Tag Archive | "Ravens"

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Dorsey’s Dugout – Ravens vs. Washington and Rookie Quarterback Situations

Posted on 22 August 2014 by Nick Dorsey

Offense is the Focus Facing Washington

Pre-season football is nearly unbearable to watch throughout its entirety, especially with the abundance of penalty flags that have been thrown through the first two weeks. Fortunately for the fans, the third exhibition game is on the horizon.
The third game of an NFL pre-season game is better known as a “dress rehearsal” for a team as the starting players play more than the first half. With Baltimore entering their second to last exhibition match, the offense will be the focal point of their match up against Washington.
It would have been interesting to see how the Ravens questionable secondary would do against an offense that is loaded with talented receivers, but that opportunity has been squandered with injuries. Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson will not suit up against the Redskins.
With Baltimore’s top three cornerbacks not seeing any action, the defense will most likely not fair too well against a solid offense. Their performance will get an exception if it is a poor effort due to the significant injuries. So take the eye of the defensive side of the ball and focus on what the Ravens offense has to offer in week three.
The Redskins have a decent defense with a solid group of talent across the front seven. The number one thing to watch for is how the Ravens rush offense fairs against that group.
One of the main problems last season for Baltimore was the lack of production from the rush offense. The Ravens finished the regular season with the 30th ranked rushing offense in the league with only Jacksonville and Atlanta behind them. They also only averaged an underwhelming 3.1 yards per carry average, which ranked last in the whole league.
Part of the problem with the rush offense was the offensive line and the running backs not playing up to their ability. So far in the pre-season, the offense has shown progress in that area.
Through the first two games of the pre-season, Baltimore has a 4.9 yards per carry average which ranks second amongst the league. That is encouraging thus far even though it is through two games. If the Ravens can continue that success against Washington, it will be a good sign going forward with a revamped offensive line.

Start the Rookies when Situation is Right

Last weeks column featured a piece on how Gus Bradley should start the third overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft Blake Bortles. He has shown flashes throughout the pre-season of being a legitimate starting quarterback and the coaching staff needs to take the plunge and plug him in for week one.
That same leap of faith should be a league-wide choice made by the head coaches that have talented rookie quarterbacks battling for a starting position. That of course being said if the situation presents the rookie with an opportunity for success.
Dating back to 2008, Josh Freeman, Tim Tebow, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker are the quarterbacks selected in the first round that have not started week one. It almost sees like too much of a coincidence that those quarterbacks listed above have not had success in the NFL.
As mentioned earlier, the situation has to be somewhat set up for the rookie to have a chance at some success. The only rookie quarterback that should not start week one is Johnny Manziel.
The former Heisman trophy winner does not have a great situation that surrounds him as his receiving corps is severely depleted. The offensive line is good and the backfield features talent, but not much can be accomplished without Gordon on the outside.
Hoyer is the right choice to start right off the bat because Manziel would struggle heavily under center due to the difficult schedule ahead. The Browns face Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Baltimore to start the season.
Starting any rookie quarterback against Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is extremely risky. Even when a rookie is having success, LeBeau knows how to make the game confusing and difficult for a rookie. When RG3 was having a stellar rookie season, one of the few struggles he had came against Pittsburgh.
So with the Browns, Hoyer is the right choice until the Browns bye week comes shortly into the season. The bye week would be the perfect opportunity to work Manziel into the starting fold.
The rookie quarterback with the best chance at early success is Teddy Bridgewater. The former Louisville star is currently in a battle with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder for the starting position. First year head coach Mike Zimmer needs to come to the realization that Bridgewater gives his team the best chance to win.
Ponder was drafted in the top fifteen picks during the 2011 Draft and has not shown any signs that he has franchise potential. Matt Cassel has been around the league since 2005 and at this point he is what he is. If you have a quarterback situation that features a stopgap type of starter and a rookie, just go with the rookie and see what you might potentially have.
Throwing Bridgewater into the mix is not like throwing the young quarterback into the wolves because he has a good situation. He has the best running back in the league lining up behind him and one of the better up and coming tight ends in the league. Bridgewater has a veteran wide out on the outside to go along with a young promising playmaker in Patterson.
With a good looking set up on the offense, the defense will give Bridgewater opportunities to win games. Coach Zimmer is a defensive mastermind and his unit will definitely do its part with the plethora of talent they have.

