AFC North: Baltimore Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn't shocked when Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel extended his middle finger toward the Washington Redskins' bench in Monday night's preseason game. Actually, he's surprised by the attention it's received.

Flacco
"I think we've all seen the middle finger before and we should get over it," Flacco said Tuesday.

Manziel may have been reacting to what he heard from the Redskins' bench, because he extended his middle finger over his right shoulder and into the direction of the Washington sideline.

Flacco said he never got harassed to the point where he lashed out like Manziel. But Flacco also said he never dealt with the amount of pressure that's been placed on the Browns' first-round pick.

Instead of criticizing Manziel, Flacco was more emphatic toward him.

"When people say stuff to you, what do you do? You react," Flacco said. "And you usually react in a way that you might not necessarily want to or not necessarily always react that way. I hate to say it, and you don't want to make it that way. But a football field is a place where there is a lot of emotion. Sometimes, those things happen. Obviously, you want to limit to the point where no one else sees it."

Flacco said he's surprised that these types of incidents don't happen more often in football.

"When bullets are flying, it can be pretty crazy out there," he said. "When you watch it on TV and even when we got back and watch it on film, you don't account for all the things that are actually going on out there. Guys are tired as can be. People are saying things to each other. So, that kind of stuff can happen. You don't want it to, obviously. But I always think those things are blown out of proportion and they want something to talk about. This is it today."

Flacco is known for his low-key demeanor. That's why he's known as Joe Cool in Baltimore.

When asked if he had ever extended the middle finger on a football field, Flacco said, "Yeah, I flipped Suggs off the other day in practice."
A look at how the Baltimore Ravens' 2014 draft class has fared halfway through the preseason:

Mosley
C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker: After an impressive preseason opener, the first-round pick took a step back in Week 2. Mosley was sluggish in coverage and missed a couple of tackles while defending the run. For the most part, Mosley has been strong in training camp, showing athleticism and good instincts. He leads the Ravens with 10 tackles this preseason.

Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle: The second-round pick has been among the top rookies in camp. He has repeatedly broken through the line and got penetration up the middle. That hasn't translated to the two preseason games. Jernigan doesn't have a tackle in 47 snaps.

Terrence Brooks, safety: The third-round pick has moved up the depth chart, playing nickelback with the starters and free safety with the second-team defense. Brooks hasn't broken up a pass in the preseason, but he has a quarterback hit off a blitz.

Gillmore
Crockett Gillmore, tight end: The third-round pick hasn't stood out in training camp. He has just one catch for three yards in the preseason. Gillmore's role could be expanded if Owen Daniels' legs can't hold up for the season.

Brent Urban, defensive end: The fourth-round pick tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on July 30 and is out for the season. Urban was expected to back up defensive end Chris Canty.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, running back: The fourth-round pick leads the Ravens with 130 yards rushing this preseason. His physical style of running has caught the coaching staff's attention. Taliaferro is looking to be the primary backup to Bernard Pierce when Ray Rice is serving his two-game suspension.

John Urschel, guard: The fifth-round pick delivered a key block in Taliaferro's touchdown run Saturday in Dallas. Urschel has moved up to the second-team offense, replacing Ryan Jensen at right guard and increasing his chances of landing one of the final spots on the 53-man roster.

Keith Wenning, quarterback: The sixth-round pick has improved in camp, although it was hard to tell by his performance in the second preseason game. He was 2 of 4 for 23 yards, fumbling on his first pass attempt (which led to a touchdown). Wenning is expected to go on the practice squad as the No. 3 quarterback.

Michael Campanaro, wide receiver: The seventh-round pick finished camp strong and is in position to make the final roster. His quickness and route-running make him perfectly suited for slot receiver. Campanaro could develop into a productive returner as well.
In what became a bad trend last season, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs would crash inside on a running play and watch the runner race past him for a big gain on the outside. This happened again in the preseason opener.

Suggs
 So, is Suggs getting caught out of position or is that the design of the play?

