Late for Work 8/26: Tony Jefferson Would Welcome a Return to Ravens

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Former Ravens S Tony Jefferson

Tony Jefferson Would Welcome a Return to Ravens

Tony Jefferson has emerged as a potential free-agent safety the Ravens could target to add depth at the position. If that's a route they pursue, the feeling would be mutual.

Jefferson told 105.7 the Fan's "Inside Access" that he would welcome a return to Baltimore.

"If the situation is right, then that's where I'll be," Jefferson said. "At the end of the day, I just want to play football. Whether I'm in a different role or whatever anybody decides to put me at, I'm just going to go out there and play football and the cards are going to land where they land."

Jefferson didn't specify his timeline of full recovery from a significant knee injury, but ESPN's Josina Anderson reported last Friday that he's two to four weeks from beginning team visits.

After injuries limited him to five games in 2019, Jefferson is confident he can return healthy.

"I know I can still play," Jefferson added." As hard as I've attacked this rehab, I feel like I'm going to be able to go out there and be actually healthy this year."

The Ravens may not be the only team in the division interested in Jefferson. The Cleveland Browns could be in the market after rookie safety Grant Delpit suffered a torn Achilles.

Jefferson understands the competitive nature of the AFC North after playing three seasons in Baltimore. That's why if he returned to the division, it would only be with the Ravens. He's still close friends with his former Baltimore teammates.

"I just can't see myself playing for any other team besides the Ravens in the AFC North," Jefferson said. "... Everybody is different … but I think personally for me, that's just not something I can do because of the competitive nature. It's no disrespect to any of the organizations."

Jefferson also praised third-year safety DeShon Elliott, who is expected to take over the starting safety spot alongside Chuck Clark. Like we talked about in Monday's Late for Work, that doesn't mean a depth signing is out of the question, however. Elliott has played in six games in two years and is also coming off a season-ending knee injury.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Praises Marlon Humphrey

Marlon Humphrey established himself as one of the NFL's top cornerbacks last season, and he has the full respect of a division rival.

In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything," Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said Humphrey is the hardest defender he's faced.

"Great player, big defender, plays the ball really well, smart, instinctive," Smith-Schuster said. "He has it all as a [defensive back]! Love batting with him."

Humphrey, who was voted No. 86 on the NFL's "Top 100 Players of 2020," earned Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors. He made the play of the game when he punched out the ball from Smith-Schuster in a Week 5 matchup. Humphrey recovered the fumble, which set up a Justin Tucker 46-yard game-winning field goal in overtime.

The Ravens expect big things from Humphrey this year as one of the team's top cornerbacks, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said he's turned it up a notch.

Both Humphrey and Smith-Schuster are ascending talents at their positions and it's going to be fun watching them battle it out twice a year.

Marshal Yanda's Weight Transformation Keeps Shocking Us

Just five months post-retirement, Marshal Yanda looks like a completely different person.

Yanda posted an Instagram story of enjoying an RV trip with his family, and he looks even slimmer than the last time we saw him.

If there was any speculation about Yanda returning to the NFL, this will squash it. He seems to be taking full advantage of his retirement.

It's crazy to see how much weight Yanda has lost after hanging up the cleats just five months ago. He went from eating 6,000 calories a day to 2,000 and dropped 60 pounds, but maybe we shouldn't be surprised about the work ethic from a Hall of Fame-caliber player.

"There are two words: It's the 'want to,'" Yanda told ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "If you want to do it, you'll do it. It's how bad you want to. People want to talk about it, but at the end of the day, do you really want to? That's important."

Ravens Top Three in Preseason Power Rankings

We won't have a preseason this year, but that hasn't stopped pundits from releasing their power rankings. The consensus remains that the Ravens are still one of the NFL's best.

Baltimore ranked second in ESPN's power rankings and third in NFL.com's rankings.

"We all know the role Lamar Jackson played in this department during his record-breaking MVP season, but the Ravens have an embarrassment of rushing riches beyond their sleek QB," NFL.com's Dan Hanzus wrote. "Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards each ran with great efficiency in 2019, and now that three-headed monster becomes a four-headed beast with the addition of J.K. Dobbins, a rookie with star potential. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman will be asked to perform a juggling act -- not that anyone is feeling sorry for him."

The Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Ravens were the top three teams in both rankings. Right now,[comma] that's predicted off what we saw last season and what they bring into 2020.

The Ravens return an MVP quarterback and an abundance of talent on both sides of the ball, so it's not a surprise they're ranked where they are.

"Before bowing out to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, Baltimore's last loss in 2019 came in Week 4," Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox wrote. "They managed to knock off playoff teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans during the regular season. Baltimore should be the top challenger to the Chiefs in the AFC."

Quick Hits

  • Penn Live's Aaron Kasinitz highlighted Gus Edwards as a standout from Tuesday's practice: "Like he often does, Edwards ran hard Tuesday and bolted through several holes. The training camp success of second-round rookie J.K. Dobbins leaves Baltimore with fewer snaps to go around in the backfield, and Edwards is practicing as though he's pushing to maintain a role in the offense."

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