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J. Smith, Jackson, Webb missing from practice, won’t play Saturday

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J. Smith, Jackson, Webb missing from practice, won’t play Saturday

Posted on 21 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are expected to take the field for Saturday’s all-important third preseason game against the Washington Redskins without three key members of their secondary.

Cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (chest), Asa Jackson (ankle), and Lardarius Webb (back) were all missing from the open portion of Thursday’s practice and will miss Saturday’s game, which is viewed as the final tuneup for the start of the regular season. Head coach John Harbaugh had already ruled out Webb for the remainder of the preseason while expressing optimism that Smith and Jackson might be able to play against Washington.

“Our top three corners are going to be out,” said Harbaugh, who added that Smith would probably be able to play if it were a regular-season game. “It’s going to be an opportunity for those [backups] to go against the best for a long period of time. Those guys are among the best receivers in football and have a great quarterback. The whole offense is very well stocked with talent. It’s going to give us a good chance to evaluate where we’re at and give those guys an opportunity to prove they can play with the best.”

Starters are not expected to play in next week’s preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints as a season-opening matchup with All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green and the Cincinnati Bengals only 17 days away.

Against Washington, defensive coordinator Dean Pees will likely turn to fourth-year veteran Chykie Brown, former Atlanta Falcon Dominique Franks, rookie free agent Tramain Jacobs, and third-round rookie safety Terrence Brooks as cornerback options to rotate with the starting defense on Saturday night. In 2013, Brown played just 39 defensive snaps in the Baltimore secondary while Franks took only 13 in the Falcons defense, according to Pro Football Focus.

Since Webb has been sidelined with back spasms since July 25, the Ravens have gone through the entire summer without an opportunity to see what their starting secondary will look like, which is concerning as Brown and Jackson were competing for the No. 3 cornerback position.

“[It's] always a concern. We want guys that are going to play,” Pees said. “Somebody asked [Wednesday] about who we’d have out there [for the] first game, and I said, ‘Whoever we have healthy.’ But even when you get guys back, if a guy has been off for three or four weeks, he hasn’t played game tempo — all that stuff. It’s always a concern at any position.”

Other players missing from Thursday’s workout included tight end Owen Daniels (legs), offensive linemen Jah Reid (head), Will Rackley (head), and Brett Van Sloten (knee), fullback Shaun Chapas (undisclosed), and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (active physically unable to perform list – hip surgery).

Daniels hasn’t practiced since Aug. 11 as Harbaugh has repeatedly said the 31-year-old veteran is resting his legs and not dealing with a specific injury.

 

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Ravens offer traffic updates for Saturday’s preseason game

Posted on 20 August 2014 by WNST Staff

I-95 ROADWORK UPDATE FOR SATURDAY’S RAVENS-REDSKINS GAME

Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens: Saturday, Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

I-95 is undergoing major road resurfacing, resulting in changing traffic patterns and split lanes. Please pay attention to the flashing traffic signs for the most up-to-date information, as the construction will impact travel time to M&T Bank Stadium. Please allow extra time to travel through the construction zones, consider using the alternate routes provided, and consider using public transportation (http://mta.maryland.gov) or Park and Ride services (http://www.ravensride.com).

I-95 Northbound construction update and suggested alternate route – Beginning near the city limit, the four northbound lanes split. The two right lanes provide access to Exits 52 (Russell Street) and 53 (I-395). There is no access to these exit ramps from the left lanes. To avoid the construction zone, exit at Washington Blvd. (Exit 51) and turn left at the bottom of the ramp onto Washington Blvd. (northbound). Turn right at Ostend Street and proceed to the stadium.

