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Ravens list Webb probable, Pierce questionable against Browns on Sunday

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Ravens list Webb probable, Pierce questionable against Browns on Sunday

Posted on 19 September 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have listed Lardarius Webb as probable for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, which paints an encouraging picture for the starting cornerback to make his 2014 debut this weekend.

Webb has practiced fully for three straight weeks after missing all of training camp while dealing with a back injury. He was deemed inactive in Weeks 1 and 2 after being listed as questionable on the final injury report for each of those games.

Starting running back Bernard Pierce is listed as questionable after being added to Thursday’s injury report with a thigh injury. The third-year back practiced on a limited basis on Thursday before being upgraded to full participation on Friday.

Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) is doubtful after missing practice all week and is reportedly recovering from a meniscus injury that could keep hiim sidelined for a couple weeks.

Quarterback Joe Flacco (stomach bug), cornerback Asa Jackson (concussion), and left tackle Eugene Monroe (knee) are also listed as probable for Sunday’s game.

Meanwhile, the Browns have ruled out running back Ben Tate (knee) as expected and designated standout tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) as questionable.

Here’s the final injury report of the week:

BALTIMORE
DOUBTFUL: DT Timmy Jernigan (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Bernard Pierce (thigh)
PROBABLE: QB Joe Flacco (illness), CB Asa Jackson (concussion), T Eugene Monroe (knee), CB Lardarius Webb (back)

CLEVELAND
OUT: RB Ben Tate (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder)
PROBABLE: WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DL Desmond Bryant (wrist), DL John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), OL Paul McQuistan (ankle), CB Buster Skrine (thumb)

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Flacco, Monroe return to practice on Thursday

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Flacco, Monroe return to practice on Thursday

Posted on 18 September 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — A day after missing practice due to an illness, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco returned to the field on Thursday to continue preparing for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Flacco was present and working during the portion of practice open to media while left tackle Eugene Monroe (knee) also returned to practice after sitting out with a knee injury on Wednesday. The seventh-year signal-caller was dealing with a stomach bug he caught from his oldest son Stephen and didn’t want to spread germs to his teammates.

“I don’t think I have [missed practice before], so it was definitely different not being out there,” Flacco said. “It was good that we had the long week coming off the Thursday night game, so we had an extra day in here, anyway, so it kind of worked out nicely. I was able to be in the meetings and all that.”

Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak echoed the sentiment that Flacco’s absence on Wednesday wasn’t a big deal, adding that it was good for backup Tyrod Taylor to get some rare extra reps.

Monroe told reporters on Wednesday that he fully expected to play against the Browns. Both he and Flacco were full participants a day after sitting out.

There was one addition to the Thursday practice report as running back Bernard Pierce was a limited participant as he deals with what’s listed as a thigh injury.

Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) was missing for the second straight day as he is recovering from what is a meniscus injury, according to The Sun. Already thin along the defensive line, Jernigan’s injury could force Pernell McPhee and the recently-signed Christo Bilukidi into more action up front.

Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (concussion) were again present after being full participants on Wednesday. Asked whether he expected to make his season debut in Week 3, Webb is leaving it in the hands of head coach John Harbaugh.

“When he feels like I’m healthy and able to play a full game, he’ll put me out there,” Webb said. “Harbs will let me know when it’s time.”

There were no changes to the Cleveland injury report on Thursday as running back Ben Tate (knee) once again sat out and tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) were limited participants.

Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: DT Timmy Jernigan (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Bernard Pierce (thigh)
FULL PARTICIPATION: QB Joe Flacco (illness), CB Asa Jackson (concussion), CB Lardarius Webb (back), T Eugene Monroe (knee)

CLEVELAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Ben Tate (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DL Desmond Bryant (wrist), DL John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), OL Paul McQuistan (ankle), CB Buster Skrine (thumb)

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Flacco absent from practice as Ravens prepare for Cleveland

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Flacco absent from practice as Ravens prepare for Cleveland

Posted on 17 September 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Starting quarterback Joe Flacco was absent from Wednesday’s practice as the Ravens continued preparations for their first road game of the season against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Backup Tyrod Taylor and practice-squad quarterback Keith Wenning were present and working as Flacco missed practiced due to an illness that is not expected to keep him sidelined for long. The seventh-year quarterback has never missed a game, and several teammates couldn’t even recall Flacco missing a practice to this point in his career.

