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CAMP NOTES: Defense Loses 2 to Injury, 1 for Season

Kapron Lewis Moore
The Ravens wrapped up their second of three joint practices with the 49ers on Sunday under sunny skies at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. “Iron sharping iron” continued as the Ravens are six days away from their second preseason game when they take on the Cowboys in Dallas. Donned in pads for the second straight day, unfortunately, injuries, not on-field play, were the big story today. Cornerback Asa Jackson limped off the field with trainers in the middle of practice with what appeared to be a right...

Ravens Offense Keeps on Rolling

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Quarterback Joe Flacco looked sharp on Saturday evenly distributing the football while keeping the 49ers defensive backfield a bit off-balance. The Ravens signal caller set comfortably and generally delivered the ball quickly and on time. His only struggles seemed to take place when a play’s timing was disrupted and he pulled the ball down with the hopes of creating a play. Flacco’s receivers are not quite on the same page when that happens in the way that Ben Roethlisberger’s receivers know to keep plays alive when their quarterback breaks contain....

Concerns Mount Around the Ravens Defense

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A buzz was in the air as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers warmed up to prepare for their cross-continent practice partners. This would be no ordinary day of training camp. The same drills, the same 7-on-7 routines, the same 1-on-1’s that by this time during the summer have become as mundane and boring as ESPN’s and NFL Network’s excessively redundant coverage of Johnny Manziel, just weren’t the same – in a good way. These athletes with a heightened sense of focus ushered in by the flow of competitive...

Ravens Headquarters Painted 49ers Red

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Before “The Turk” makes his first rounds during summer camp to trim rosters from 90 to 75, the Under Armour Performance Center at One Winning Drive can get pretty crowded. More players, more assistants to the coaching staff, more interns and more media makes Baltimore Ravens headquarters a pretty crowded place. Even the locker rooms are equipped with temporary lockers leaving it with the appearance of a sporting goods store under renovation. On Saturday afternoon The Castle that Steve Bisciotti built hosted more king’s horses and more king’s men than...

CAMP NOTES: Elam, Secondary Struggle vs. 49ers

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The Ravens’ first string secondary certainly didn’t have their best day of practice on Saturday as the Ravens and 49ers kicked off their first of three joint practices between the two teams. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick feasted on the Ravens defensive backfield, taking advantage of both Chykie Brown and second-year player Matt Elam. Elam was beaten on several plays across the middle of the field by the big-bodied 49er receiving unit. Brown had another up and down day at the office, giving up some long pass plays but came up...

CAMP NOTES: First Team Offense Solid vs. 49ers

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The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers kicked off their first of three joint practices together under sunny conditions at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills on Saturday. With both teams donning full pads, practice began with joint warm-ups before players broke down in to individual drills with their respective teams. The Ravens’ first team offense picked up where they left off on Thursday night, moving the ball with ease against the 49ers first team defense. While neither team was hitting hard it was easy to see...

This Week on Russell Street

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Some of you may be familiar with This Week in Baseball, a recap of the goings on in Major League Baseball. It’s a convenient way to catch up on things you may have missed. Borrowing from that concept, we will do the same here for the Baltimore Ravens with a new feature called This Week on Russell Street (creative, right?) Without further ado (not adieu)… FILMSTUDY The Ravens 23-3 win over the San Francisco 49ers during their 2014 Preseason Opener impressed many. But Ken McKusick, aka “Filmstudy”, is a difficult...

Impressive Signs Abound for Ravens in Preseason Opener

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It was a night of reunions, debuts, and surprises at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night as the Ravens were able to run all over the 49ers, 23-3. John Harbaugh was able to advance his NFL record against his brother in NFL play to 3-0 as his “mighty men” impressed taking the big stage for the first time in 2014. Here’s a look at what we learned in all three phases of the game last night: OFFENSE Smooth sailing for Kubiak’s debut There’s no reason to believe anyone will take...

Observations from Ravens/49ers: Defense/Special Teams

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An improved offense grabbed the headlines for the Baltimore Ravens in their preseason-opening win against the San Francisco 49ers, and rightfully so, but the defense didn’t disappoint either. The three points allowed came against San Francisco’s first-team offense, and having the benefit of facing Blaine Gabbert for most of the game facilitated the end result of not allowing another score after the first drive. Plenty can be taken away from the performances of the defense and special teams, both good and bad. 1. C.J. Mosley was as advertised in his...

First Drive Leaves a Lot to Be Excited About

Bernard Pierce Preseason TD
You can’t read too much into preseason football. Coordinators only show a watered down version of their actual game plan, in an effort to reveal as little as possible to the rest of the league. Some starters are held out for precautionary reasons, which was the case for the 49ers defense last night, and we only get a glimpse of the first team players that do see action. With that said, the cameo that the Ravens first team offense made last night gave Ravens Nation several reasons to be excited...