I-95 Southbound construction update and suggested alternate route – The work zone begins at Key Highway with all work occurring on the left shoulder, and all traffic will be shifted to the right. All four lanes are open, and access to the exits for Key Highway and I-395 are available. To avoid the construction zone, consider exiting at Key Highway (Exit 55); at the end of the exit, proceed straight ahead onto McComas Street. Turn right at Hanover Street and left at either Ostend Street or Hamburg Street to get to the stadium area.

For more diagrams, information and road modifications, please visit: www.BaltimoreRavens.com/StreetClosures

Twitter feeds: To further inform everyone about traffic around the stadium and the city, the City and State Departments of Transportation have established the following Twitter accounts:

@MDSHA

@BmoreCityDOT

@TheMDTA

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Ravens cancel Wednesday’s practice to go to movies

Posted on 20 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Moving closer to their third preseason game against the Washington Redskins, the Ravens canceled Wednesday’s practice in favor of going to see the movie “Lucy” as a team.

“We’re trying to get them off their legs today. The leadership council [chose the movie],” head coach John Harbaugh said. “It was unanimous. I stayed out of it. To be honest with you, I can’t remember the name of what we’re going to see. I hope it’s good.”

Head coach John Harbaugh has typically organized a team-building activity every summer to break up the monotony of training camp. The Ravens still conducted their morning meetings and on-field walk-through before leaving the facility to see a movie in the afternoon.

Asked if he and his players were fans of Scarlett Johansson, the Baltimore coach laughed while refraining from commenting on the sultry actress.

“I’m not going to go down that road for you,” Harbaugh said. “Well played.”

Players will return to the practice field Thursday, which will be the final day of media access ahead of the third preseason game of the summer in which starters receive the most playing time.

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Daniels, J. Smith remain sidelined; Reid going through concussion protocol

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Daniels, J. Smith remain sidelined; Reid going through concussion protocol

Posted on 19 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to be without a number of notable players as they continued preparations Tuesday for the all-important third preseason game of the summer.

While a number of others remain sidelined with defined injuries, veteran tight end Owen Daniels continues to miss practices while resting his legs, according to head coach John Harbaugh. The 31-year-old hasn’t practiced since Aug. 11, leading some to wonder whether he is secretly injured or to even question his desire to play after what’s been an underwhelming summer for the former Houston Texan.

“He has some swelling in his leg with use, and we’re playing it safe right now rather than pounding his legs out,” Harbaugh said. “It’s training camp. He’s an older guy, and I’m just following [head certified athletic trainer] Mark [Smith’s] instructions on it. He feels like he needs some rest still, so that’s what he’s getting. But there’s no injury there.”

Reserve offensive tackle Jah Reid was absent from Tuesday’s practice as he is now undergoing the NFL’s concussion protocol. The 2011 third-round pick hasn’t lived up to expectations in his four-year career, but Harbaugh complimented Reid’s play on Monday, naming him the team’s top reserve tackle and all but confirming he would make the 53-man roster.

Reid was sidelined for most of the spring with a calf injury but had remained healthy through the first several weeks of training camp.

“Jah has a little head dinger,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know the extent of it or how long it’ll be, but he hit his head yesterday, so he’s [going through the] concussion protocol.”

Others missing from Tuesday’s practice included cornerbacks Jimmy Smith (chest), Lardarius Webb (back), and Asa Jackson (ankle), offensive linemen Will Rackley (head) and Brett Van Sloten (knee), fullback Shaun Chapas (undisclosed). Defensive tackle Terrence Cody remains on the active physically unable to perform list while rehabbing from offseason hip surgery.

Harbaugh gave the day off to wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith as well as defensive end Chris Canty.

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Bovada gives Ravens 5/9 odds to miss playoffs

Posted on 19 August 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV). Below are the odds in alphabetical order as well as most likely to least likely make the playoffs.

 

Playoff Odds (in alphabetical order)

Will the Atlanta Falcons make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Baltimore Ravens make the playoffs? 

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -180     (5/9)

 

Will the Arizona Cardinals make the playoffs?

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7)

 

Will the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs?         

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Carolina Panthers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Chicago Bears make the playoffs?

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -180     (5/9)

 

Will the Cincinnati Bengals make the playoffs?           

Yes                  +110     (11/10)

No                    -140     (5/7)

 

Will the Cleveland Browns make the playoffs?

