News & Notes 7/23: Ravens Teammates Agree, C.J. Mosley Is a 'Premier' Player

News & Notes is a collection of items talked about today by coaches and/or players.

Ravens Teammates Agree, C.J. Mosley Is a 'Premier' Player

While Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley isn't sweating, or at least talking about, a possible contract extension with the Ravens, it's clear his teammates think he's worth it.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who is entering his 16th season in Baltimore, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams, who was rewarded with a five-year deal last offseason, both hold Mosley in extremely high regard.

"C.J. is one of the premier players in this league," Suggs said Monday. "Not everybody can come through these doors and be considered a Raven for life. So far, I think his resume shows that. I think he's going to be one of those rare guys that's a lifer."

Mosley has gone to three Pro Bowls in his four seasons. The 2014 first-round pick has missed just two games because of injury and is coming off a season in which he notched a career-high 132 tackles, one sack, seven passes defensed and two interceptions.

Only two NFL players – Mosley and the Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly – have notched at least 450 tackles, five sacks and five interceptions since 2014.

Defensive tackle Brandon Williams said that when players take the field with Mosley, they look to their inside linebacker as the leader to call out plays and communicate.

"I feel like C.J. can go as high as he wants to go and be whoever he wants to be," Williams said. "He has that much talent, that much leadership ability. I'd follow him anywhere. I think C.J. is, can be, will be forever a premier linebacker in this league."

John Harbaugh: Rookies Aren't as 'Callused' As They Used to Be

The Ravens have avoided any major injuries thus far, but Baltimore's rookie class has been disproportionally affected by minor issues over the first week.

First-round tight end Hayden Hurst missed his third straight practice because of a soft-tissue issue. Third-round rookie tight end Mark Andrews also missed practice for the second time. Sixth-round offensive tackle Greg Senat has also been out since the start of camp.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was asked what effect it's had on the offense that Hurst, who is projected to have a major role this year, has missed three practices.

"It has a big effect," Harbaugh said. "You've got to be out here practicing. You can't be in the training room and expect to be your best. It's not his fault, it's nobody's fault. He's in there trying to do what he can to get back.

"One thing I've noticed, guys coming out of college right now are not as calloused as they used to be. We used to practice twice a day in full pads. … There's a certain type of in-shape, a certain type of football fitness, a certain type of callusness – muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments – that kind of toughen up. They callus up a little bit and you can practice all day and run all day. Then our guys coming in right now, most of them don't have that. So you practice for half a practice and all of a sudden things start tweaking on them."

Harbaugh Still Evaluating Razzle Dazzle Plays With Lamar Jackson

The Ravens use of both Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson in the same play certainly caught people's attention this summer when Baltimore started experimenting with it during Organized Team Activities.

On Monday, Harbaugh was asked how he evaluates such "razzle-dazzle" plays for use during actual games.

"'Do they look terrible,' or 'do you look OK?'" Harbaugh said. "Those plays – they either look great, or they look terrible. You run a play like that and it's like everyone thinks, 'Oh it's great; it's genius; it's so creative!' Or it's a disaster and you're getting too tricky and you need to stick to the basics."

With that said, the Ravens will continue to work on those kinds of plays even if they don't always look great right now. They will be part of Baltimore's attack; the Ravens are just looking to see which ones work and which ones should be scrapped.

"We need to execute plays like that," Harbaugh said. "I don't really think those are trick plays as much as they are plays that we're experimenting with and seeing how they look."

Bronson Kaufusi Is Shifting Into a New Position

Big-bodied Bronson Kaufusi, a third-round pick in 2016, is moving from being purely a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end to a hybrid edge defender.

Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen said Kaufusi is playing as a RUSH linebacker in the Ravens' base defense and moving all over the defense in Baltimore's sub-packages.

"The big thing out there is he's in space. He can get off," Cullen said. "It gives him an opportunity to use his athleticism more than being inside. And in other positions, he will be an end."

German Fullback Has a 'Chance to Make It'

German native Chris Ezeala came to the Ravens as part of the International Player Pathway program, which assigns four teams a rookie from oversees, and he's made a good impression.

Ezeala was a linebacker/fullback combo in the German Football League who has been working out in the Ravens' offensive backfield this summer.

"I actually think he has a chance to make it," Harbaugh said. "He's very physical, very smart. He picks things up quick. He doesn't know a lot … but he learns very quickly, and he gets better one day to the next. I think it's not going to be this year probably, but maybe down the road he can play."

If the developmental players don't make the 53-man roster, they can be carried as an extra 11th member of the team's practice squad, giving them a shot to develop their game as NFL hopefuls. They cannot be brought up to the active roster during the season, however.

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