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Joe Flacco says Ray Lewis still welcome at his house in Thanksgiving interview

Joe Flacco says Ray Lewis still welcome at his house in Thanksgiving interview

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco spoke to For The Win about all things Thanksgiving. Baltimore fans already know this, but Flacco is a genuinely likeable guy. 

The topics were all over the place, including backyard football and the awkward back-and-forth between him and Ray Lewis, but Joe Cool was just that. 

Here are some of the most fun questions and answers.

On winning backyard football games on Thanksgiving...

"Oh man. Don’t be the team that gets hurt. I feel like I envision a lot of hamstrings getting pulled and a lot of bumps and bruises out there. Don’t be the guy that ruins it for everybody. I think at the end of the day that’s how you win: You come out of it healthy."

On how Steve Smith is still so good...

"Steve’s so good at his age because he’s very talented. He’s got a lot of physical skills that make him the way he is. But he also just brings, he’s 37 and still has the energy and excitement and want-to of a 23-year-old. He brings something special to the game and the atmosphere that not too many people have. That’s what he needs to get going on Sundays and the fact that he’s been able to sustain that for as long as he has is unbelievable."

On what the NFL can do to improve ratings... 

"[laughs] Show more Ravens games."

On who he'd invite to Thanksgiving (other than family) if he could invite anyone...

"I mean a good one would be Steve Smith to be honest with you. I’m sure that’d be interesting inviting Steve over to my family’s house. I’m sure that would be a good time with some arguments, some heated debate and a lot of laughter."

On whether Ray Lewis would be welcome at Thanksgiving... 

"Listen, Ray’s always invited. He’s not going to come to Thanksgiving dinner but I’m not opposed to having Ray around. ... Ray has other plans. We’re going to have a small family gathering this year, so it’s nothing special."

The whole interview is worth a read.

MORE RAVENS: Harbaugh leaves door open, but thinks Smith Sr. plans to retire

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Demone Harris keeps his promise, surprises the woman who found engagement ring

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Demone Harris keeps his promise, surprises the woman who found engagement ring

Here's some good news for the world.

Demone Harris had a whirlwind of week that he will never forget: He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week after returning from their game in London, then flew out to Baltimore to work out with the Ravens where he quickly learned that he was missing the engagement ring he planned to purpose to his girlfriend with that same weekend.

Shortly after learning the devastating news, the Ravens called Harris to tell him he not only made the practice squad, but they also found the ring at the hotel Harris was staying at in Baltimore.

Harris received the ring shipped to him overnight and proposed to his girlfriend as planned. (She, of course, said "yes".)

But the happy ending didn't just stop there.Harris took to Twitter in which he was determined to find the person who found the ring and "do something nice" for them. Well, something nice is exactly what he did.



Harris found the woman, Yvonne, who saved the big day and rewarded her with two Visa gift cards of $500 each. It was a gesture, he said to show her how much he and his now fiancé appreciate her kindness and honesty.

"I hope this story gave you guys hope that there are still genuine and good people in the world," he wrote on Twitter.

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Trying to stop Lamar Jackson isn’t easy — neither is blocking for him

Trying to stop Lamar Jackson isn’t easy — neither is blocking for him

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson has excelled this season at keeping opposing defenses on their toes.

The problem is it keeps his teammates in limbo, too.

Jackson is one of the shiftiest players in the NFL, and when he breaks the pocket, there’s no way of knowing what he’ll do. That means there’s no way of knowing what the next step is as an offensive player, either.

“One of the best things about Lamar is how versatile a quarterback he is,” wide receiver Miles Boykin said. “No play is ever dead. We have two plays every time we step out there. If the first play doesn’t work, Lamar is going to find something with his feet or he’s going to find something on a scramble.”

Jackson has 576 yards rushing and three touchdowns so far this season and is on pace for over 1,300 yards rushing on the season. 

Sunday in Seattle, his legs carried the Ravens to a 30-16 win over the Seahawks. And while Seahawk defenders tried their best to slow Jackson down, his teammates did their best to anticipate.

“You just let him do his thing,” guard Marshal Yanda said. “That’s about the easiest way you could say it. Block them as long as we can, if he breaks the pocket and he goes, obviously try to cover him as much as we can down the field.”

As an offensive line, the Ravens' front five must make a determination once Jackson breaks the pocket on what to do. They could go downfield to try to get a step on the defense and risk an illegal man downfield penalty, or stay back and protect Jackson if he decides to set and pass the ball.

Sometimes, though, Jackson makes the decision easy.

“I think if they’re ever in that situation and they feel a breeze going by them, they say, ‘Hey let’s go,’” offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris said with a chuckle. "We better follow that breeze.”

After the original play breaks down, Jackson’s ability to extend sometimes leaves his teammates wondering exactly what he’ll do next.

“Sometimes he’s scrambling, and we’re all out there like, ‘Do we block? Do we try to get open?’” Mark Ingram explained. “You’re trying to be there for him, but he’s just doing crazy stuff.”

When Jackson breaks out of the pocket and the Ravens officially head into a scramble drill, there’s a few set tips that help the rest of the offensive weapons.

Marquise Brown says he has a set responsibility — but can’t share exactly what it is. Willie Snead was a high school quarterback, so he’s at least got some idea of what Jackson wants to do when he breaks the pocket. 

The only thing the Ravens can do is drill it and expect the unexpected when he breaks the pocket, because they certainly don’t want to quell what makes Jackson so special.

“You definitely don’t want to dull that,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “You want to let it happen naturally, let his natural talent take over.”

As a receiver, the main job is to get open. Whatever happens after that is up to Jackson.

“I don’t know what he’s going to do half the time,” Boykin said. “I just have one job, and that’s to get open. If you get open, Lamar is going to find you.”

While the Ravens’ offense might have trouble locating — and deciding — Jackson’s next move, it’s been enough to keep opposing defenses at bay. And Baltimore will take that trade-off every day of the week. 

“We don’t know where Lamar is going to be,” D'Alessandris said. “We have a good idea, but if he’s elusive enough to move, sustain your block and let things happen. I think that’s worked out pretty good for us so far.”

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