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Cyrus Jones looking to seize new opportunity at slot corner

Cyrus Jones looking to seize new opportunity at slot corner

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Cyrus Jones’ old role with the Ravens was as a depth cornerback and return man on special teams. His new role could have much more significance. 

Despite a comfortable win over the Packers last Thursday, the good feelings were quickly dampened by an announcement from coach John Harbaugh that nickel cornerback Tavon Young would likely miss the rest of the season with a neck injury.

Young is still waiting to make a final decision, but with him out of the fold for a significant chunk of time, the race is on to try to replace him in an important role on the Ravens defense.

As of Saturday, one of the favorites to assume that role was Jones. He played 34 defensive snaps against the Packers (57 percent), the highest total on the defense, and is a top option for the Ravens in replacing Young.

“Tavon is a great player, I hate seeing what’s going on with him right now,” Jones said. “I’m praying for him, as all of us are, but it’s up to the next man to step up, whoever that is, and I’m just keeping on trying to come out here and practice hard and get better.”

Young signed a three-year, $25.8 million dollar contract in the offseason. The signing made him the highest-paid nickel cornerback in the league. 

Now, the Ravens will use a host of cornerbacks to assume Young’s role on defense. He had 37 tackles, two sacks and one interception last season. He also recovered three fumbles, two of which went for touchdowns. 

“We’ve got a lot of guys, it will be a little different plan if Tavon’s not there, in terms of playing more guys in the slot than we normally would’ve,” Harbaugh said.

Jones, originally a second-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2016, played 10 games in 2016 before a torn ACL and meniscus ended his 2017 campaign. 

He bounced between New England and Baltimore last season, twice, before settling into his role with the Ravens last year. He played in 13 total games, 11 of which were with Baltimore. 

As for this preseason, he’s registered six total tackles and an interception that went for a touchdown. He saw the majority of his work this preseason, though, against the Packers.

“I think I played hard, I think I played smart,” Jones said. “I got a little fatigued at the end, but overall, I think I’m holding my own out there, flying around and just trying to execute.”

Now, he’ll assuredly be in the mix at cornerback. Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith and Brandon Carr figure to be the team’s top cornerbacks, but Anthony Averett, Maurice Canady and the return of Iman Marshall could also play a part in how the Ravens fill the role.

Aside from the Young injury news, Harbaugh announced guard Marshal Yanda won’t play in the preseason, but will be ready for the season opener September 8 against the Dolphins. 

First-round pick Marquise Brown is on a much shorter trajectory, however, and could see playing time at the Ravens and Eagles joint practices Monday and Tuesday before the third preseason game of the season. 

That game won’t be a typical third preseason game, though, as Harbaugh told reporters quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t have much different of a workload than he did in the first two preseason games. He played 16 snaps against the Jaguars and 22 against the Packers. 


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The internet had some fun with Tom Brady's golf struggles

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The internet had some fun with Tom Brady's golf struggles

On the football field, there is no denying that Tom Brady is one of the best to ever do it. On the golf course, it is a much different story, at least on Sunday.

Participating in 'The Match', a charity golf round that also featured Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Peyton Manning, Brady had some struggles with his golf swing. A few errant shots off the tee coupled with other less-successful moments made Brady look rather human on the green.

Though he is an all-time great at the quarterback position, he looked like every other struggling casual golfer who can't seem to get things right out there. Having those rough swings play out before a national audience, the internet, of course, had some fun Brady's expense.

His opponents and friends from the NFL world also had to chime in. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton now has the unfortunate luck of having to face off against Brady two times in 2020 after the quarterback made the move to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, if Brady performs the way he has on the golf course, maybe Payton will feel a little better.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also threw a jab at Brady, asking if he wanted to try his luck against some less-talented golfers.

Of course, Brady did rebound and show that he can stroke the ball when he needs to. 

It's not very often that the internet can joke about Tom Brady failing at something, so it's no surprise that plenty of people got their jokes in on Sunday.

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Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey on Lamar Jackson: ‘He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around’

Marlon Humphrey’s concerns about the NFL’s limited offseason are the same as everyone else’s: That the lack of an offseason program limits the growth a team can have together. 

He knows that because of the growth he saw from Lamar Jackson just a year ago.

Humphrey was a guest on an episode of ‘Late Night with Locks’ with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley on Friday night, where he talked about Jackson’s MVP season last year. 

“Lamar, man, I was just telling somebody the other day, the jump he made from OTAs to training camp last year, it was a crazy jump,” Humphrey recalled. “The stuff he does in a game, I’m just happy that’s in a game and I don’t have to guard that. He does some crazy stuff.”

He, like everyone else on the Ravens’ defense, saw firsthand Jackson’s growth from year-to-year. And he was one of the few people in the league who didn’t have to worry about Jackson in a game.

“There’s been a lot of times, in the NFL, you’re not truly thudding somebody all the time in practice,” Humphrey said. “There’s a lot of people that say they tackled Lamar and different things, but deep down, we all know that was not going to be a tackle in a game.”

But what stuck out to Humphrey most was Jackson’s off-the-field persona.

“I think the biggest thing Lamar does is just the way he goes about being in the building, being with his teammates,” Humphrey said. “Any time Lamar shows up to any event we invite him to, we all know everyone is going to go crazy for Lamar and he’s not going to be able to enjoy himself or anything. But he’s so humble enough to support his teammates when we have our different events here and there.”

He recalled a story where he, Tim Williams and Jaylen Hill were out to dinner immediately after joining the Ravens. They mentioned to the waitress that they played for the Ravens, and she didn’t believe him. 

Humphrey later said with a grin that not everyone in the city of Baltimore, even Ravens fans, can tell all the players apart sometimes.

“They don’t really know all the players, but they know they love the Ravens,” Humphrey said. “If you’re not Lamar Jackson, they don’t really know who you are ... but they really love the Ravens. When you say you play for the Ravens, they’re your best friend.”

Now, as Jackson and the Ravens have their sights set on a Super Bowl in the young quarterback’s second season as the starting quarterback, Humphrey is anxious to see, like everyone else, how Jackson grows even more.

“Last year, he tried to learn everybody’s name in the whole building,” Humphrey said. “That’s stuff that doesn’t get seen. He’s probably one of the most humble guys I’ve been around. It reminds me of a Jalen Hurts, just more energetic. I just can’t wait to see how he grows.”

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