Even after injuring his knee against the Detroit Lions in Week 15 last season, Flacco did not miss a practice.

“It was weird,” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said. “[Terrell Suggs] and I were thinking we’ve never actually been at a practice without Joe Flacco being out there. Whatever he has going on, I hope for all the best for him.”

Left tackle Eugene Monroe (knee) and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (knee) were also absent during the viewing portion of Wednesday’s practice. The former expects to play against the Browns on Sunday while the rookie Jernigan could reportedly miss a couple weeks with a meniscus injury.

Cornerbacks Asa Jackson (concussion) and Lardarius Webb (back) were both present and working on Wednesday. Webb has yet to play in the 2014 season despite having practiced fully over the last couple weeks while Jackson sustained his concussion in the second quarter of the win over the Steelers.

Asked by reporters about his status, Webb said he’s feeling good but will continue to defer to head coach John Harbaugh, who continued to give no injury updates on Wednesday. Webb told reporters last week that he was ready to make his season debut against the Steelers before being deactivated for the second straight game.

The Ravens were practicing in helmets, shells, and shorts in their first open practice of the week.

Meanwhile, Cleveland is expected to be without running back Ben Tate (knee), meaning Towson product Terrance West is expected to receive the start against the Ravens. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) and tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) were both limited participants in the Browns’ practice on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s injury report:

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: QB Joe Flacco (illness), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), T Eugene Monroe (knee)
FULL PARTICIPATION: CB Asa Jackson (concussion), CB Lardarius Webb (back)

CLEVELAND
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: RB Ben Tate (knee)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION: WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DL Desmond Bryant (wrist), DL John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), OL Paul McQuistan (ankle), CB Buster Skrine (thumb)

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Jernigan returns to practice as Pitta, Dumervil sit out

Posted on 03 August 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have dealt with an array of injuries on the defensive side of the ball early in training camp but saw rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan return to the field on Sunday afternoon.

The second-round pick had been sidelined with back spasms since leaving the field Wednesday on the same play that saw rookie defensive end Brent Urban suffer a season-ending knee injury. Jernigan told head coach John Harbaugh a couple days ago he vowed to be ready to play in the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

“They just eased me back in. I’ll be ready to go on Thursday,” Jernigan said after working on a limited basis Sunday. “I don’t want to miss any games. [There were] no setbacks. They just want me to be cautious.”

Harbaugh gave a day off to tight end Dennis Pitta and linebacker Elvis Dumervil as neither veteran was present for the start of Sunday’s practice but later came outside to observe.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb (back), linebacker Daryl Smith (groin), offensive lineman Will Rackley (concussion), and wide receiver Michael Campanaro (ribs) were also absent. Harbaugh told reporters Saturday that Webb is likely to miss the first two preseason games as he continues to deal with lower back spasms.

There is no timetable for Rackley to return to the practice field after he suffered a concussion early in camp.

“For me, it’s just, ‘Is he ready to go or not?’” Harbaugh said. “With those concussion symptoms, they say he’s getting better and then he’s worse again. I don’t know.”

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody remains on the active physically unable to perform list as he works his way back from offseason hip surgery. Harbaugh told reporters it’s unlikely that Cody will be ready to begin practicing in the next couple weeks.

The Ravens worked out in full pads on Sunday and will travel to Annapolis to practice at the Naval Academy Monday night.

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Ravens CB Chykie Brown tossed from practice as Harbaugh preaches discipline

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Ravens CB Chykie Brown tossed from practice as Harbaugh preaches discipline

Posted on 02 August 2014 by Ryan Chell

Despite a great practice on Saturday on the field for the Baltimore Ravens, head coach John Harbaugh was not well pleased with how his team was handling their success, and ultimately it became a teaching moment for one of the Ravens young players.

During team drills, quarterback Joe Flacco completed a short drag route on the left side of the field. The pass was complete, but short of the first down.

But minutes later, as the defense was celebrating the short stop-Harbaugh signaled first down and had the chain gang move down the field, shocking Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and several other Ravens defenders who were lined up on the sideline.

