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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Grading the Ravens' pre-draft offseason moves

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Grading the Ravens' pre-draft offseason moves

Here is the latest Baltimore Ravens news to start your hump day. 

Player/Team Notes:

1. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey announced Tuesday that he will now be wearing No. 44 for the Ravens after giving up No. 29 to safety Earl Thomas. 44 was the same number Humphrey's father, Bobby Humphrey, wore towards the end of his career with the Dolphins. Leading up to the announcement, Humphrey offered the first ten people to guess what number he would wear correctly a free jersey. Only one lucky person got it right. 

2. The Ravens announced their 2019 preseason schedule Tuesday and will host the Jaguars and Packers to kick things off. Then they will head up I-95 to Philadelphia to face the Eagles before traveling back down I-95 to visit the Redskins. The Ravens will also hold joint practices with the Jaguars and Eagles in the weeks leading up to their matchups. 

If you need reason to be excited for those preseason games, the Ravens provided us with five things to look forward to

3. Bleacher Report's Gary Davenport graded each team's offseason moves prior to the 2019 NFL Draft and the Ravens did not earn high remarks. Davenport liked the Ravens' additions of safety Earl Thomas and running back Mark Ingram, but besides that, not much has impressed him yet giving the team a D. 

"Two of Baltimore's top three wide receivers from 2018 (John Brown and Michael Crabtree) are gone," Davenport writes. "So are both of the team's top-two edge-rushers: Terrell Suggs to Arizona, Za'Darius Smith to Green Bay. Baltimore's leading tackler a season ago, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, will be piling up stops for the New York Jets this season. That's five starters—five key contributors—gone from a team that won the AFC North last year. And that's without mentioning that Thomas was brought in as a replacement for Eric Weddle, who is now with the Los Angeles Rams. Baltimore's linebackers and pass-catching corps are major question marks—and, on paper at least, the offseason has seen the Cleveland Browns sail past them and into the driver's seat of the division."

4. The 2019 NFL Draft is just about two weeks away and the Ravens have been picked by ESPN's Dan Graziano as one of the top five teams most likely to trade down come April 25. 

"They need to fill a lot of holes on defense, and if the high-impact guys are drying up by No. 22, Baltimore has shown that it's nimble enough in the draft to slide down a couple of spots and maximize value," Graziano said. 

During the Ravens' pre-draft press conference, general manager Eric DeCosta said they were not opposed to trading out of the first round to acquire more picks. 

Looking Ahead:

April 15: Voluntary OTAs may begin

April 19: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 25-27: 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tn.

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The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

The Ravens appear to have their entire coaching staff returning for the 2020 season

While the Ravens roster will likely remain mostly together for the 2020 regular season, it appears the coaching staff will stay entirely intact, too. 

After both coordinators, Greg Roman and Don “Wink” Martindale, had interviews with the Browns and Giants, respectively, those jobs were filled by Kevin Stefanski and Joe Judge. 

And more recently, quarterbacks coach James Urban and tight ends coach Bobby Engram were requested for interviews by the Eagles. Harbaugh said both Engram and Urban pulled out of the running and weren’t interested.

“It looks like our staff is going to stay together,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I can tell you that. I’m not saying anything couldn’t happen; there are always things brewing for a certain period of time.”

The Ravens have every offensive starter from the divisional playoff game under contract for next season, and now appear to have the offensive coordinator and all of the position coaches back on-board for another run too. The Ravens set a franchise record with 531 points, led by Lamar Jackson.

Things are still fluid, as a job opportunity for anyone on the staff can pop up out of the blue. But for now, the Ravens look like they’ll run the entire operation back for another go at a Super Bowl.

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John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff performance

Coach John Harbaugh, just six days after his team’s disappointing 28-12 loss to the Titans in the AFC playoffs, has already had to defend his quarterback.

Faced with some criticism after Jackson finished 31-of-59 passing, and three total turnovers, Harbaugh mentioned how far Jackson has come in the last year — which also ended in an early playoff loss at home.

“It’s really interesting to look at Lamar Jackson, because look at the progress he made in the last year,” Harbaugh said Friday. “Because the same question, I think you might have asked it last year, how is he going to get better going forward? And he did a good job, right? He’s 23 years old. He’s younger than Joe Burrow. So, he has a pretty good head start right now.”

Jackson is now 0-2 in the playoffs with a 19-3 regular season record. 



He’s likely the MVP this season after he passed for more than 3,000 yards and rushed for 1,000 yards, setting the single-season rushing record for a quarterback along the way. He led the NFL in passing touchdowns and carried the most prolific offense in the league to a league-best 14-2. 

Harbaugh isn’t worried that his quarterback, who is just 23-years-old, hasn’t found his playoff success yet.

“The Manning brothers combined to, they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one,” Harbaugh explained. (Joe) Montana, (Steve) Young and (Brett) Favre didn’t start a playoff game until their third season, (Drew) Brees and (Troy) Aikman, until their fourth season, and (Aaron) Rodgers until his fifth season.”

After the season ended, Harbaugh added that Jackson went to his office to discuss the offseason and what he needed to do to improve. 

While Harbaugh and the offensive coaching staff had a plan for Jackson to improve, Jackson “nailed” each and every single critique that the coaches had laid out for him.

“I’m really confident in Lamar and his understanding the things he needs to do to get better, and that he’s going to work really hard to keep building himself up as a player,” Harbaugh said.

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