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Ravens News 8/25: Hot Seat and more

NFL: AUG 02 Hall of Fame Game - Bears v Ravens

Practice Report: J.K. Dobbins Makes Another Dope Catch - Clifton Brown

Jackson had another solid day throwing the ball. He also quickly darted to his left to avoid a rusher and took off downfield for a nice gain. Not playing in the preseason has not kept Jackson from looking sharp in practice.

Safety Ar’Darius Washington and cornerback Anthony Averett both had nice pass breakups, closing on the ball quickly once it was in the air.

It was a good day for defensive tackles Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington and Brandon Williams, who stymied several running plays by penetrating into the backfield.

Tyus Bowser made a nice bullrush to pressure backup quarterback Tyler Huntley. Bowser held back and let Huntley throw, but then he playfully tapped the quarterback on the head once the play was over. Bowser made it clear that in a real game, he would have recorded a sack.

Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley plans to be a ‘full-go’ for Week 1 against the Raiders - Ryan McFadden

“I think I’m just building up that flexibility,” said Stanley, who fractured and dislocated his left ankle against the Steelers on Nov. 1. “It’s just taking some time, but other than that, I feel really good. My technique feels good.”

Stanley moved well during team drills. During one 11-on-11 rep, Stanley slipped but immediately got back up. “Someone’s gonna fall eventually, and you definitely got to be ready for that,” he said. “I’m glad the first time it happened in practice.”

“Whoever I’m playing next to, we’re gonna figure it out and we’re gonna work through it,” Stanley said. “I’m happy I can still be there to help guide whoever’s playing.”

Left guard Ben Cleveland practiced for the second straight day since returning from a concussion. Tyre Phillips, who is also in contention for the left guard spot, returned to practice after missing Saturday’s game with an injured ankle.

JK Dobbins had one of the best plays of the morning. Dobbins ran a wheel route and beat linebacker Patrick Queen for a catch down the sidelines. It was hard to tell which was more impressive — the catch or Lamar Jackson’s ability to squeeze the ball past Queen, who tightly covered the running back.

Sky Isn’t Falling on the Ravens Offense - John Eisenberg

“Training camp is really a time when we’ve got to create an identity on offense,” Roman said in late July.

Circumstances have gotten in the way of that, or so it seems. Heading into the Ravens’ preseason finale against the Washington Football Team Saturday night, we still know little, if anything, about how their offense might evolve in 2021.

That’s partly by design, of course. The Ravens aren’t about to show off any new wrinkles before the season begins.

But it’s fair to ask: Are those new wrinkles still, in fact, coming?

I think so. With respect to Baldinger and Saturday, who know football, I refuse to believe the Ravens’ chance to make substantive changes has already come and gone.

We’re not talking about a comprehensive overhaul. My guess is the new wrinkles will include Jackson stepping under center more, throwing more to running backs, diversifying his targets and attempting more passes outside the hash marks.

Calibrating the right run-pass balance might take some time, but that was going to the case, anyway.

Lamar Jackson dismisses reports on defenses figuring him out: ‘I doubt it, I strongly doubt it’ - Jeff Kerr

“I mean, I’m going to keep playing football,” Jackson said to Ravens reporters Tuesday. “We’re going to see, but I doubt it. I doubt it. I strongly doubt it. We’re going to play ball.”

Jackson has every reason to believe defenses will have trouble stopping him in 2021. The Ravens quarterback has a long list of accomplishments in his first three years, one of the most impressive starts to a career in NFL history.

Figuring out Jackson is easier said than done, especially with Baltimore’s strong offensive line and excellent run game. Jackson believes he’s getting better each offseason, and has demonstrated that this training camp.

“I know what I’m doing a lot more than I did before, so it just makes my job a lot easier,” Jackson said. “And these guys, they’re working hard, they’re working their butt off in this hot sun, this humid heat, and we’re just going to keep grinding. We all know, the sky’s the limit.”

At this point, it’s hard to bet against Jackson. That chip on his shoulder will always be there.

NFL Power Rankings 2021: Preseason 1-32 poll, plus players, coaches, general managers on hot seat - Jamison Hensley

6. Baltimore Ravens

Post-draft ranking: 6

Person on the hot seat: C Bradley Bozeman

Bozeman is the new starter at center, which was the hottest seat on the team last year. The Ravens struggled with two centers last season — Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari — with poor snaps to Lamar Jackson in the pistol formation. Now Bozeman tries to stabilize that position in a contract year. After starting the past two years at left guard, Bozeman feels center is his natural position because he played there at Alabama. How well Bozeman plays this season will likely determine his future in Baltimore.