"It could be a little bit of both, but we do have some calls where we want to take him inside," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "The one thing I learned a long time ago [is] if you line up the same way all the time, a guy is going to tee off on you. You need to be able to change it up, so the guy can’t just sit there and know you’re going to be stationary all the time. We’re trying to do, maybe, a little bit more movement up front, too, in some ways, and a little bit of that is ‘Sizz’ [ Suggs]."

Pees said you have to give great players an occasional license to freelance because it allows them to use their instincts.

"I think once in a while you also have to let them be a football player," Pees said. "Now they can’t do it all the time, but sometimes I think you also have to have a little allowance. I always tell the rookies, I say, ‘Look, I’m always going to be fair, not equal.’ So, that’s kind of the way we look at it.”

A six-time Pro Bowl player, Suggs finished last season with 80 tackles, his most since the 2008 season. Last season, Pro Football Focus had him rated as the best run-stopper among all 3-4 outside linebackers.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- No Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman has spent more time in the offensive backfield than rookie second-round pick Timmy Jernigan.

He has used his explosion to get past blockers, and he has blown up plays with pre-snap reads. But the biggest reason why Jernigan has been so disruptive goes back to the first move he ever learned in football.

 When Jernigan was 9-years-old, his father showed him how to use the swim move to slip past offensive linemen. It's a classic football technique where the defensive lineman uses his outside arm on the back of the offensive lineman and then "swims" his inside arm over his shoulder to eventually get around the blocker.

"It's something that I've kept with me," Jernigan said. "I've kind of perfected it by now."

During Wednesday's practice, Jernigan wreaked havoc as part of the second-team defense. He ripped past rookie guard John Urschel for what would've been a tackle behind the line, and he would've had a sack on Tyrod Taylor (if contact was allowed on quarterbacks).

Jernigan is currently backing up Haloti Ngata, but his knack for making big plays will earn him more playing time in the defensive rotation. The development of Jernigan should allow the Ravens to rest Ngata more, which will allow the 30-year-old defensive tackle to be fresher late in games and later in the season.

At this point in camp, the Ravens believe they got a steal in Jernigan, who lasted until the middle of the second round because of a diluted drug test at the NFL combine.

The biggest challenge for Jernigan is playing within the scheme. The Ravens don't want him to freelance too much to get in the backfield and leave the rest of the defense vulnerable.

"I’m really pleased with where he is coming and learning every day a little bit more about the system, because it’s a lot different than what he did at Florida State," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "But [he is] very active. And talking to the San Francisco coaches, they commented on a couple of our guys up there, young guys, and he was one of them. It’s always good when you get somebody on the opposing team [to] tell you that they think [a] guy is a pretty good player.”
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Wide receiver Steve Smith was brutally honest when asked recently what he can add to the Baltimore Ravens' offense.

[+] EnlargeSteve Smith
Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY SportsVeteran receiver Steve Smith has been one of the more consistent players during Ravens' camp.
"There was a key third down [during practice] … If I dropped the ball like I did today, then I’m not going to be very good," Smith said.

A drop by Smith has been a rarity at Ravens training camp. He's been catching nearly everything thrown his direction, which is why he's been the team's best and most consistent wide receiver this summer.

It's not unusual to see Smith twist his body to pull in a pass that sails high and behind him. He's also made diving catches deep downfield.

The Ravens knew they were getting a fiery leader when they signed Smith as a free agent in March. They didn't know about his hands, especially after looking at his numbers.

Over the past 10 seasons, Smith has the third-most drops in the NFL, trailing only Brandon Marshall (68) and Dwayne Bowe (57).

In analyzing the stats, Smith's success rate catching the ball is heavily affected by his starting quarterback. In two seasons with Jake Delhomme throwing the ball (2004-05), Smith had a 2.7 drop percentage. From 2006 to 2010, when the Carolina Panthers had seven different starting quarterbacks, Smith's drop percentage jumped to 5.6 percent. Over the past three seasons with Cam Newton, who isn't the most accurate passer, Smith lowered his drop percentage to 4 percent.

So, what's the expectation with Smith catching passes from Joe Flacco?

"He throws a lot of good, easy balls that you can snag [with] one hand," Smith said. "It makes it look good, so I like those."

Smith has been one of the most consistent receivers over the years. Over the past nine seasons, he has caught more than 70 passes in six seasons and put together six 1,000-yard seasons.