Harbaugh told his defense that they lingered on the field too long , and that several of the guys-including linebackers coach Don “Wink” Martindale came off the sideline onto the practice field.

“We talked about that in the meeting!” Harbaugh exclaimed.

It was made abundantly clear Saturday that with camp that Harbaugh is trying to get his team disciplined coming off the practice fields at Owings Mills and ready for 60 minutes of football at M&T Bank Stadium and on the road.

The Ravens will play the San Francisco 49ers at home this Thursday in their first preseason game, with a rematch of Super Bowl 47 and the “Harbaugh Bowl” between brothers John and Jim Harbaugh.

The next play, Ravens CB Chykie Brown nearly came down with an interception off Joe Flacco, and with the ball lying on the turf, Brown kicked the ball several yards down the field in frustration.

Harbaugh was none too pleased with Brown’s actions and made it known to the fourth-year CB, as he kicked Brown off the practice field.

Brown ran off the field to Harbaugh saying, “Are we going to be a disciplined team or a bullsh*t one?”

Harbaugh said they had a meeting Friday night about possible infractions the referees were going to be more serious about enforcing, and the Ravens coach said he needed to set an example of Brown.

“I took an opportunity to make a point,” he said. “It was a little exuberance, but those things it’s practicing. As a head coach when you have an opportunity to make a point that they’ll remember in a situation like that, that’s why practice is important.”

Brown returned ten minutes later, and clearly had a chip on his shoulder to get back in his coach’s good graces. Maybe too much-as he and wide receiver Steve Smith, who got a day off on Friday, exchanged punches during one of the drills.

Offensive lineman Ryan Jensen and Kapron Lewis-Moore also got into it during practice.

Overall though, Harbaugh said Brown had a very impressive practice Saturday-along with the total defense.

“That’s what I love about him…he responded with a great practice…that’s a sign that he’s going to be alright.”

10 Baltimore Ravens missed practice Saturday, including the usual likes of CB Lardarius Webb (back), LB Daryl Smith (groin), DT Terrence Cody (hip), G Will Rackley (concussion), DT Timmy Jernigan (back), and DE Brent Urban, who tore his ACL Thursday and is going to miss the season.

Harbaugh said that Webb likely will not play in the first two preseason games nursing that back injury. His absence at this point is mostly precautionary, and that he likely would only play in the third preseason game.

“He’s got some things going on that aren’t long term…it’s probably just as much me as anything. I don’t want to put him through a lot this early in camp.”

Harbaugh said that Timmy Jernigan, who left Thursday with a back injury, could be back on the practice field soon. His back injury is all muscle, and Harbaugh didn’t want him practicing with discomfort.

“He assures me he’ll play Thursday night.”

OT Eugene Monroe, CB Jimmy Smith, and WR Steve Smith all returned to practice after a day off Friday.  OG Kelechi Osemele, OG Marshal Yanda, TE Owen Daniels, and DE/OLB Pernell McPhee were given Saturday off.

With the two guards out, second-year man Ryan Jensen lined up at LG while AQ Shipley took Yanda’s place in the starting five. Ricky Wagner returned to RT as a starter after Jah Reid got some reps at the position this week.

WR/KR Michael Campanaro left practice early with a trainer with what the Baltimore Sun reported as a rib injury.

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Rookie defensive end Urban lost for season due to torn ACL

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Rookie defensive end Urban lost for season due to torn ACL

Posted on 31 July 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After being carted off the field with a severe right knee injury, Ravens defensive end Brent Urban learned he will be lost for the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Head coach John Harbaugh confirmed the specifics of the injury following Thursday’s practice, describing it as “a clean tear” to reporters. Urban will be placed on season-ending injured reserve after being selected in the fourth round of May’s draft.

“He’s been through this before. He tore his other ACL about five years ago,” Harbaugh said. “He fought through a bad ankle injury his senior year at Virginia and rehabbed that and got back really quick, obviously, in the offseason here. It’s a tough break. It was just a situation where one guy was blocking another guy, and the knee just buckled on him.”

