The 10 Ravens with plenty to gain from OTAs, mandatory minicamp - Jeff Zrebiec
Tyus Bowser, OLB
A second-round pick last year, Bowser got off to a solid start and then seemed to hit the rookie wall. He should benefit from another offseason to get stronger and more comfortable with the defense. Given the Ravens’ depth at outside linebacker, Bowser will need to show significant progress this summer to earn snaps for the regular season.
Tim Williams, OLB
The former Alabama standout played in eight games and didn’t register a sack as a rookie. Now, he’s competing with Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon, Za’Darius Smith, Bowser and possibly Correa for snaps at outside linebacker. The game seemed to be moving a little too fast for Williams last year, but he still has a lot of ability as a pass rusher. It’s time he shows it.
If coordinator Martindale can put this pair of second-year outside linebackers in position to make plays, the Ravens edge rusher quintet will stack up favorably against any group across the NFL.
Post-draft concerns: One burning question for each AFC team - Jeremy Bergman
Baltimore Ravens: Should Joe Flacco be worried?
A franchise long maligned in its early iterations by issues under center -- Jeff Blake, anyone? -- the Flacco-led Ravens have been pretty darn successful. Since being drafted in 2008, the quarterback has led Baltimore to the postseason six times, including five straight trips to start his career, and one Super Bowl title. But Ravens fans haven’t seen playoff football since the 2014 season, and Flacco, wrought by injuries, immobility and unimaginative play calling, has seen the league pass him by. Baltimore boldly recognized this new normal when it traded up to select Lamar Jackson, regarded by Mike Vick as a Mike Vick in the making. With the Ravens ”in the lab” cooking up ways to utilize Jackson’s unique skill set, is Flacco a dead man walking in Charm City? Baltimore can opt out of Flacco’s deal -- set to expire in 2022 -- with little penalty after the 2019 season, but the Ravens could choose to transition out of Cool Joe’s ice-cold offense as early as training camp and include Jackson in newly instituted RPO-friendly plays starting in Week 1. Flacco won’t be out the door “five minutes” from now, as Steve Smith teased on draft night, but his time in Baltimore is running out. How long Flacco has left is up to the rookie.
Barring injury, Flacco will be the Week 1 starter. However, implementing a small package of plays for Jackson would be beneficial, especially for short yardage situations.
NFL’s national anthem policy: Players on field must stand, show ‘respect’ - Lorenzo Reyes
Amid repeated protests during the playing of the national anthem over the past two seasons, the NFL on Wednesday passed a revised policy that mandates players and team personnel present on the sideline “shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.”
The revision allows players who would not wish to stand to remain in the locker room. Also under the revision, each franchise will have the power to issue their own policies, which could include fines for players protesting the anthem, under the conduct detrimental provision of the league’s personal conduct policy.
The league also now has the power to fine any franchise that has representatives who do not stand or “show respect” while present on the sideline for the anthem.
While this policy change can be viewed as a sensible compromise, it is unlikely to end the controversy.
Take it to the Bank podcast: OTA’s, Joe Flacco, Bradley Bozeman and more!
Segment 1: Preview of the Ravens Week 1 matchup vs. Buffalo
Segment 2: Joe Flacco film review through the first quarter of 2017
Segment 3: Breakdown of Bradley Bozeman’s strengths and weaknesses
Segment 4: AFC North OL rankings