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Ravens News 7/6: MVP Boosted and more

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens Minicamp Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

10 Questions: Is Lamar Jackson Primed for Another MVP Season? - Ryan Mink

Jackson’s passing mechanics and motion have improved through his work with Ravens Quarterbacks Coach James Urban and off-site throwing instructor Adam Dedeux of 3DQB. Jackson has always been a good thrower, but there was no doubt that growing in that area was the key to him taking the next step. Jackson has.

His added 15-20 pounds of muscle this offseason also translated to more zip on the ball during Ravens minicamp. His coaches, receivers and defenders all noticed the difference. Jackson was practicing with a lot of confidence and said he feels better than he did entering 2019.

In 2019, Jackson had bookend Pro Bowl offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr., plus Hall of Fame-worthy right guard Marshal Yanda. Much of the success of this year’s offensive line will hinge on a healthy return for Stanley, but the line is in better position than it was in 2020 and 2021. Morgan Moses is an upgrade at right tackle, rookie first-round pick Tyler Linderbaum is an upgrade at center and Kevin Zeitler is coming off a very strong year at right guard.

Lamar Jackson Confident About Chemistry With New Center Tyler Linderbaum - Todd Karpovich

“I threw an interception,” Jackson said during mandatory minicamp. “Daelin [Hayes] was taking it back to the house, to the other way. I was kind of paused, talking to ‘[Devin Duvernay] during the play. And my center, Tyler, was getting after it. He was running him down. I just saw he’s fast. He’s fast as heck for a center. I have never seen a center run like that. He’s a football player.”

There are some concerns surrounding Linderbaum with size and frame. However, the Ravens dismissed those concerns.

“Somebody said it on TV, I think; if he was an inch taller and his arms were a half-inch longer, he would’ve been a Top 5 pick, and I believe that,” Ravens director of player personnel Joe Hortiz said. “He’s probably one of the better centers we’ve seen come out in a long time. So, it filled a huge need for us.

Ravens mailbag, Part 1: Talking WRs, potential offensive changes and trade speculation - Jeff Zrebiec

Which player do you feel has the widest range of (non-injury) related outcomes? For instance, you had Ben Powers on the outside of the roster bubble while also acknowledging he might be the starting left guard. Is there anyone else who in your eyes approaches that level of variability? — John W.

Great question, John. Ja’Wuan James is the first name that comes to mind. If Ronnie Stanley is not ready for Week 1, James is the favorite to start at left tackle. If Stanley is ready and Morgan Moses, Daniel Faalele and Patrick Mekari are all healthy and available, the Ravens could decide to cut or trade James and create $3 million in cap space that they can use elsewhere. I’ll also mention Malik Harrison. He’s one inside linebacker injury from potentially starting. Yet, if the Ravens like what they see from one or two of their undrafted rookie inside linebackers and we’ve seen that movie plenty of times before Harrison’s spot could become tenuous.

Is Isaiah Likely another Darren Waller? How do we make sure we don’t give up too soon on him? He seems to have skills based on early reviews. — Christopher C.

Though Likely looked promising in the non-contact offseason practices, I’m not ready to make any Waller comparisons. Waller is 6-foot-6, 255 pounds and he’s run in the mid-4.4s. He had an NFL body before he was drafted. Likely is 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and he’s more of a 4.8 guy. He has to get stronger and more explosive. I’m not criticizing Likely by any means. He certainly got people excited about him during the minicamp if they weren’t already. His situation, though, really has no relevance to the Waller situation when he was in Baltimore.

Baltimore Ravens ‘hopeful’ injured star players will return by season opener - Jamison Hensley

CB Marcus Peters

Injury: Torn ACL

When injured: Sept. 9 (practice)

What Harbaugh is saying: “Marcus is in great shape. He’s coming along really well. We’ve seen him; he’s been back in the building, rehabbing, so [I’m] excited to see him in training camp.”

Contingency plan: Kyle Fuller. Baltimore needed an experienced cover man after overhauling the cornerback position. The Ravens didn’t bring back Jimmy Smith, Anthony Averett, Tavon Young and Chris Westry. Baltimore drafted two cornerbacks in the fourth round (Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams), but lacked experienced depth before signing Fuller last month. A two-time Pro Bowl player, Fuller is coming off the first season of his seven-year career in which he didn’t record an interception.

More on Fuller: “With our corner problems that we had last year, you could never have too many good corners and he was available. And I thought that he was the best available guy that was left. He’s going to be a great veteran presence to help us going forward, and I think that the guy has a lot more play left in his body.” — Chris Hewitt, secondary coach and pass defense coordinator

Every NFL franchise’s best team of the Super Bowl era: Defending AFC champion Bengals crack all-time list - Bryan DeArdo

Baltimore Ravens: 2000*

16-4 overall record

Won franchise’s first Super Bowl title

Allowed 10.3 points per game, the fewest in NFL history during a 16-game season

The Ravens’ 2012 championship team may have been a more balanced unit, but the utter dominance of Baltimore’s 2000 defense gives them the nod as the franchise’s greatest team. That season, Baltimore’s defense, led by Ray Lewis and Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson, recorded four shutouts during the regular season before allowing a total of 23 points in four postseason games. In Super Bowl XXXV, the Ravens’ defense shut out the Giants’ offense while holding New York to just 152 total yards.

Baltimore’s 2000 squad also featured the league’s best returner in Jermaine Lewis, whose 84-yard kickoff return for a score in Super Bowl XXXV ended any hope of a Giants comeback. The Ravens’ offense featured a punishing running game, led by Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes. Baltimore’s offense also included Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, whose 96-yard score spearheaded the Ravens’ 16-3 win over Oakland in the AFC Championship Game.