The Ravens had expectations for Urban to become an immediate contributor in the defensive line rotation, potentially serving as the primary backup to veteran Chris Canty at the 5-technique defensive end spot. Urban’s injury likely opens the door for second-year lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore to receive more reps.

A day after being injured on the same play as Urban, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan sat out Thursday’s practice with lingering back spasms, but Harbaugh expected him to return to action “soon.”

Linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (back) while linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata were given a day off to rest. Smith was absent from his second straight practice while Webb has been sidelined since last Friday with back spasms.

Inside linebacker Albert McClellan returned to practice after missing Wednesday.

Wide receiver Jacoby Jones and running back Justin Forsett were both on the field during the opening portion of practice but appeared to be receiving the day off. Forsett observed the rest of the running backs going through individual drills while Jones did some work at the Jugs machine while the wide receivers participated in drills.

Other offensive players absent included guard Will Rackley (concussion-related symptoms) and wide receiver Jeremy Butler (groin).

Defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip surgery) remains on the active physically unable to perform list.

The Ravens were working in helmets, shells, and shorts on Thursday.

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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

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Early observations from 2014 Ravens training camp

Posted on 27 July 2014 by Luke Jones

With 2014 training camp officially underway and the Ravens attempting to bounce back from their first non-playoff season of the John Harbaugh era, there are a number of early (too early?) takeaways from the practice field in Owings Mills.

1. Steve Smith has looked like an elite player.

It’s fair to express doubts over a 35-year-old wide receiver whose yards per catch average has dropped in three consecutive years, but Smith has been as good as advertised going back to organized team activities in the spring, catching everything in sight and regularly beating cornerbacks during practices. On Saturday, he made an excellent catch on a deep ball defended by Chykie Brown and later made an impressive adjustment on a pass thrown behind him on a slant pattern. Of course, it’s important not to get carried away with how anyone performs in July, but if Smith can be that reliable target to help move the chains and provide a safety net for quarterback Joe Flacco, the investment in the 14th-year receiver will be well worth it.

2. The No. 3 cornerback for the 2014 Ravens may not yet be on the roster.

The organization spent plenty of time this offseason talking up the potential of Brown and Asa Jackson, but it’s difficult to find anyone on the field in which defensive coordinator Dean Pees would have confidence using in the nickel package along with Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. Brown has bit on play-action fakes and has struggled to find the ball when he is in position while Jackson — who is an inside defender in the nickel package — has also been beaten deep on a couple occasions. To make matters worse, Dominique Franks still hasn’t passed his conditioning test after fellow veteran newcomer Aaron Ross tore his Achilles tendon taking the same test. The Ravens would prefer to use Webb inside in the nickel, but there have been no signs of anyone currently on the roster being capable of handling duties as the third cornerback.

3. Left guard Kelechi Osemele is moving well and is the biggest key for the offensive line.

The third-year lineman has moved well early in camp and will be the key in determining how effective the interior offensive line can be in 2014 after it was undersized and ineffective last season. It’s still too early to gauge whether his surgically-repaired back will be in issue, but Osemele delivered an impressive block 10 yards downfield that sent safety Darian Stewart to the ground on Saturday afternoon, a telling example of the improved mobility he simply didn’t have early last year. If the Ravens can be strong inside with Osemele and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda flanking new center Jeremy Zuttah, it will alleviate much of the pressure on Rick Wagner or whoever mans the right tackle position.

4. Veteran newcomer Darian Stewart has impressed and is the early favorite to start at free safety.

His unfortunate encounter with Osemele aside, Stewart has displayed good athleticism at the safety position and looks to be the favorite to line up next to Matt Elam in the starting defense. The former St. Louis Rams safety is versatile with the ability to line up closer to the line of scrimmage or to play the more traditional free position, and Pees has said on a number of occasions that he’s looking to mirror his safeties more than just having a traditional strong and free one. Rookie Terrence Brooks will need to make significant strides between now and the start of the season as he appears to be thinking too much when lined up on the field and has worked primarily with the third-string defense to this early point. Secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo is familiar with Stewart going back to their days in St. Louis, so the Ravens hope they’ve found another value signing like they did with Corey Graham a couple years ago.

5. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to move his skill players around in formations.

