiak is very happy with his decision to join the Broncos. He hopes the decisions he makes Sunday work out just as well.

 

MORE RAVENS: What will another Super Bowl win mean for Peyton Manning? 

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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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