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Dallas Cowboys make the playoffs?   

Yes                  +240     (12/5)

No                    -300     (1/3)

 

Will the Denver Broncos make the playoffs?   

Yes                  -500     (1/5)

No                    +350     (7?2)

 

Will the Green Bay Packers make the playoffs?           

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the Detroit Lions make the playoffs?        

Yes                  +180     (9/5)

No                    -220     (5/11)

 

Will the Houston Texans make the playoffs?   

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Indianapolis Colts make the playoffs?

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the Jacksonville Jaguars make the playoffs?        

Yes                  +800     (8/1)

No                    -1600    (1/16)

 

Will the Kansas City Chiefs make the playoffs?           

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7)

 

Will the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs?

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Miami Dolphins make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7

 

Will the New England Patriots make the playoffs?

Yes                  -500     (1/5)

No                    +350     (7/2)

 

Will the New York Jets make the playoffs?      

Yes                  +350     (7/2)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Will the New York Giants make the playoffs?

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the New Orleans Saints make the playoffs?          

Yes                  -200     (1/2)

No                    +160     (8/5)

 

Will the Oakland Raiders make the playoffs?

Yes                  +700     (7/1)

No                    -1400    (1/14)

 

Will the Philadelphia Eagles make the playoffs?         

Yes                  -150     (2/3)

No                    +120     (6/5)

 

Will the San Diego Chargers make the playoffs?         

Yes                  +180     (9/5)

No                    -220     (5/11)

 

Will the San Francisco 49ers make the playoffs?

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +110     (11/10)

No                    -140     (5/7)

 

Will the Seattle Seahawks make the playoffs? 

Yes                  -325     (4/13)

No                    +250     (5/2)

 

Will the St. Louis Rams make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -400     (1/4)

 

Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +350     (7/2)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Will the Tennessee Titans make the playoffs? 

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -400     (1/4)

 

Will the Washington Redskins make the playoffs?

Yes                  +225     (9/4)

No                    -280     (5/14)

 

Playoff Odds (in order of most likely to least likely to make the playoffs)

Will the Denver Broncos make the playoffs?   

Yes                  -500     (1/5)

No                    +350     (7?2)

 

Will the New England Patriots make the playoffs?

Yes                  -500     (1/5)

No                    +350     (7/2)

 

Will the Seattle Seahawks make the playoffs? 

Yes                  -325     (4/13)

No                    +250     (5/2)

 

Will the Green Bay Packers make the playoffs?           

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the San Francisco 49ers make the playoffs?

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the Indianapolis Colts make the playoffs?

Yes                  -220     (5/11)

No                    +180     (9/5)

 

Will the New Orleans Saints make the playoffs?          

Yes                  -200     (1/2)

No                    +160     (8/5)

 

Will the Philadelphia Eagles make the playoffs?         

Yes                  -150     (2/3)

No                    +120     (6/5)

 

Will the Cincinnati Bengals make the playoffs?           

Yes                  +110     (11/10)

No                    -140     (5/7)

 

Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +110     (11/10)

No                    -140     (5/7)

 

Will the Baltimore Ravens make the playoffs? 

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -180     (5/9)

 

Will the Chicago Bears make the playoffs?

Yes                  +150     (3/2)

No                    -180     (5/9)

 

Will the Detroit Lions make the playoffs?        

Yes                  +180     (9/5)

No                    -220     (5/11)

 

Will the San Diego Chargers make the playoffs?         

Yes                  +180     (9/5)

No                    -220     (5/11)

 

Will the Atlanta Falcons make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Carolina Panthers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Houston Texans make the playoffs?   

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the New York Giants make the playoffs?

Yes                  +200     (2/1)

No                    -260     (5/13)

 

Will the Washington Redskins make the playoffs?

Yes                  +225     (9/4)

No                    -280     (5/14)

 

Will the Dallas Cowboys make the playoffs?   

Yes                  +240     (12/5)

No                    -300     (1/3)

 

Will the Arizona Cardinals make the playoffs?

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7)

 

Will the Kansas City Chiefs make the playoffs?           