The Ravens are sure to experience growing pains implementing their new offensive system, but Kubiak has experimented plenty with his skill players to find strengths and weakness as well as potentially exploit vulnerabilities in a defense in a given matchup. His creative use of tight ends is a well-documented characteristic of his West Coast system, but it will be fun to watch how he uses fullback Kyle Juszczyk and big wide receiver Marlon Brown in addition to Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels this season. Ultimately, offensive success in the NFL comes down to winning 1-on-1 matchups no matter how clever your schemes might be, but pre-snap movement has been a regular feature of what we’ve seen so far in Owings Mills.

6. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw looks too heavy for the third straight preseason.

Coach John Harbaugh was more complimentary of Upshaw’s conditioning in the spring, but the third-year linebacker looks bigger at the start of training camp than he did during OTAs, continuing a theme of the 2012 second-round pick not taking the best care of his body. In fairness to Upshaw, he hasn’t noticeably labored during his first few practices, but temperatures have also been favorable thus far. He has been solid in his first couple seasons and has flashed potential to be better than that, but it’s just difficult to project a player to improve when he spends too much time playing catchup with his weight every summer. The early expectation is that Upshaw will once again split time with Elvis Dumervil at the strongside outside linebacker position.

7. Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has a rare combination of strength and quickness that’s fun to watch.

More attention has been paid to first-round linebacker C.J. Mosley, but Jernigan is becoming an early favorite of Pees as he’s been very active and has shown plenty of power in the trenches early in camp. Brandon Williams is the favorite to line up as the starting nose tackle, but there’s no reason Jernigan won’t be a regular member in the rotation, and his play could be a deciding factor in how the Ravens handle the final year of Haloti Ngata’s contract after the season. Pees quipped on Saturday that Jernigan doesn’t always follow his assignment, but he’ll make a big play anyway, which is pretty high praise for a rookie defensive lineman just a few days into his first training camp.

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Ngata not dwelling on uncertain future with Ravens

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Ngata not dwelling on uncertain future with Ravens

Posted on 17 June 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata made it clear Tuesday he hopes to finish his career right where it started with the Ravens.

Whether that happens or not will largely hinge on how well the 30-year-old performs in his ninth season in Baltimore.

Under contract through the 2015 season, Ngata carries the second-highest cap figure of any defensive tackle in the league at $16 million this year. His cap figure remains the same next season, but the Ravens would stand to save $8.5 million in space should they elect to part ways with him after the 2014 season, making it highly unlikely they’ll simply allow the defensive lineman to play out the final year of his deal.

General manager Ozzie Newsome explored a contract extension this offseason to lower Ngata’s cap figure and afford him the opportunity to finish his career in Baltimore, but the sides didn’t get far when discussing how much additional money would be included in a new deal. It’s a strategy the organization executed with linebacker Terrell Suggs, who signed a four-year extension earlier this offseason to lower his 2014 cap number in the process.

“I would love to be a Raven for life,” Ngata said. “If we can get something done, that’d be great. We’ll just let my agent and Ozzie take care of that business off the field.”

Trying to determine Ngata’s value is a tricky proposition despite the 2006 first-round pick coming off his fifth straight invitation to the Pro Bowl. Nagging injuries over the last three seasons have limited his offseason preparation and in-season production, leading many to believe Ngata isn’t the same player who continues to receive the accolades. He has typically started each of the last few seasons well before fading down the stretch when physical ailments begin hindering him.

In 15 games last season, Ngata collected 52 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks, his lowest sack total since the 2009 season after three straight campaigns in which he collected five or more. According to Pro Football Focus, Ngata ranked 18th among all defensive tackles in the NFL last season as he received his fifth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl.

Telling reporters and coach John Harbaugh this is the healthiest he’s been in several offseasons, Ngata envisions himself providing a greater presence as a pass rusher than he did a year ago. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds, Ngata looks much like he did last year for the Ravens’ mandatory minicamp and did not attend the last three weeks of voluntary organized team activities.

“This year, I just tried to lose more body fat and just stay around the same weight,” said Ngata, who spent much of last offseason rehabbing the medial collateral ligament sprain that sidelined him in the second half of Super Bowl XLVII. “Towards the end of the season, I lost some strength, but [I'm] just trying to lose body fat and lean up a little bit more.”