FILMSTUDY: Wagner, Others Impress in Preseason Opener

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Expectations for Gary Kubiak’s new offense were high, but the results were everything Ravens fans could have hoped. The offensive line led a dominating effort that resulted in a 77-46 (kneels included for emphasis) advantage in offensive snaps against the 49ers.  Let’s take a while to break that down. For the preseason, I find it helpful to record the offensive linemen by series.  I didn’t notice any mid-series changes, but these are the 5 offensive linemen for the first play of each series.  Play totals exclude penalties and kneels. Some notes on...

Matt Scott Tosses Cookies, Then a TD

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Some strange things can happen in the NFL preseason. As if the Bengals vs. Chiefs preseason game already wasn’t strange enough with 73 points already scored, Bengals 4th string QB, Matt Scott won’t let anything stop him from trying to make the team. A second year player that spent his rookie season on Jacksonville’s practice squad, Scott vomited while he was at the line of scrimmage, then went on to throw a touchdown pass. Scott has done this twice before in college (the throwing up on the field part). I...

Observations from Preseason Win vs 49ers – Offense

NFL: Preseason-San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens
Thursday night’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers offered Ravens fans something they haven’t seen since 2012: a competent offense, particularly as pertains to the run game. The team averaged almost five yards per carry on 48 attempts, totaling 237 yards on the ground. Overall – while still just an opening preseason game – it looks like fans can have some confidence in both the (starting) offensive line and running backs unit as 1/4 of the preseason is already in the books. Baltimore’s first test of the season offered...

RAVENS 23 49ERS 3: 5 Good, 5 Bad Takeaways

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Teams build foundations during OTA’s, take playbooks to the field during training camp and then increase the tempo and physicality during “fake football” games. It is then that things begin to change for some – when the threat of contact is introduced to the competitive environment. As a result mistakes will be made and hopefully lessons learned – fertile grounds in the development process. Here are 5 takeaways, both plus and minus, from last night’s preseason game between the Ravens and 49ers… PLUS 1. First-team Offense: Joe Flacco was precise...

Ravens Fans Finally Get to Say Goodbye

NFL: Super Bowl XLVII-Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers
When fans filter into M&T Bank Stadium tonight to see the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers they will see a familiar face and a familiar number – Anquan Boldin, No. 81. Boldin was a fan favorite and why not? He embodies the character of Baltimore – hard working, tough, blue collar, overachieving. And he was a star during the team’s postseason run up to and through Super Bowl XLVII. The decision to trade Boldin to the 49ers for a very late 6th round pick went over about...

Preseason For Dummies: Ravens v. 49ers

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Tonight when the Ravens host the 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium most fans will, for the first time, see the 2014 Ravens hopefuls in action. There will be many new faces in many new places and it could be hard to keep track of all the moving parts. Influenced by what we’ve seen during OTA’s and Training Camp, let me present a 2014 Preseason Game 1 Guide for Dummies (I should know)…   THINGS TO LOOK FOR Offensive Line The biggest culprit during the Ravens disappointing title defense season was...

Former Raven Wants to be The Biggest Loser

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When Brian Billick arrived in Baltimore he brought with him a confidence and swagger that the then 3-year old Baltimore Ravens had never seen or experienced. He was anointed “Offensive Genius” and was thought to be an X’s and O’s guru who could do no wrong. Perhaps Billick himself even sipped some of that Kool-Aid, while embracing delusions of grandeur, thinking he could emulate his successes in Minnesota where he was the architect of the Vikings high-flying offense, even with Scott Mitchell and Tony Banks at the controls behind center. It...

Counting on Youngsters to Reestablish Defensive Dominance

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The Baltimore Ravens have always been known for their dominating style of defense. The approach of wearing opposing offenses down late in the game due to their aggressive, hard-hitting, smash-mouth style of play has long been a staple of purple-and-black football, and has resulted in many, many victories. While the 2013 defense wasn’t what we’ve come to expect, they held their own in many ways. Despite the lack of offense that often forced the defense to take extended reps last season, the Ravens’ defense still managed to rank in the Top...

FILMSTUDY: For Whom is Preseason Most Important?

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Among NFL fans, collective optimism is rarely higher than it is this week. From a fan’s perspective, every player has something to prove over the next month, but I thought it would be fun to create a simple system that tries to quantify the importance of these games for each player on the roster. For each player there are 2 important factors for the preseason.  I’ve defined and rated those as: Variation (Var):  This is a 0-to-5 rating of how much a player’s preseason performance could impact his playing time and the quality of...

RAVENS LINKS: Madden 15 Wrong About Jimmy Smith

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Ravens Madden 15 Ratings EA Sports released the initial player ratings for Madden ’15, and they’re not all that surprising. Justin Tucker comes in as the highest ranked player at a 93 overall, followed by Ngata and Yanda at 92, then Lardarius Webb at a 90. The biggest discrepancy is Jimmy Smith. He has a rating of ONLY 82! As a Ravens fan that’s played a lot of Madden, that is absurdly low considering his season last year. To put that in perspective, that’s only 5 points higher than Cleveland...