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7)

 

Will the Miami Dolphins make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +275     (11/4)

No                    -350     (2/7

 

Will the Tennessee Titans make the playoffs? 

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -400     (1/4)

 

Will the St. Louis Rams make the playoffs?    

Yes                  +300     (3/1)

No                    -400     (1/4)

 

Will the New York Jets make the playoffs?      

Yes                  +350     (7/2)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make the playoffs?

Yes                  +350     (7/2)

No                    -500     (1/5)

 

Will the Buffalo Bills make the playoffs?         

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Cleveland Browns make the playoffs?

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs?

Yes                  +400     (4/1)

No                    -600     (1/6)

 

Will the Oakland Raiders make the playoffs?

Yes                  +700     (7/1)

No                    -1400    (1/14)

 

Will the Jacksonville Jaguars make the playoffs?        

Yes                  +800     (8/1)

No                    -1600    (1/16)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 19 August 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA Playoffs-Washington Mystics vs. Indiana Fever (Game 1 Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on ESPN2 Game 2 Saturday 5pm from Verizon Center live on ESPN2 Game 3 Monday TBD from Indy live on NBA TV); MLL Championship Game: Denver Outlaws vs. Rochester Rattlers (Saturday 7pm from Kennesaw, GA live on CBS Sports Network)

10. Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival feat. Amy Schumer, Chris Hardwick, Bill Burr, Dave Attell, Jeff Ross, Hannibal Burress (Thursday 5pm Jiffy Lube Live); LaVell Crawford (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Maryland State Fair (Friday-Monday Timonium Fairgrounds); Maryland Renaissance Festival (Saturday & Sunday Rennfest Fairgrounds); When The Game Stands Tall” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” out in theaters (Friday)

Let’s see how Towson’s own Amy Schumer handled the #IceBucketChallenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUenC9orEy0

Sometimes when I’m at the State Fair I stop by strangers and offer to share my turkey legs with them.

9. Rod Stewart & Santana (Tuesday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Motley Crue (Friday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live), Miranda Lambert/Justin Moore (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Lyle Lovett & His Large Band (Friday 8pm Wolf Trap); Johnnyswim (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Yonder Mountain String Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Eli Young Band (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club); Sturgill Simpson (Tuesday 7:30pm Birchmere); French Montana (Friday 9pm Echostage); 38 Special (Friday 6:30pm Maryland State Fair); Jackson Browne (Saturday 8pm Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center); Brad Paisley “Moonshine In The Trunk”, Smokey Robinson “Smokey and Friends”, Avenged Sevenfold “Waking the Fallen: Resurrected”, Wiz Khalifa “Blacc Hollywood” and Benjamin Booker “Benjamin Booker” available (Tuesday)

There can NEVER be enough Hot Rod in T10BD.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2CQ0FvAZuw

Johnnyswim is amazingfantasticwonderfuloutstandingbeautifulawesomeincrediblewhereI’llbewithAllenMcCallumWednesdaynight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhg-kycwLnE

This is Smokey Robinson doing “Tracks of My Tears” with Elton John. I share because I care.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A0lK8IdiRA

You’ve been hearing Benjamin Booker as a rejoiner on “The Reality Check” recently. For good reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8VyRO2iqeg

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Wagner named starting right tackle to begin 2014 season

Posted on 18 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A position debated for much of the offseason has a resolution with the start of the season just under three weeks away as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh named Rick Wagner his starting right tackle following Monday’s practice.

The news was anticlimactic considering Wagner has received nearly all first-team reps since the start of training camp with fourth-year lineman Jah Reid working as the second-string right tackle. Wagner has held up well in his first summer working with the starting unit, earning compliments from coaches and teammates alike.

“He’s earned it. He’s earned that spot,” Harbaugh said. “And Jah has earned the third spot. Jah has done a heck of a job, too, as far as working his way into the third tackle spot.”

It remains to be seen whether the Ravens will elect to keep rookie offensive tackle James Hurst, an undrafted free agent from North Carolina who has worked as the backup left tackle behind Eugene Monroe in practices. In the event of an injury to Monroe, the Ravens could shift Wagner to left tackle with Reid moving into the right spot if they only elect to keep three tackles.

