Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson Not Surprisingly Get Along at Practice
We got the first look of Ravens quarterbacks Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III and Lamar Jackson all on the field together as Baltimore kicked off Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Monday, and (sadly) the most examined moment of the day was when Flacco and Jackson simply smiled at each other.
Lol. Your humor is much appreciated, Luke.
I can confirm that while Flacco didn't literally roll out the red carpet for Jackson (gasp!), he has now exchanged actual verbal words with the rookie.
"The two have seemingly put to rest the rumors of friction between each other," wrote The Baltimore Beatdown's Kyle J Andrews. "Both players want to fight for a starting position, but they are also going to be cordial with one another. This is the type of working relationship that fans should expect from both Flacco and Jackson."
Flacco and Jackson smiling is "news" because we have yet to hear from the franchise quarterback since the Ravens used a first-round pick on Jackson.
Flacco's actual reaction is news, but because he didn't reach out to Jackson before rookie minicamp or speak to reporters at a fan festival (which wasn't part of the event's schedule), speculation about Flacco being upset reached laughable levels.
At last, we will indeed hear from Flacco. He is scheduled to speak with the media after Thursday's practice at about 2:05 p.m., and he will surely be asked about Jackson, his future in Baltimore, the pair of drafted tight ends, his offensive line and how he's gelling with his new receiving corps.
Some analysts at ESPN are curious to know how Flacco feels about the idea of putting in special packages that could get Jackson on the field while Flacco maintains the starting role. The 11-year veteran was vocal about not wanting to run too many wrinkles with Tyrod Taylor.
"When you're doing this, the other dynamic is the mentality of the veteran quarterback," Matt Bowen said. "It sounds great [to run these special packages] but then you have to tell your veteran quarterback who has a Super Bowl ring.
"From the perspective of Joe Flacco, he has to understand that it's a production-based business. Production talks. Competition is good for everybody. If you're not pushing your starter, how is he going to improve?"
Injured Ravens on the Mend and When They Return(ed) to the Field
With OTAs now underway, it's a good time to check on several Ravens that are on the mend.
Prior to Monday's practice, The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec reviewed when each injured Raven is expected to return. Some already did later yesterday afternoon …
_Players that returned to the field Monday
_DL Carl Davis: Surgery to repair shoulder this offseason
RB Kenneth Dixon: Torn meniscus last training camp
G Alex Lewis: Tore labrum in training camp last year
G Nico Siragusa: Tore ACL, MCL and PCL in training camp last year
DE Brent Urban: Suffered Lisfranc injury in Week 3
WR Tim White: Tore thumb ligament in first preseason game
CB Tavon Young: Tore ACL in last year's OTAs
*Expected returns, per Zrebiec:
*WR Quincy Adeboyejo: Surgery on leg last week; expected to start training camp on PUP
ILB Bam Bradley: Tore ACL Week 2; "should be nearing" a return
CB Jaylen Hill: Tore ACL and MCL in Week 16; training camp "at the earliest"
ILB Albert McClellan: Tore ACL in training camp last year; timetable unknown
CB Jimmy Smith: Tore Achilles tendon last December; there's hope for training camp
G Marshal Yanda: Suffered lower left leg fracture in Week 2; has been rehabbing at team headquarters and will be ready to play "when it counts"
You Can Probably Guess What Maryland Googles More Than Any Other State
Of course, you can. Just think for a second.
If I'm writing about it, you know it's Ravens related. And it's the most overplayed question of the past decade.
Is this for real, Maryland? You thought the internet would tell you whether Flacco was elite?
Apparently so, but don't get it confused. It just means Maryland Googled that questions more than any other state. It's not what is Googled the most.
According to Estately, the other terms Marylanders Google more than other states are:
"Did O.J. do it?" / "Who unfollowed me?" / "Who runs the world?" / "When is it going to snow?" / "Why do I owe taxes?"
Ravens' Rivals OTA Attendance Report
It's always a good idea to stress that OTAs are voluntary, and it's usually the more established veterans or players seeking a new contract that don't attend.
The Ravens usually don't have perfect attendance, just like all the other 32 NFL teams.
Some of the bigger names that didn't report for their team's OTAs this week are New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell.
ESPN termed the Patriots' absences "a big deal," but not so much for Bell.
"It's a big deal in the context of this being the first time I can recall Brady staying away from voluntary OTAs for non-injury reasons, and how he's spoken in the past about how it's a time to build a foundation and trust with his pass-catchers," wrote Mike Reiss. "At the same time, no one should doubt come the start late July and training camp that everyone will be aligned with the same goal in mind: Putting in the work to vie for another Super Bowl title.
"Training camp is the bigger concern for Bell, who last season stayed away from team headquarters until September and still flirted with 2,000 yards in 2017," added ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "But Bell started slow, averaging 3.46 yards per carry through the first three weeks and raising questions about the importance of camp. Offseason workouts are much different in the eyes of the Steelers. They have value, but Bell knows the system well and the Steelers don't want him getting hurt. The team knows Bell will be ready even if he skips all of OTAs and minicamp."