Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:
Identifying Mark Andrews as a candidate for a contract extension was the easiest of calls, for no reason more than he is still an ascending talent at age 26. He has never caught more than 64 passes in a season. I'll be surprised if he doesn't surpass 70 in 2021.
Aside from eliminating Andrews' future from their list of questions to address, the extension also helps the Ravens by freeing up the 2022 franchise-tag option for use on someone else. Using it on Andrews, a player the Ravens can't afford to lose, was always a possibility if talks didn't progress.
Gus Bradley, the coordinator the Raiders hope can shore up their defense starting Monday night, was the Chargers' DC when they beat the Ravens in the 2018 playoffs. It was after that game that some suggested the league had "figured out" Lamar Jackson, who was league MVP the next year.
Former Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III, now working as an ESPN analyst, offered my favorite take on the now-eternal subject of whether the league has "figured out" Jackson. You can't figure him out, RG3 said, because Jackson himself doesn't know what he might do next. Nailed it.
It wasn't entirely by design, but the Ravens have completely revamped their offensive line in 2021. In their playoff loss in January, they started left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., left guard Bradley Bozeman, center Patrick Mekari, right guard Ben Powers and right tackle Tyre Phillips. None return at those positions.
The Ravens expect across-the-board O-line improvement with a left tackle who was injured last year (Ronnie Stanley), a left guard and center who have moved (Powers/Phillips and Bozeman), and a right guard and right tackle who played for the Giants and Steelers last season (Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva).
The Ravens have won five straight season openers, the last three by miles-wide margins – 38-6 over the Browns in 2020, 59-10 over the Dolphins in 2019 and 47-3 over the Bills in 2018. Lesson: Give them months to prepare for an opponent and they're no fun to play.
Just-signed running back Latavius Murray was flat-out productive for the Saints in 2020, rushing for 656 yards (4.5 per carry) and catching 23 passes. When he was cut earlier this week, he immediately became the best available option for a team needing a running back. He'll get carries Monday night.
I'm sure the conversation in the Ravens' running back room is going to be interesting with Murray, Devonta Freeman and Le'Veon Bell swapping snappy stories. You definitely need your calculator app to tote up their combined career totals of 3,752 carries, 15,588 rushing yards and 116 rushing touchdowns.