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Ravens News 8/13: Ferguson’s development, bold predictions and more

Baltimore Ravens Portraits Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Rookie Jaylon Ferguson Is Turning It On

Ferguson, who holds college football’s all-time career sacks record, flashed last week during the joint practices with the Jaguars and rolled that into Thursday night’s preseason opener, where he recorded a tackle for loss.

“I really liked what we saw from Jaylon Ferguson,” Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale said Sunday. “He’s just going to get more and more playing time. He made it simple, just being physical with the man across from him. He wasn’t thinking about 10 other things, which rookies do. You saw a lot of good rushes, and you saw his power, which we’ve been looking for in training camp going against somebody else.”

Pernell McPhee Is Acting and Playing Like He Never Left - Clifton Brown

It’s home,” McPhee said. “It’s where I was birthed in the NFL. This is the culture that I stand by and live by. I get the chance to be myself, to come out and have fun, come out and smile, and come out to just play football and be a Raven.”

“He looks good,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s physical. He is just what we thought we were going to get. He has practiced every day. He’s been out here doing really well. His leadership has been excellent, his physicality. He’s Pernell McPhee. That’s what we thought we were getting.”

McPhee doesn’t mind being a vocal leader, and he was pressed into service before the preseason opener. As the team huddled at midfield, defensive tackle Brandon Williams was asked to say a few words, but he gave the floor to McPhee.

Five bold Ravens predictions for 2019 NFL season: Lamar Jackson held to 25 TDs, Baltimore barely misses playoffs - Sean Wagner-McGough

Hill leads the Ravens RBs in total yards

The Ravens need to throw the ball more, but don’t expect them to become a pass-first team. They’re going to rely on the running game after adding Mark Ingram in free agency and Justice Hill in the fourth round. That’s not the bold prediction. The bold prediction is this: Hill -- not Ingram -- will lead the team in total yards.

Ingram is the safer bet. He’s averaging 950.6 yards from scrimmage over his eight-year career. But he’s also 29 years old. While Ingram should start the season as the team’s primary back, he might cede touches to Hill over the course of the season.

And Hill is talented. He drew pre-draft comparisons to Phillip Lindsay. He averaged 1,281 yards from scrimmage per season at Oklahoma State. He’s going to be a major weapon in the Ravens offense.

The Browns are AFC North favorites. The Steelers and Ravens welcome the challenge. - Mark Maske

“You can’t help but notice it,” Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr said recently at training camp in Owings Mills, Md. “Every time you turn the television on, it’s a breaking story of that team or whatever. But we like it, man. We like to just stay under the radar and grind, grind, grind. When it’s time to shine, when the lights come on, we do our thing. So we’re going to play Ravens football regardless. We’ll try to win each and every game and go out there and ball. So we don’t really care what they say. Talk about us, not talk about us — the games are played on the field.”

“I think that’s all just how nature goes,” Ravens safety Tony Jefferson said. “That’s just how the world moves. When something [is] new and you attract the community and the outside by bringing in top-notch players, obviously the attention is going to be focused on those moves and what they possibly can do. So that comes with it. But at the same time, we believe in our roster. We love the challenge. They’re in our division, our division rivals. They’ve done a great job in the offseason. And it’s our job to go out there and compete.”