After so much discussion over who would replace former right tackle Michael Oher in the offseason, Wagner has gone largely unnoticed in practices this summer, which is a good thing at a position where most attention tends to be negative. Wagner played 41 snaps against San Francisco in the opener and 30 snaps against Dallas on Saturday night.

As a fifth-round rookie out of Wisconsin last season, Wagner served primarily as a blocking tight end in jumbo package situations.

“He’s been solid. Solid is the next step before being good, and good is the next step before being great,” Harbaugh said. “He’s on his way in a lot of ways. He has plenty of things to work on, but he does not make mistakes twice. He’s a good athlete. [Defenses have] tried to bull-rush him and go after him that way, and he has not really been moved too much at all. I’m proud of him.”

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Jimmy Smith still sidelined after suffering bruised lungs against Cowboys

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Jimmy Smith still sidelined after suffering bruised lungs against Cowboys

Posted on 18 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens returned to the practice field on Monday without top cornerback Jimmy Smith, but the prognosis appears encouraging after he suffered a scary chest injury in Saturday’s preseason win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Head coach John Harbaugh said a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed the 2011 first-round pick suffered bruising and bleeding from the lungs when he slammed his back on the turf while defending a sideline pass intended for Pro Bowl wide receiver Dez Bryant early in the first quarter. Smith was coughing up blood even after the game and was initially diagnosed with a chest contusion, according to the Ravens.

“They said it’s not a serious thing and just needs a couple days to heal up,” Harbaugh said. “We do anticipate him to play against the Redskins unless something changes that I’m not aware of.”

Running back Ray Rice practiced on Monday after leaving Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury. X-rays were negative for Rice after he was limited to just 21 yards on two carries. With Rice facing a two-game suspension to begin the regular season, Harbaugh had planned to focus on getting work for primary backup Bernard Pierce as well as veteran Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro, but he may elect to give Rice a few more reps since he saw little action against the Cowboys.

Harbaugh elected to award Saturday’s start to Pierce to give him an extra opportunity to begin a game with the starting offense before he begins the season as the starter in Week 1.

“It could impact us [to] maybe get Ray a few more reps going forward,” said Harbaugh about Saturday’s distribution of playing time. “But the main focus is going to be Bernard, Justin, and Lorenzo and getting those guys ready. You know Ray’s had a good camp.”

Veteran tight end Owen Daniels was absent from the field during the portion of practice open for media viewing and hasn’t been on the field since last Monday. The Ravens have insisted Daniels is being rested and is not dealing with an injury concern, but the 31-year-old has now missed three straight practices and did not play in Saturday’s game.

The former Texan was limited to just five games due to a broken leg last season.

“There’s no pull, there’s no strain of any kind,” Harbaugh said. “[His legs are] a little fatigued. You get a little swelling in there. You’ve got to take some time to get the legs back, and we really felt like he needed to get his legs back, especially as an older guy. We wanted to give him this time to do that. I’m counting on him being there this week. That’s what I’ve been told is there’s no kind of injury in there. It’s just a fatigue factor, and he needs time.”

Others missing from Monday’s practice included cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (ankle), offensive linemen Will Rackley (head) and Brett Van Sloten (knee), and defensive tackle Terrence Cody (physically unable to perform list – hip).

Harbaugh said that Webb would not play in the preseason after initially hoping the starting cornerback would be able to play in the third game of the summer. The sixth-year cornerback has been sidelined with a back injury since July 25.

Nursing an ankle injury since Aug. 10, Jackson has a chance to return to action this week, according to Harbaugh.

“Asa’s got a chance,” Harbaugh said. “‘Touch and go’ is probably a good way to say it, but I’ve been told he has a chance to get back for this game. It’d be great if he could.”

The Ravens were practicing in helmets, shells, and shorts after receiving Sunday off.

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Sizing up the 2014 Ravens roster after second preseason game

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Sizing up the 2014 Ravens roster after second preseason game

Posted on 17 August 2014 by Luke Jones

With two preseason games in the books, the Ravens’ 53-man roster picture continues to take shape with final cuts less than two weeks away and questions still remaining.

