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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson admits he got lazy with throwing mechanics

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Lamar Jackson admits he got lazy with throwing mechanics

The Baltimore Ravens' full 2019 regular season schedule will be released Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST. Before all that happens, here's the latest Ravens news you need to know.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The magnifying glass will be put on quarterback Lamar Jackson during his second season in the league. During the offseason, Jackson put that magnifying glass on himself and noticed mechanical issues in his passing game. 

“I was probably getting lazy, trying to make things happen with just my arm and not following through with my legs, and it showed a lot," Jackson said on completing just 58.2 percent of his passes in 2018. I would throw an inaccurate ball.”

The 2018 first-round pick has spent the offseason working with his former high school coach in Florida, as well as throwing with Ravens receivers. His teammates have already noticed a change in Jackson both mentally and physically. 

“Keeping a wide base, throwing out-breaking routes,” Jackson said via the Ravens website. “Just trying to be spot-on with my accuracy, trying to work on every attribute I can.”

2. 2019 free agency brought the departures of veteran leaders like Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle and Joe Flacco. Now as the team ushers in a new era of Ravens football, there's confidence among the team they will find their new leaders. 

“You walk in Day 1, 2019 and they aren’t there, it’s obviously something you can’t not notice," safety Tony Jefferson said Tuesday. “But, that’s how the business works. It’s Year 7. I’ve seen it all. It may not be how we wanted it to roll, but we got to roll either way. We are who we are. We’re the Ravens. We’re always going to be resilient, we’re going to be tough, physical."

Among those players who will step into new roles as leaders on the team is free agency addition Earl Thomas and Patrick Onwuasor.

“That’s the first thing Earl said, ‘We’re going to work on your leadership,’” Onwuasor said Tuesday. “That’s something that I kind of shy away from. It’ll probably be great for us.”

3. With the 2019 NFL Draft just about a week away, Michigan linebacker Devin Bush will be visiting the Ravens Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Bush could help fill the holes left by Suggs and Mosley's departure. 

Looking Ahead:

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

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

May 3-6 or May 10-13: Potential three-day rookie mini camp


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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.”