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Ravens News 7/18: Most important players, TV revenue and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens created excitement for 2018 this offseason. Now they have to back it up - Mike Preston

There are still a lot of questions surrounding the Ravens going into 2018 season. There is no certainty that the passing game will click with so many new faces. Can running back Alex Collins duplicate last year’s success? Marty Mornhinweg has been a sound offensive coordinator but doesn’t exude great confidence.

The Ravens still have to find pass rushers to complement Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, but are young players such as Tim Williams and Kamalei Correa ready? Players like new defensive coordinator Don Martindale, but he’s unproven after failing in the same capacity in Denver.

The season will be interesting. Coach John Harbaugh’s job is on the line and general manager Ozzie Newsome will be replaced by Eric DeCosta when the season ends. During the past two seasons, the Ravens were only a few plays away from the postseason, but the 2018 schedule is much tougher than a year ago.

It does appear to be a pivotal season for John Harbaugh. A return to the postseason could result in a long term contract extension. On the other hand, another underwhelming year could tempt Steve Bisciotti to make a change at head coach.

Report: NFL teams’ revenue share topped $8 billion in 2017 - Reuters

The money primarily came from revenue from the league’s television packages, Rovell reported. That is an increase of 4.9 percent, due in part to the rising value of the NFL Thursday Night Football franchise.

Each team received approximately $256 million through national revenue sharing. The baseline salary cap should maintain steady annual growth as long as the NFL’s profit from television rights continues to increase.

See what Baltimore Ravens players are eating to fuel up - Lacee Griffith

Team nutritionist Sue James said an average man eats about 2,000 to 2,200 calories a day. The Ravens players eat double that, if not more, to account for all the exercise they’re doing on the field. So for performance food, the players are choosing foods that are easy on the stomach.

“When I first started, it was hamburgers and hot dogs and fried food. Now, it’s edamame and farro,” [Tenille] Moore said.

“We go through about 80 pounds of watermelon a day, pineapple a day, strawberries. We probably do about six flats of strawberries,” Moore said.

Advances in nutrition have helped athletes become much bigger, faster and stronger than past generations.

30 most important Baltimore Ravens players for the 2018 season - Aaron Kasinitz

15. DE Brent Urban

Urban lost most of last season to injury and will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list, according to ESPN. Still, Urban should have the inside track at the starting defensive end job once he returns to full health.

5. LT Ronnie Stanley

Stanley will protect Flacco’s blind side, play a large part in Baltimore’s ability to establish the run and offer a source of stability to an offensive line with several moving parts. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 draft is cemented as a organizational linchpin.

3. CB Jimmy Smith

Smith is the Ravens’ top cornerback and a cornerstone of the secondary. In the first game Smith missed last year with an Achilles injury, the Ravens gave up 486 passing yards to the Steelers. In the final game, the defensive backfield failed to put a dagger in the Bengals and allowed Andy Dalton to piece together a winning drive that kept Baltimore out of the playoffs. It’s easy to see why Smith is vital to the team’s success.

Naturally, quarterback Joe Flacco is listed as the Ravens most important player for the 2018 season.