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Will Painter stay or go?


Will Painter stay or go?

The Ravens gameat St. Louis on Thursday represented the last chance for bubble players to maketheir case they belong on the team's 53-man roster, which must be set by Fridayat 9 p.m.With a fewexceptions, players did not make a strong case for themselves in the Ravens'31-17 loss, a performance that overall was sluggish from start to finish.
Joe Flacco, likemost of the Ravens starters, sat this one out. The Ravens used both theirbackup quarterbacks equally -- with Tyrod Taylor playing the first half andCurtis Painter the second half. Taylor is assured of making the team as theRavens No. 2 quarterback, but Painter was playing for his future tonight. After the game,Ravens coach John Harbaugh said that no decision has been made yet on whether tokeep two quarterbacks or three. What he is really saying is they haven'tdecided whether to keep Painter. The Ravens have not kept three quarterbackssince 2009. Painter wasuneven against St. Louis, as he has been at other times in the preseason. Hefinished 19-for-31 for 193 yards, with two touchdowns and three interceptions.One of the interceptions was airmailed over the head of rookie receiver DorianGraham, but the other two went off the hands of receivers -- one off BobbyRainey and the other off Tandon Doss.
In his corner,Painter has Ravens quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, the coach in Indianapolislast season who gave Painter the Colts' starting job in their post-PeytonManning world. The Ravens wouldalso like to work the mobile Taylor into their offense in other ways a la theWildcat, so the risk of injury increases. That would seem to argue for keepinga third quarterback. The worst-case scenario would be Taylor going out with aninjury on a Wildcat-type play, and then Joe Flacco being injured later in thesame game.But workingagainst Painter are Flacco's durability and the Ravens' needs elsewhere. Flaccohas proven to be one of the most durable quarterbacks in the league, startingevery game the Ravens have played since he was drafted in 2008. By keepingPainter, the Ravens would need to part with someone else -- likely a reservedefensive back or linebacker who sees action on special teams. Those specialteamers will contribute -- whether it be punt team, kickoff coverage, kickreturn -- every game. Keeping a thirdquarterback is, essentially, a luxury, and judging by the Rams game, it's aluxury the Ravens just don't have right now.
Does Painter stay or go? We'll know for sure by Friday night.

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


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."