His approach to catching the ball is a very simple one.

"It may sound rhetorical, but you have to catch the ball first," Smith said. "You have to figure out when you catch it, why did you catch it that way? And you have to evaluate yourself the same way if you drop it. You catch the pass, you drop the ball -- you have to be able to evaluate. "

Smith added, "A lot of times it’s just getting antsy -- just taking your eyes off of it when you’re wide open. You start to move, you feel the corner on the outside, so you try to give him a little move to the inside, and you forget the ball. It just happens sometimes, and it’s part of the process."

Ravens Camp Report: Day 15

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
4:15
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp:
  • If inside linebacker C.J. Mosley wasn't on the team, the most impressive rookie would be defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. He was disruptive again, finding his way into the backfield. The second-round pick is backing up Haloti Ngata, but the Ravens need to find a way to get him on the field.
  • One criticism of third quarterback Keith Wenning has been his arm strength. He is now throwing the ball more decisively and with more pop. There was an intermediate throw to Mike Willie where you could hear the ball hit the wide receiver's hands.
  • Wide receiver Deonte Thompson is hurting his chances of making the team with each passing day. He has to be the unofficial leader in drops this training camp. Another one came Wednesday when he let Joe Flacco's 55-yard touchdown pass go through his hands and bounce off his chest.
  • The Ravens got through three days without fighting with the San Francisco 49ers. They just couldn't stop fighting amongst themselves. In the Ravens' first workout since the joint practices, linebacker Nicholas DiMarco and center Reggie Stephens got into the biggest altercation. The players wrestled to the ground and then had to be separated by teammates.
  • Inside linebacker Arthur Brown has slid down the depth chart since the start of training camp, but he was very active during drills Wednesday. There's no questioning Brown's speed. He often gets lost among the big bodies inside.
  • In a rare occurrence, Justin Tucker missed wide right on a 41-yard field goal. He then hit from 46 yards on his next kick.
  • In a one-on-one drill in the red zone, undrafted rookie cornerback Sammy Seamster picked off a pass in the end zone. It came against Jacoby Jones, who isn't known for fighting for the ball.
  • Schedule: The Ravens have one more practice (Thursday at 11:45 a.m. ET) before ending training camp.
  • Injury wire: TE Dennis Pitta (ankle) had his first full practice after missing the previous two days. ... G Ryan Jensen (ankle) and SS Brynden Trawick (back) also returned after missing some time. ... CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his 13th straight practice. He last practiced July 25. ... CB Asa Jackson (ankle) was sidelined for his third straight practice. ... G Will Rackley (head) remains out ... DE Kapron Lewis-Moore (Achilles) is scheduled to have season-ending surgery by the end of the week. He tweeted out: "Bright side of this that Achilles doesn't take as long as a ACL." ... ... NT Terrence Cody (hip) is on the physically unable to perform list. ... DE Brent Urban (torn ACL) is out for the season.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Training camp has presented a fine line for Baltimore Ravens running back Lorenzo Taliaferro.

[+] EnlargeLorenzo Taliaferro
Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsLorenzo Taliaferro carried the ball 13 times in the Ravens' preseason opener against San Francisco.
Coaches are telling him to explode through the holes, but he also hears about how they don't want to see players on the ground, which increases the chances of injuries. So, when the rookie fourth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina got his chance to go full speed, he wasn't going to disappoint.

Taliaferro showed off his bruising style of running by gaining 71 yards rushing on 13 carries (5.5-average) in Thursday's preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers last week. That not only led all rookie running backs last week, but it was also the third-highest rushing total in the league. Only the New York Giants' Rashad Jennings (85 yards) and New Orleans' Mark Ingram (83 yards) had more.

"It felt good to just get out there and bang around a little bit," Taliaferro said. "It's always better when you're live, because a guy my size, that's all they speak about is can you get the ball downhill, can you go north and south, and you can't really do that too much in practice."

How much Taliaferro impresses the Ravens will likely determine how much he will contribute early. The Ravens will be without suspended running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the season. While Bernard Pierce is expected to fill in as the starter, Taliaferro is competing against journeyman Justin Forsett (29 yards rushing on seven carries) for the backup role.