A simple look at the last couple drafts indicate the Ravens are in the midst of rebuilding their defensive line. After selecting defensive tackle Brandon Williams in the third round of last year’s draft, Newsome took Florida State standout Timmy Jernigan in the second round this year as the pair will battle for the starting job vacated by free-agent departure Arthur Jones.

The Ravens envision Williams as a nose tackle, which would prompt defensive coordinator Dean Pees to slide Ngata back to the 3-technique tackle spot. However, Jernigan has a similar profile to Jones, which could keep Ngata at the nose position where he primarily played last season. Strong seasons from both Williams and Jernigan would enable the Ravens to take a strong stance as it relates to Ngata’s contract demands and future beyond 2014.

Jernigan is just one defensive lineman eager to soak up as much information as he can from the perennial All-Pro talent.

“It’s a blessing to play with another great defensive tackle,” Jernigan said. “It’s a defensive lineman’s dream to be able to play with a great player beside him. It definitely will take a whole bunch of pressure off me, and he’ll definitely be a great person to learn from.”

In the same way that Ngata learned from veterans such as Kelly Gregg and Trevor Pryce when arriving on the scene in 2006, the Ravens hope Ngata can help the likes of Jernigan, Williams, DeAngelo Tyson, Brent Urban, and Kapron Lewis-Moore take their play to the next level. Never one to be outspoken, the veteran acknowledged he might need to step outside his comfort zone to help lead such a young unit along with fellow veteran Chris Canty.

In reality, Ngata could find himself mentoring his imminent replacement with his future so cloudy beyond this season.

“Haloti is not going to change his personality,” Harbaugh said. “I have always felt like he was a great leader according to his personality. He works hard and he talks to the guys. He’ll continue to do what he’s always done. If he feels like he needs to talk a little more, it would be great.”

The biggest statement Ngata will need to make this season is with his play if he hopes to remain in Baltimore or at least put himself in optimum position for another payday on the open market if the Ravens deem his contract demands too expensive next winter.

No matter how much longer he remains with the Ravens, the league’s 12th-ranked defense from a year ago needs him to be a force in the trenches to take a significant step forward and get back to the postseason. And they’ll hope he recaptures his once-dominating form — and sustains it — with the benefit of a healthy offseason.

“I want to get better and better and try to at least get to double-digit sacks,” Ngata said. “That’s something I’ve never done. Hopefully, I can continue to get better and get to my goals.”

 

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Jernigan, Urban latest draft picks to sign deals with Ravens

Posted on 17 May 2014 by WNST Staff

PRESS RELEASE

The Baltimore Ravens have signed two more draft picks from their 2014 class, general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome announced Saturday afternoon. DT Timmy Jernigan (second round) and DE Brent Urban (fourth round) each signed four-year contracts with the team.

The Ravens now have seven of their nine 2014 draft picks under contract.

Timmy Jernigan (second round)

No. 97

Defensive Tackle

Florida State

6-2, 300

Jernigan finished his collegiate career after appearing in 40 games (16 starts), recording 139 tackles (73 solo), 25 TFL (-104 yards), 8.5 sacks (-63 yards), one pass defensed and one fumble recovery. In 2013, he earned first-team All-ACC honors after helping FSU’s defense rank third in the nation by allowing only 281.4 yards per game en route to a BCS National Championship victory over Auburn.

Brent Urban (fourth round)

No. 96

Defensive End

Virginia

6-7, 298

Urban started 20 of 36 games in his career at Virginia, producing 75 total tackles (26 solo), 16.5 TFL (-48 yards), three sacks (-15 yards), two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and 11 passes defensed. He led all NCAA down linemen in the country and finished sixth overall in the ACC with 9 PD in 2013. Urban’s efforts as a senior helped him garner honorable mention All-ACC honors.

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Even with chip on shoulder, Jernigan recognizes perfect fit with Ravens

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Even with chip on shoulder, Jernigan recognizes perfect fit with Ravens

Posted on 16 May 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Based on last week’s conference call and his first meeting with the media in Owings Mills on Friday, it’s clear that Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has a chip on his shoulder.

