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Zay Flowers Isn't Motivated to Outshine Fellow Rookie Receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba

WR Zay Flowers
WR Zay Flowers

Zay Flowers is a confident rookie, but he's not holding a grudge against any of the two rookie receivers drafted ahead of him.

Sunday's Ravens-Seahawks game will feature Flowers (44 catches, 461 yards, one touchdown) and Seahawks rookie wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba (23 catches, 209 yards, two touchdowns).

They were part of a four-player run on receivers in the first round, starting with Smith-Njigba (20th-overall pick) followed by Quentin Johnston (21st, Chargers), Flowers (22nd, Ravens) and Jordan Addison (23rd, Vikings).

Flowers knows the four rookie receivers will be compared throughout their careers, but he won't be motivated Sunday to prove he's better than Smith-Njigba or that he should've been the first receiver drafted.

"I'm not really into that. I'm just trying to get wins," Flowers said. "I thought of myself as a first-round receiver, and I am. The teams made their picks and it's not going to change. I'm a Baltimore Raven now, and I'm happy."

Flowers became friends with Addison during the draft process and was happy to see the Vikings rookie named Offensive Rookie of the Month for October. Addison is second in the NFL with seven touchdowns receptions, trailing only Tyreek Hill of the Dolphins.

Smith-Njigba scored a game-winning touchdown with 38 seconds left last week as the Seahawks rallied back to beat the Browns, 24-20.

Flowers said he spoke with the Seahawks' coaching staff during the NFL Combine, but wasn't sure which team would select him. He's happy to see Smith-Njigba feeling comfortable with the Seahawks.

"I hung out with Jaxon and Quentin a few times, I got close with Jordan, and we like to see each other do well," Flowers said. "It's really nothing more than that. We all went where we were meant to go."

Mike Macdonald Expects to Shuffle Secondary

Geno Stone leads the NFL in interceptions, Kyle Hamilton is making impact plays lining up in the box or deeper in the secondary, and Marcus Williams (hamstring) returned to practice this week

If Williams returns to action on Sunday, the Ravens will have three starting-caliber safeties available, so how will Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald utilize them?

Williams has range and instincts that will give the Ravens' secondary even more versatility, attributes Macdonald will welcome whenever Williams returns. The trio can be effective playing together, especially with Hamilton's ability to play the slot.

"It's a great problem to have finding where to put great players," Macdonald said. "You'll start to see some guys moving around probably, alluding to matchups and things like that. Those are definitely things we're considering for sure."

Todd Monken Likes Where Offense is Headed

The Ravens enter Week 9 ranked No. 11 in total offense – No. 3 in rushing and No. 19 in passing.

The 38-6 victory over the Lions in Week 7, when Baltimore scored touchdowns on its first four drives, has been the highwater mark of the season. But while the Ravens are still looking for more offensive consistency, they've averaged 31.0 points over the last three games, and Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken sees things trending upward.

"We're already into playing eight games, and I do think we're starting to play better," Monken said. "There are a lot of things we can improve on, but over the last few weeks we've moved the ball more consistently. I like where we're headed. Again, we're not there yet. We need to get there. But as a new staff, players, system, you're always even two or three years from now, we'll be still striving to be elite in everything we do."

Having a solid running attack is encouraging for Monken, knowing that the Ravens may rely on it more down the stretch.

"You can't control the game if you can't run the football," Monken said. "We've been good in the red zone because we've been able to run it. That's a fact. When we've been able to run it, we've scored. And it gives your defense a blow."

Ravens Release CB Kevon Seymour

The Ravens released veteran cornerback Kevon Seymour Thursday afternoon, opening a spot on the 53-man roster.

Seymour has played just 13 defensive snaps this season, but he's been in on 75% of their special teams reps. He made three tackles and recovered a fumble in Pittsburgh that he nearly took to the end zone.

Veteran safety Daryl Worley returned to practice this week after going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. If ready to play Sunday against the Seahawks, Worley could take the open roster spot.

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