"That's exactly what you want to see out of a big, physical back," coach John Harbaugh said of Taliaferro's first game. "We want to see him in tackling-type action. He played well. I was really happy for him with what he did in the game, but we'll continue to build on that and see what he does next game."

At 6 feet, 226 pounds, Taliaferro can move a pile when driving forward. But he often carries the ball in an upright running style, something that will likely change after taking a few more hits.

What Taliaferro has excelled at since joining the Ravens is his pass blocking. He proved that again when he stopped 49ers linebackers in a one-on-one drill Sunday.

"You got to take advantage of the things that you're good at," Taliaferro said. "That was one of the things that gave me an edge on some of the backs in the draft."
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

The Ravens are set with Flacco as the starter and Taylor as the backup. The decision here is whether to carry three quarterbacks. If the Ravens limit Keith Wenning's playing time in preseason games (reducing the amount of tape other teams see of him), it may be an indication that the team is going to try to sneak the rookie sixth-round pick onto the practice squad.

Running backs (4)

Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. Taliaferro is a near certainty as well, especially after the rookie fourth-round pick led the team in rushing in the preseason opener. Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the season, which allows the Ravens to carry Forsett.

Receivers (5)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones are going to make the roster. Aiken continues to build a strong case for making the team. Slot receiver Michael Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, has shown flashes but can't stay healthy. Putting him on injured reserve at the end of the preseason is a possibility.

Tight ends (3)

No major decisions at this position. The Ravens' top three tight ends are guaranteed to make the team, barring injury. Pitta, though, is clearly the No. 1 tight end. Daniels hasn't been sharp in training camp.

Offensive linemen (10)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner did well in the preseason opener as the new starting right tackle. Gradkowski and Shipley, two starters from last season, appear safe. Jensen has struggled and is moving himself on the wrong side of the bubble. Reid makes the team as the top backup at tackle. John Urschel is now sharing second-team reps at guard with Jensen. James Hurst, an undrafted rookie tackle, looks to be headed to the practice squad.

Defensive linemen (6)

Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters in training camp. Jernigan and Tyson are the Ravens' top two backups. Injuries are hurting the Ravens' depth at defensive end. After Brent Urban was lost for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, Kapron Lewis- Moore suffered a likely season-ending Achilles injury. This would open a spot for either undrafted rookie Derrick Hopkins or Terrence Cody. Because Cody is on the physically unable to perform list, the nod goes to Hopkins right now.

LINEBACKERS (10)

There won't be much change here because the Ravens return every linebacker from last season's team. The only addition is Mosley, the No. 17 overall pick in this year's draft. By not keeping a third quarterback, the Ravens create room to keep a strong special teams player like McClellan.

Cornerbacks (5)

After the starting duo of Smith and Webb, there is a major dropoff. Asa Jackson has become the frontrunner for the No. 3 cornerback job but he sustained a minor ankle injury that could force him to miss the second preseason game. Chykie Brown makes the team even though he's struggled most of camp. Jacobs gets the final spot as a developmental corner, but his spot may be temporary. There's a good chance that the Ravens will sign a veteran who is released at the end of the preseason.

Safeties (5)

Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Miles and Levine are core special teams players. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, is starting to move up the depth chart. The Ravens can keep Hill on the suspended list. He has had a good camp but he isn't eligible to play in the regular season until the middle of October.

Specialists (3)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Once a position of depth, defensive end has become a concern for the Baltimore Ravens a little more than two weeks into training camp.

 Kapron Lewis-Moore suffered a likely season-ending Achilles' injury on Sunday, coach John Harbaugh said after practice. This injury is magnified by the fact that the Ravens lost rookie fourth-round pick Brent Urban (torn anterior cruciate ligament) for the season on July 30.

Suddenly, both players expected to rotate with defensive end Chris Canty probably won't see the field this season.

"We have tremendous depth around here. But to lose those two guys with all that potential -- and they were doing so well in camp and they definitely showed they were able to help this team win -- it's unfortunate," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We all know injuries are part of the game. It just sucks that it happened."