Slipping to the second round and the 48th overall selection before general manager Ozzie Newsome finally snatched him up, Jernigan is out to silence criticism over a diluted drug test sample at the NFL scouting combine in February and doubts over whether he has the size and stamina to thrive at the next level despite a successful career at Florida State. The Ravens have said they were comfortable with Jernigan’s explanation for his diluted sample — claiming he was counteracting problems with cramping and dehydration — and graded the 6-foot-2, 300-pound lineman as a first-round talent on their draft board.

They now hope he — along with 2013 third-round pick Brandon Williams — can help fill the void left behind by free-agent departure Arthur Jones along the defensive line. Jernigan is viewed as an option at either nose tackle or the 3-technique that lines up on the outside shoulder of the opposing guard.

“I just want to be the best I can be. It’s clear to see I was a great run-stopper in college,” Jernigan said. “I didn’t really get a chance to show off my pass-rushing abilities, because I played in a two-gap scheme. Now I feel like I’m in the right type of defense that is really going to turn me loose and showcase my ability.”

Jernigan was an Associated Press second-team All-American for the national champion Seminoles, collecting a career-high 63 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks in 2013. However, he will be expected to show more pass-rushing ability in addition to his strong play against the run that he displayed in college.

Some of the doubts about Jernigan are reminiscent of 2006 first-round pick Haloti Ngata, who was accused by some of taking plays off and not playing with full effort at the University of Oregon. Eight years and five Pro Bowl selections later, it’s safe to say the Ravens chose wisely in drafting Ngata to anchor their defensive line.

Now, Jernigan is looking forward to reaping the benefits from playing next to the 30-year-old lineman.

“It’s a blessing to play with another great defensive tackle,” Jernigan said. “It’s a defensive lineman’s dream to be able to play with a great player beside him. It definitely will take a whole bunch of pressure off me, and he’ll definitely be a great person to learn from.”

Gillmore different breed at tight end position

The Ravens raised eyebrows by not selecting an offensive player until late in the third round of last weekend’s draft when Colorado State’s Crockett Gillmore was finally called.

Of course, tight end wasn’t considered a position of major need after the organization re-signed Dennis Pitta to a five-year contract and inked veteran Owen Daniels to a one-year deal earlier this offseason, but the desire to have a stronger blocker in the group made Gillmore — who began his college career as a defensive end — an attractive option. At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Gillmore will likely be in the mix immediately as a traditional tight end with Pitta and Daniels being better fits to move around in Gary Kubiak’s system.

“A tight end is a guy that can play any position on the field; he just happens to be a bigger body,” Gillmore said. “For me, I think of myself as a blocker with ability to catch the ball. I think championships are still won running the ball and playing defense. So, I’d much rather be considered a blocker that can catch than a receiver that can block.”

Baltimore hopes a season working behind both Pitta and Daniels will help transform Gillmore into a dangerous pass-catching threat in the years to come, but his ability to block would be a major asset to an offensive line that struggled immensely last season.

Undersized understudy

Seventh-round wide receiver Michael Campanaro is a feel-good story as a Clarksville, Md. native who went on to set Wake Forest’s all-time career mark for receptions, but it’s no secret that he faces an uphill battle to become a productive NFL receiver.

Standing only 5-foot-9, Campanaro doesn’t fit the mold of the perceived necessary stature to thrive at the next level, but the rookie won’t have to look far to find inspiration and tutelage from 35-year-old receiver Steve Smith, who shares the same height while catching more than 800 passes and accumulating more than 12,000 yards over the last 13 years.

“[When] I go out there and I’m with the receivers, Steve and I are definitely the smallest, shortest guys there,” Campanaro said. “He is a Hall of Fame receiver. He’s gotten it done for so many years. So, having a guy like that who I can learn from him and see the little things he does preparing with his game, it’s going to help out a ton.”

Campanaro figures to be in the mix as a punt returner as well as in the slot while Smith is expected to work primarily as an outside receiver as he did during his 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, but the Ravens hope the veteran can pass along a few tricks to help offset the obvious size disadvantage that the former Demon Deacon will encounter in not only trying to make the 53-man roster but to eventually contribute in the passing game.

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