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Ravens News 6/16: Minicamp Wrap and more

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

Ravens minicamp: ‘Very productive’ week ends with injuries avoided, passes intercepted and a rookie ‘in the mix’

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

After starting the 11-on-11 period with a red-zone touchdown to Flowers, running free on a corner route against cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, and a shorter touchdown throw to fullback/tight end Ben Mason, Jackson hit a bit of a rough patch.

He opened the next 11-on-11 period with three straight incompletions: the first because of a deflection at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Michael Pierce; the second because he couldn’t squeeze a third-and-medium throw to tight end Isaiah Likely, covered well by cornerback Marlon Humphrey; and the third because of an underthrown deep pass to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who had to turn into a defender to stop Ya-Sin from grabbing the interception.

Jackson’s accuracy stabilized in seven-on-seven red-zone work, but he followed a highlight-reel touchdown to tight end Charlie Kolar, who brought in a one-handed catch in the back of the end zone over inside linebacker Roquan Smith, with the interception that Hamilton stepped in front of.

Practice Report: Takeaways From Day 3 of Mandatory Minicamp

Clifton Brown,

Kyle Hamilton limped to the sideline and had his knee examined by the training staff, but he walked off the discomfort and eventually returned to action to make an end zone interception. The second-year safety is expected to be a major part of the defense in 2023.

Rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly had the day’s first interception, showing nice anticipation by cutting in front of the intended receiver to pick off Jackson. Blu Kelly will have to earn his reps as a rookie, but he acquitted himself well during minicamp.

Rookie offensive linemen Sala Aumavae-Laulu continued to see plenty of offensive line reps, gaining valuable experience. Veteran guard Kevin Zeitler said after practice that he has been impressed by Aumavae-Laulu’s athleticism and attitude.

Running back Justice Hill finished off a strong minicamp, taking advantage of extra reps with Dobbins not practicing and Gus Edwards not at full speed. Hill is a special teams mainstay but hopes to carve out a larger role in the offense.

Ravens observations on Kevin Zeitler’s effort, J.K. Dobbins’ absence, left guard competition and more

Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun

Dobbins’ absence highlights lack of depth at running back

Coach John Harbaugh expected J.K. Dobbins to practice at minicamp after the Ravens’ top running back skipped OTAs but said “it wasn’t in the cards, apparently.”

Did his words hint at a behind-the-scenes disconnect with Dobbins, who has raised questions about his future with the team as he heads into the last year of his rookie deal?

Whether or not that’s the case, speculation will persist until Dobbins is on the field for training camp and shares his perspective.

With Dobbins nowhere to be seen and Gus Edwards off to the side working out, the Ravens did not have many options at running back, a position that could be a strength for them if everyone is healthy for the regular season.

Lamar Jackson getting the freedom to be more vocal in Ravens’ new offense

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

Jackson said Monken’s devotion to the small details of playing the position has rubbed off on him a little in their short time working together.

While Jackson rarely questioned ex-offensive coordinator Greg Roman, at least not publicly, the quarterback has made clear over the past month that he coveted more responsibility and freedom on offense. He’s said in recent interviews that he’s getting that with Monken.

One of the most important relationships within an NFL organization is between the quarterback and play caller. Jackson and Monken are seemingly off to a good start.

“He has embraced it,” Monken said. “He’s embraced trying to be louder, trying to be in control. He’s embraced learning the system, and we’ve still got a ways to go. It’s always a work in progress. We’re always under construction, in terms of making sure that we execute at a high level, because execution trumps everything.”

Here’s why Justin Herbert and Lamar Jackson are going to take leap forward in 2023 NFL season

Douglas Clawson, CBS Sports

Lamar Jackson

The Ravens offense will look different with Todd Monken replacing Greg Roman as the team’s offensive coordinator. Lamar Jackson has already confirmed he will “absolutely” run less in 2023. Baltimore had the second-fewest plays with three-plus WRs on the field in the last four seasons. That should change with this new philosophy and a WR core that includes Rashod Bateman, Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr.

Jackson must improve the accuracy of his deep ball if he’s going to thrive in this offense. He has the fourth-highest off-target rate on passes 20-plus yards downfield (36%) since coming into the league. If he does, all of it could mean a return to MVP form for Jackson, who has a new contract, new weapons and a new coach entering 2023.

2023 NFL receiving corps rankings: Cincinnati Bengals take the top spot for the second year in a row

Trevor Sikkema, PFF


The Odell Beckham Jr. signing doesn’t elevate this group as much as OBJ signings have in the past, but it still strengthens a group that should be suitable for Lamar Jackson to make a playoff push.

After starting just nine games over the past two seasons, Rashod Bateman is in for a breakout year. Mark Andrews has been up there with Kelce and Kittle with an elite 90.4 receiving grade since 2021. Throw in Zay Flowers and his dynamic after-the-catch ability — he racked up 503 yards after the catch at Boston College last year — and it is a promising group.