Without Lewis-Moore and Urban, the Ravens probably will turn to DeAngelo Tyson, who was Canty's backup last season. Tyson is currently listed as the No. 2 nose tackle on the depth chart.

If Tyson moves to defensive end, the Ravens would then use undrafted rookie Derrick Hopkins or Terrence Cody (on physically unable to perform list with hip injury) to back up starting nose tackle Brandon Williams, a first-year starter who only played seven games last season. Another option at defensive end is Pernell McPhee, who played that spot for his first two seasons before switching to rush outside linebacker last year.

"The next guy will be up, and we'll find a way to do it," coach John Harbaugh said. "There's always going to be injuries. You adapt, adjust and fill out your position."

Lewis-Moore was injured in a pileup during a joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers. As he laid in the middle of the field writhing in pain, players from both teams knelt and dropped their heads, including 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Riding off on the cart, Lewis-Moore could be heard sobbing.

"It's a horrible feeling. I feel terrible," Suggs said. "I wish him a speedy recovery."

Lewis-Moore missed all of rookie season last year after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee in his final game in college. He generated buzz this offseason, and he just played his first NFL game three days ago when he finished with two tackles.

"It's going to be tough for him, and we'll rally around him," Harbaugh said. "He'll be back tougher than ever next year."

An hour before Lewis-Moore was injured, cornerback Asa Jackson needed to be helped off the field. Jackson, though, has a minor ankle injury, according to Harbaugh.

"He'l be out for some number of days, but it's not a major deal," Harbaugh said.

Ravens Camp Report: Day 12

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
6:30
PM ET
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Baltimore Ravens training camp:
  • Joe Flacco carried the momentum from a great season opener with a sharp practice. He continually found holes in the San Francisco 49ers zone, dropping in passes to his receivers. His best pass was a 50-yard completion to wide receiver Marlon Brown after Flacco rolled to his left and threw off his back foot.
  • There were no fights in the first joint practice with the 49ers. There were a few close calls, especially with guard Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Pernell McPhee. My guess is the players were warned about throwing punches after what the head coaches said before practice.
  • Jimmy Smith was the only cornerback who held up well for the Ravens. Smith set the tone in the one-on-one drill against Anquan Boldin, knocking the ball down in front of the former Ravens receiver. When Smith spoke to owner Steve Bisciotti during practice, I couldn't help thinking about the size of the check that Bisciotti will be writing Smith in a couple of years.
  • Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor didn't run in team drills for the first time in recent memory. The only way the Ravens can evaluate how he's progressed as a pocket passer is if he stays in the pocket. Taylor rushed his reads early and had several passes batted down when he tried to dump the ball off. He did finish with two deep throws, hitting Steve Smith (who had to dive for the ball) and Michael Campanaro.
  • Like he's done for most of camp, Osemele was crushing defensive linemen. Osemele knocked 49ers defensive tackle Tank Carradine to the ground three times during one session of team drills.
  • One of the more anticipated matchups didn't go the Ravens' way as Terrell Suggs couldn't get past 49ers left tackle Joe Staley. On the other side, Elvis Dumervil had his way with backup right tackle Jonathan Martin.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown struggled again after putting together some decent practices. He was faked out early and often, allowing too many easy catches to 49ers receivers.
  • The Ravens started rotating rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel in with the second team at guard. This comes after Ryan Jensen got pushed around in the preseason opener. Jensen missed time in practice after injuring his left knee, but he returned after getting checked out by trainers.
  • Schedule: The Ravens hold their second joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers at noon Sunday.
  • Injury wire: This is the healthiest the Ravens have been since the start of camp. Only four players didn't practice. ... CB Lardarius Webb (back) missed his 10th straight practice. He last practiced July 25. ... G Will Rackley (head) also didn't practice. ... NT Terrence Cody (hip) is on the physically unable to perform list. ... DE Brent Urban (torn ACL) is out for the season.
Asa Jackson gained an early edge over Chykie Brown for the Baltimore Ravens' No. 3 cornerback spot for one simple reason: He knows how to play the ball.

