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Ravens News 8/9: Preseason lessons, takeaways and more

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Five Things We Learned from the Ravens’ 29-0 preseason victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars - Childs Walker

The Jaguars could not block the few Ravens defensive starters who played.

The Ravens sat most of their front-line defenders, including all the starters in their high-priced secondary.

But the Jaguars struggled to move the ball against the few starters and key back-ups who played, earning just one first down in their first three possessions against the Baltimore defense.

Outside linebacker Matthew Judon and defensive tackle Chris Wormley collapsed the pocket to force a sack on Jacksonville’s first possession, and middle linebacker Patrick Onwuasor burst in to stop Jaguars running back Alfred Blue for no gain on the next defensive possession.

The Ravens expect Judon and Onwuasor, both fourth-year players, to step forward as leaders of a defense that lost linebackers C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith to free agency.

In addition to making four tackles, Onwuasor wore the microphoned helmet designating the team’s chief defensive signal caller.

“It’s just a great feeling, having that mic,” he said, a sign of his more assertive personality as he steps into Mosley’s shoes.

NFL preseason Week 1 takeaways: Baker Mayfield, Browns off to picture-perfect start - Jamison Hensley

Lamar Jackson carried the momentum from a strong training camp into Thursday’s preseason opener. Relying on his arm and not his legs, Jackson completed 4 of 6 passes (66.7%) for 59 yards and one touchdown while attempting no runs. His best throw came when he hit Chris Moore for 30 yards along the sideline. It is the type of pass that Jackson sometimes overthrew last season. In leading Baltimore to scores on two of his three series, Jackson put together a performance that showed he is very much in command of the offense. “Lamar was calm, collected, poised and had great leadership out there,” offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley said. “Just directing the offense, he knows what to do. He has full confidence in himself and in our teammates.”

What we learned from Thursday’s preseason games - Jeremy Bergman

Ravens 29, Jaguars 0

No offensive revolution on Thursday night for Greg Roman’s Ravens offense. In three drives, Lamar Jackson dispersed four completions to Willie Snead, Myles Boykin and Chris Moore, including a catch-and-run TD to Snead. The most dangerous scorer at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday night, though, was a backup kicker. Norwegian booter Kaare Vedvik hit all four of his field-goal attempts from 26, 29, 45 and 55 yards. Justin Tucker’s job security isn’t at risk, but for teams desperate for a consistent kicker (cough, Chicago, cough), look in Baltimore’s direction.

Matthew Judon Is Always Himself, Even If It’s a Lot Like Terrell Suggs - Ryan Mink

“I’m arrogant,” Judon said. “It doesn’t matter where I came from, where I played in college, I know I can play this game. Everybody else was like, ‘Know your place.’ I was like, ‘[Bleep] that! [Bleep] that, I want to be me! I’ve got to be me!’”

“He’s just like Sizz,” said linebacker Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor, who was Judon’s rookie roommate. “But Judon’s been that way since he first got here.”

“I don’t think it’s fair to compare him to Suggs because of all the Pro Bowls and accolades, but he has a Suggs-like personality,” Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale added.

“I squared up with him when we came back for training camp and quickly realized I would lose. That wouldn’t be in my best interests,” Humphrey said with a chuckle.

“He’s definitely a troll. The thing I like about him is that, on the field, he trolls opponents. He’ll just bully somebody. He manhandles people. If he knows that he’s better than you, he’s going to show you that he’s better than you every play.”

“I like the guy’s approach,” Yanda said. “He’s a hard-working guy and he’s focused on what he has to do. That’s great. We’re expecting big things out of him this year and wanting him to take that next step. And I think he’s putting in the work to do that.”