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Ravens Show Their Faith In John Urschel


Often, cuts say more about the player still on the team than those who are not.

On Saturday, the Ravens parted ways with veteran interior offensive lineman A.Q. Shipley, who started nine games last year, and 2013 sixth-round guard Ryan Jensen.

Baltimore kept rookie fifth-round pick John Urschel.

It was a statement that the Ravens trust the rookie to provide depth inside. While Gradkowski and Jah Reid can both also play guard, Urschel is the only true guard backing up starters Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele.

"The fact that I'm still here says something about them believing in me, and I don't want to let this organization or my teammates down," Urschel said.

"It's an honor. Honestly, it's a dream come true for me. This is something I've been working towards for a long time, and now that I'm here, [my focus is on] working every single day to stay here and get better."

When Urschel came to the Ravens, most of the headlines centered on his brilliant mind. The math genius, who is working on his second Master's degree in math education, was awarded the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation's premier college football scholar-athlete.

But Urschel has proven he's a force on the football field as well.

Urschel was particularly impressive in Thursday's preseason finale in New Orleans. He played the entire game and helped pave the way for 214 rushing yards in the game. Urschel often got good push at the snap and worked well to get to the second level well.

After the game, Harbaugh called the offensive line play "dominant." Urschel and undrafted offensive tackle James Hurst, who also made the 53-man roster, were a big part of that.

"I feel like I've made some really big strides in a lot of things," Urschel said. "One of the biggest things is my versatility – being able to play different positions. Another thing is just getting used to the speed of the game, and that's just experience."

Urschel was very thankful for the help Shipley gave him this summer. He said he less "competed against" Shipley, and more "grew with" him. Both players are Penn State alums and became very good friends during their time together in camp.

"He's a guy that really took me under his wing and taught me a lot of things," Urschel said. "He's a guy who didn't have to help me, considering that I'm a young guy and he's a veteran. But he helped me every single day and really just helped teach me how to be a pro in this league."

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