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Time for Some Mandatory Minicamp!

Lamar jersey real Raven OTL
photo: Twitter/@ian_mont14
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Happy Monday once again Ravens Flock!

There’s a palpable excitement in the air as we get ready to pass yet another major milestone in the NFL off-season calendar. Mandatory OTAs kick off tomorrow and run all throughout this week, and with the exception of a few guys who are still injured, we’ll finally have our first glimpse of what the full Ravens squad will look like come September. Most players have already reported for the voluntary portion of these practices, but there’s still a few notable names who will be making their first appearances this week. Chief among them is superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson, who will surely be bombarded with questions about his previous absence along with his current contract situation.

Jackson will likely be unbothered by these questions, and as always will let his play on the field do the talking for him. As apparent by his attendance at Kodak Black’s birthday festival over the weekend in his home state of Florida, he doesn’t much care for what people have to say about how he spends his time.

It’ll be interesting to see the response from the AM radio sect of Baltimore media about this appearance, but the overwhelming response from the fanbase as a whole has been one of support for the former MVP. Should he come out and struggle, those detractors will likely become louder and louder, but Jackson has made a career out of proving those people wrong so far. Smart money would say that this will be the case yet again.

David Ojabo recently caught up with the folks at BBC Scotland to discuss his journey to the NFL, from his humble beginnings in Aberdeen, Scotland, to hearing his name called by Roger Goodell on that memorable April evening just a few short months ago. Despite all the trials and tribulations he’s faced thus far, Ojabo still remains as focused as ever on being a dominant NFL pro.

Hearing his perspective about the Achilles injury being a blessing is one you don’t see from most players, even ones who’ve been around the block countless times over the years. His maturity and level-headedness is one of the most endearing aspects of his personality, and makes him a perfect fit for a Ravens defense transitioning into a new age.

After news of his visit to the castle in Owings Mills broke late last week, all eyes will be on whether or not the pen will meet paper for free agent edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul. Last year the Ravens met early in the off-season with another veteran at the position in Justin Houston, but he didn’t end up officially signing until early August when training camp was underway.

Will this be a similar scenario? Or will the Ravens look to lock him up asap given the uncertainty surrounding when Ojabo will be able to step on the field in a game scenario? And speaking of Houston, where does that leave him in the grand scheme of the Ravens’ plans for 2022?

It’s not often that a 10-year veteran coming off a down year poses so many questions for a team’s plans, but that’s the situation the Ravens find themselves in as they cross the t’s and dot the i’s on this year’s iteration of the team.

The Ravens Flock is a fanbase full of incredibly passionate and talented people, and this week I’d like to spotlight one member in particular. A lot of you probably know Jen from social media thanks to the incredible sports-themed art pieces she produces, but there’s a lot more behind her work than meets the eye. I had the chance to chat a bit with Jen over the weekend about her artistic inspirations and how she landed on her sports niche.

“I basically doodled on anything from the time I could use a crayon. Never studied or took art classes (loved math/chem).” She said. “My family was not into sports so I discovered the love, being around others. Discovered football at Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house. A few years ago, I wanted to make a bond between someone loving a team and art. Basically that cliché of ‘you have too many sports things!’ into something acceptable. The wife agrees that it’s okay.”

So fellas (and ladies), whether you’re looking for something to put the finishing touches on your sports cave, or you just want to represent your squad in a way that’s also acceptable to a significant other who’s favorite part of watching games is the end of them, look no further! Jen’s work can be found on her Twitter @7thgypsy along with her Etsy page, AbandonedColors. Hit her up today for a custom made art piece, you won’t regret it!

And before we get out of here today, as has become a bit of a Monday tradition, here’s your awesome Ravens picture of the week! This one was captured by Flock member Ian during his recent trip out west to Utah. Whether he was just capturing our mascot out in the wild, or dropping the hardest mixtape cover you’ve ever seen, this is one that belongs framed above the fireplace. Nice job Ian.

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