As he's done throughout training camp, Jackson delivered a big play in the preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers, picking off Blaine Gabbert in the second quarter. While Jackson described it as a routine play in zone coverage, he needed to make a leaping catch to pull in the interception.

Jackson
Jackson's play was even more impressive when comparing it to Brown's night. Brown was called for penalties on the first two passes thrown his way because he failed to turn back and locate the ball.

The way this summer has progressed, no one should be surprised if Jackson is lining up to cover the slot receiver in the season opener when the Ravens put three cornerbacks on the field.

"I'm just going to keep going out there and try to make plays and just try to become the best player I can," Jackson said of the competition with Brown. "It's not a one-on-one game. It's not me vs. anyone else's game. It's a team game."

Jackson is a small corner at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds. He has never played a defensive snap in a regular-season game. And he's more comfortable covering the slot than the outside, which is why Brown continues to fill in for Lardarius Webb (back) in the starting lineup.

But Jackson continues to stand out because he makes plays. The impressive part about his interception in the preseason opener was how it swung momentum. It came two plays after the Ravens had given the ball away on a fumble.

"He's got ball skills," coach John Harbaugh said. "He went up and got it. Generally speaking, that's what you want to do. You have a turnover, they happen. Your defense goes out there in a sudden-change situation and makes a play. Hopefully, that's something we can train into our guys for the regular season."

Jackson is currently working on his third, and possibly last, chance with the Ravens. He has been suspended in each of his first two NFL seasons for using the stimulant Adderall, which is a banned substance. It has led to two suspensions totaling 12 games.

His past mistakes put his current opportunity into perspective.

"I've had football taken away from me, so I re-understood how precious this game really is and how it's truly a privilege," Jackson said. "I appreciate every snap, practice and game. Hopefully, there's a lot more to come this season."
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Asked about the upcoming joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith talked about wearing his Super Bowl ring.

 Smith was joking, of course. OK, maybe half joking.

Starting on Saturday, training camp takes an interesting twist for three days as the two Super Bowl teams from 2012 will share the same practice fields as well as the same facility. While the Ravens and 49ers respect each other, these are two spirited teams that are loaded with strong personalities.

If the preseason opener is any indication, the joint practices for "Camp Harbaugh" could get heated. Smith made no friends in the first quarter, when he shoved 49ers wide receiver Stevie Johnson out of bounds on what could have been flagged for a late hit. And Ravens kicker Justin Tucker took a vicious stiff arm to the facemask from Chuck Jacobs on a kickoff return.

Coaches John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh want intense practices so they can properly evaluate their players. They just don't want this to turn into an episode of "WWE SmackDown."

"We fight with our own teammates, so it should be interesting to see how it goes with different team," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "But I think, by the end of the day, it'll be fun."

Moving a second team into the Ravens' headquarters wasn't as difficult as some might think. The 49ers are going to work out of the Ravens' indoor field house, where the Ravens have set up a locker room, training room, equipment room as well as a small lounge area.

Although there is no bad weather in the forecast, there is still 70 yards in the field house that can be used for practice if the teams were forced to work inside. The 49ers will hold team meetings in the Ravens' indoor basketball and racquetball courts.

"Were going to make it work and make it a good experience for both teams," said Bob Eller, the Ravens' vice president of operations.

The teams will share a gym, showers and even dining space. The Ravens doubled their capacity in the eating area by using a courtyard area that is now tented and air-conditioned.

“Hold on, we share a cafeteria, too?,” Smith asked. “I don’t know how [joint practices] work. I’ve seen it on TV. But every time I’ve seen it on TV there’s been nothing but fights.”

While joint practices are becoming increasingly popular in the NFL, this is the first time the Ravens have done this in their 19-year history. Trust is a big factor when you put two teams on the same field for multiple days, and it obviously helps that the two head coaches are siblings.

The Ravens are expected to practice at the 49ers' facility either next year or in 2016.

"[The 49ers are] coming all the way across the country, and we want to be good hosts and make the most of it," John Harbaugh said.

Asked whether a certain head coach will make it known if something goes wrong, John Harbaugh said, "I might hear about it, yes.”
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- As the new offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Gary Kubiak is envisioning shorter passes, quicker releases from his quarterbacks and a play that has been used infrequently in team history.

