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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Robert Griffin III has sights set on being QB1 again, Ravens announce offseason program date

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Robert Griffin III has sights set on being QB1 again, Ravens announce offseason program date

There's a lot of Baltimore Ravens news to catch up on this Tuesday morning.

Here's everything you need to know.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens will hold their annual pre-draft press conference Tuesday at 11:45 a.m. featuring general manager Eric DeCosta, head coach John Harbaugh and director of college scouting Joe Hortiz. Members of the media will attempt to get some insight on who the Ravens are eyeing in the 2019 NFL Draft. Who will fill the holes at wide receiver and pass rusher will certainly be a hot topic. 

2. April 15 may be the day you owe Uncle Sam a few dollars, but this year it also means the start of the Ravens' offseason program. Attendance at programs during this point of the offseason is voluntary.

3. Despite signing his new two-year contract with the Ravens last week, backup quarterback Robert Griffin III has his sights set on the QB1 position. 

"Anybody that signs in the league is never content being a backup, so this is just part of the rebuilding process for me," Griffin told TMZ. "It started last year, I moved from QB3 to QB2 ... but by no means am I content with where I'm at. I still want to keep going."

The 29-year-old appeared in three games for the Ravens in 2018, completing 2-of-6 passes for 21 yards. 

4. The Ravens held their local Pro Day Monday at the Under Armour Performance Center. 40 athletes that attended high school or college in the Baltimore area were invited to attend, including safety Darnell Savage from Maryland and quarterback Trace McSorely from Penn State. 

5. Brian Baldinger and Charley Casserly of NFL Network picked the Ravens as the 2018 playoff team in the most trouble for the 2019 season. Baldinger noted the Ravens' offseason departures on defense as being "too much to overcome," while Casserly sees the Cleveland Browns as the AFC North team that makes the playoffs this season and questions how well the Ravens' offense will evolve around Lamar Jackson

6. Linebacker Matthew Judon knows the dynamic on the Ravens' No.1 defense will be a lot different in 2019, but is excited for the young guys on the team to step up and show what they've got. 

7.  We all know there's no crying in baseball, but apparently there's A LOT of crying happening among the Cleveland Browns...


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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Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

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Ed Reed on Drew Brees' comments on kneeling during anthem: 'You’re a straight sucker'

Count Ed Reed among Drew Brees' many critics after Yahoo Finance shared a clip of an interview with the veteran passer in which he stated that he will never support a player kneeling for the national anthem.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said.

Reed, like many others, was not pleased to hear a main figure in the NFL carry that mindset during such an important time of civil unrest in America. Responding to Brees' comments, the Hall of Famer let the quarterback know exactly how he felt.

“Imma just get straight to it. I see Drew Brees do his part in trying to keep black folk down," Reed said. “You’re a straight sucker for that [expletive] Drew Brees...Drew Brees you’re a straight sucker, man. You’re a sucker for that, bro.”

Reed said his frustration stemmed from Brees not understanding what kneeling for the national anthem is truly about, and the fact that it is a peaceful protest. The act that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began was meant to bring attention to the racial injustice and police brutality in the country, not intentionally disrespect the flag.

Being angry about the looting going on across the country is one thing to Reed, but speaking out against players protesting in a peaceful manner is something he could not wrap his head around.

“Why you think all these young people out here protesting? Why you think they out here protesting?" Reed said. "The looting? I could see you speaking on the looting and saying that’s bad, you don’t support that. But why do you think all these young people are out here protesting?"

Reed ended his remarks by addressing those who may defend Brees or still support him in the future due to his play on the field. To the former Raven, wins are not an excuse to justify an action.

“For all my Saints fans, for all my New Orleans people who still like your [expletive] just because they want to win games. Ya’ll right with him, you understand?" Reed said “Drew Brees, you’re a sucker, you’re going to be a sucker. You understand? Punk, man.”

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Drew Brees draws criticism from sports world, including DMV athletes, over comments on kneeling during anthem

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Drew Brees draws criticism from sports world, including DMV athletes, over comments on kneeling during anthem

Comments from Drew Brees made in an interview with Yahoo Finance's Daniel Roberts about why he wouldn't support teammates kneeling during the national anthem when the NFL season started drew condemnation from throughout the sports world - including Wizards guard Troy Brown and Ravens' running back Mark Ingram.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said in the interview. 

"Is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

Brown responded:

The photo with Brees kneeling is from 2017 when the Saints as a team knelt before the anthem and then stood up as a team. The gesture came after 10 Saints players sat during the national anthem in response to a tweet from Donald Trump encouraging people to boycott the NFL over players kneeling during the anthem as a way to draw attention to racial inequality and police violence. The Saints were one of many teams at the time who responded to Trump's words with additional protests.

While Brees has expressed that he is uncomfortable with kneeling during the anthem previously, his words in the Yahoo interview came at a time when many in the NFL and outside of it are pointing to Colin Kaepernick's protests that began in 2016, which were meant to draw attention to the police brutality like that of a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes, sparking massive protests and unrest around the country today.

LeBron James and Brees' teammate Malcolm Jenkins were among the many other athletes who made strong statements against his comments.

(Warning, there's a curse word in the end of Jenkins' comments):

Ingram, Brees' former teammate, didn't call out Brees by name but did repost an Instagram photo from Aaron Rodgers, explaining why kneeling was never about disrespecting the flag. "THANK YOU for speaking truth for the oppresssed and unheard. THANK YOU for understanding the WHY," he wrote.

Ingram also retweeted this from Marques Colston:

Former Raven Za’Darius Smith posted an Instagram photo of the Week 3 matchup his Green Bay Packers will have against Drew Brees and the Saints, showing that he has made note of the quarterback's comments. Current Raven Matthew Judon chimed in as well, stating he's interested in watching.