Depth concerns are apparent along the defensive line and in the secondary, which could prompt general manager Ozzie Newsome to be looking for outside help to enchance the roster between now and the start of the season. Meanwhile, the Ravens appear to have some depth at linebacker and on the offensive line — though overall quality might be in question with the latter — that could leave a few incumbents on the outside looking in by the end of the summer.

My current look at the roster suggests 42 players are locks if the deadline to trim the roster to 53 took place today. My rough assessment of the 90 players on the roster lists 20 players on the bubble with at least some decent chance of making the final roster. Not all bubble players are on equal footing, with certain positions lacking quality depth and others enjoying an abundance of talent.

Though general manager Ozzie Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh, and the remainder of the coaching staff and front office are cognizant of the number of players at each position, trying to pinpoint a specific number of wide receivers or linebackers isn’t the most accurate way of projecting the roster. The Ravens will always look carefully at players’ special-teams abilities in addition to what they bring to their specific positional group.

The Ravens must trim the roster from the current 90 players to 75 by 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 and must go down to the regular-season number of 53 by Aug. 30.

The numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of players currently on the roster at that given position. Bubble players’ names that are underlined are currently on my projected 53-man roster as of Aug. 17. Players listed as injured or suspended are not projected to count against the 53-man roster when final cuts are made.

QUARTERBACKS (3)
LOCK: Joe Flacco, Tyrod Taylor
BUBBLE: Keith Wenning
LONG SHOT: None
Skinny: With depth concerns at other positions, it’s difficult to justify the Ravens keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for the first time since 2009. They’re likely to attempt to sneak Wenning through waivers to place him on the practice squad, but it won’t be the end of the world if another team snatches up the sixth-round selection.

RUNNING BACKS & FULLBACKS (8)
LOCK: Bernard Pierce, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Kyle Juszczyk
BUBBLE: Justin Forsett
LONG SHOT: Cierre Wood, Fitz Toussaint, Shaun Chapas
SUSPENDED: Ray Rice (will be suspended for the first two games of the regular season)
Skinny: The rapid emergence of Taliaferro and two fumbles in two preseason games by Forsett have landed the veteran in a more vulnerable position than you’d expect despite Rice serving a suspension to begin the season. The guess is Forsett still finds his way on the 53-man roster to begin the year, but his spot will be in serious danger by Week 3.

WIDE RECEIVERS (11)
LOCK: Steve Smith, Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown
BUBBLE: Michael Campanaro, Kamar Aiken, Deonte Thompson
LONG SHOT: Jeremy Butler, LaQuan Williams, Mike Willie, Jace Davis
Skinny: Many will view Thompson’s 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as a play that lands him on the roster, but the third-year wideout only saw two offensive snaps against Dallas. Aiken has been the better player this summer and has more size as a receiver, and Campanaro has shown more consistent hands than Thompson.

TIGHT ENDS (5)
LOCK: Dennis Pitta, Crockett Gillmore, Owen Daniels
BUBBLE: none
LONG SHOT: Phillip Supernaw, Nathan Overbay
Skinny: The Ravens’ decision to “rest” Daniels is raising eyebrows as it relates to the veteran’s health, but his inability to gain separation in practices has tempered enthusiasm for the tight end position. However, his track record and an uneven summer for the rookie Gillmore make it difficult to think Daniels is anything but a lock.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (16)
LOCK: Eugene Monroe, Kelechi Osemele, Jeremy Zuttah, Marshal Yanda, Rick Wagner, Gino Gradkowski, John Urschel
BUBBLE: Jah Reid, A.Q. Shipley, James Hurst, Will Rackley, Ryan Jensen
LONG SHOT: Brett Van Sloten, Reggie Stephens, David Mims, Parker Graham
Skinny: Reid gets the nod as the primary backup tackle over Hurst, and Shipley has been more consistent than Jensen this summer. Hurst and Jensen would be strong candidates for the practice squad if left off the 53-man roster.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (12)

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