"I was telling John [Harbaugh] the other night: ‘You know, I think we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good screen team,'" Kubiak said. "Our guards not only are big and physical, but they can get out and run."

Screen passes can be an effective weapon. It's a high-percentage short pass to a running back that can generate yards if the offense gets downfield blocking and the defense is caught blitzing.

But the Ravens have rarely called this play, throwing 123 screen passes since 2001 -- the fourth fewest in the NFL over that span. Only the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have called it fewer times.

Kubiak feels that can change this season with left guard Kelechi Osemele and right guard Marshal Yanda. They're two of the most physical guards in the league, but they have athleticism for their size. For a screen pass to work, offensive linemen have to run and get in front of the running back in the flat.

It's interesting to note that Kubiak isn't known for using the screen pass often. During Kubiak's eight seasons in Houston, the Texans had 163 screen passes, which ranked 20th in the NFL.
Examining the Baltimore Ravens' roster:

Quarterbacks (2)

The Ravens are set with Flacco as the starter and Taylor as the backup. While rookie sixth-round pick Keith Wenning has improved, the need to get another special teams player on the roster may outweigh keeping a third quarterback again. Unless Wenning has a good preseason, the Ravens may attempt to store him on the practice squad.

Running backs (4)

Rice, Pierce and Juszczyk are locks to make the team. Taliaferro is a near certainty as well, based on the fact that he's a fourth-round pick. Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the season, which allows the Ravens to carry Forsett.

Receivers (5)

Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Brown and Jones are going to make the roster. For the past couple of weeks, it looked like Jeremy Butler was going to get that fifth spot. But journeyman Kamar Aiken has been extremely impressive, catching everything thrown his way. He has the edge at this point. Slot receiver Michael Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, has shown flashes but can't stay healthy. Putting him on injured reserve at the end of the preseason is a possibility.

Tight ends (3)

No major decisions at this position. The Ravens' top three tight ends are guaranteed to make the team, barring injury. Pitta, though, is clearly the No. 1 tight end. Daniels hasn't been sharp in training camp.

Offensive linemen (10)

Monroe, Osemele, Zuttah and Yanda are the guaranteed starters, and Wagner has been solid as the new starting right tackle. The interior of the second-team line -- Gradkowski at center and Shipley and Jensen at both guard spots -- appears safe. Reid makes the team as the top backup at tackle. John Urschel gets one of the final roster spots because he's a fifth-round pick, but he'll essentially be redshirted. James Hurst, an undrafted rookie tackle, looks to be headed to the practice squad.

Defensive linemen (6)

Ngata, Canty and Williams have been the starters to begin training camp. Jernigan, Tyson and Lewis-Moore form a quality second line. The biggest disappointment is losing defensive end Brent Urban, a fourth-round pick, to a season-ending knee injury. This would leave out Terrence Cody, a second-round pick in 2010 who is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

LINEBACKERS (10)

There won't be much change here because the Ravens return every linebacker from last season's team. The only addition is Mosley, the No. 17 overall pick in this year's draft. By not keeping a third quarterback, the Ravens create room to keep a strong special teams player like McClellan.

Cornerbacks (5)

After the starting duo of Smith and Webb, there is a major dropoff. The Ravens took a hit when veteran Aaron Ross tore his Achilles while taking the conditioning test for camp. Chykie Brown, who has struggled, and Asa Jackson battling are battling for the No. 3 spot. There's a good chance that the Ravens will sign a veteran who is released at the end of the preseason. For now, the last spot will go to an undrafted rookie. Jacobs, who has been catching the eye of the coaching staff, beats out Deji Olatoye.

Safeties (5)

Elam and Stewart remain the starters. Miles and Levine are core special teams players. Brooks, a rookie third-round pick, has been a mild disappointment because many expected him to compete for a starting job. The Ravens can keep Hill on the suspended list. He has had a good camp but he isn't eligible to play in the regular season until the middle of October.

Specialists (3)
  • Justin Tucker (K)
  • Sam Koch (P)
  • Morgan Cox (LS)

There is no drama on special teams. Tucker, Koch and Cox team up for the third straight season.

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