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Ravens News 8/24: Remaining Questions and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Key intel on all 32 NFL playcallers, including Mike McCarthy

Jamison Hensley, ESPN

Baltimore Ravens

Playcaller: Todd Monken, offensive coordinator

Experience: Monken, 57, is in his first season with the Ravens after helping guide Georgia to back-to-back national championships. His offense averaged 501.1 yards and 40.7 points per game last season. Monken was previously an NFL offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers (2016 to 2018) and Browns (2019).

What to know: The expectation is Monken will modernize the offense for quarterback Lamar Jackson. In four seasons with Greg Roman as their playcaller, the Ravens used their size and power to push around teams between the numbers. Now, Baltimore will spread out defenses, throw the ball more and execute at a faster pace. He will also give Jackson more freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage. “He’s a very good teacher. He does it in a very energetic kind of way,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a very detailed coach — especially in the passing game — but not just that: the protection, the run game, the quarterback reads, everything. He’s very involved, very hands on.”

Key stat: During Monken’s two seasons as Georgia’s OC, the Bulldogs ranked third in the FBS in 12 personnel (one RB, two TEs, 2 WRs) usage (59%). In five seasons with Jackson, the Ravens rank second in yards per play out of 12 personnel (6.2) but 22nd in usage (16%).

Most impressive backups from NFL preseason Week 2: All 32 teams

Zoltan Buday, PFF


G JOHN SIMPSON — 89.5 PFF grade

Simpson, a former starter for the Las Vegas Raiders, had an all-around solid performance for the Ravens against the Commanders. He did not allow a single pressure for the second straight game, and he received four positive grades on 13 run plays without a single downgrade — despite needing to play both left and right guard.

NFL preseason Week 2 grades for first-round rookies: Here’s who stood out, disappointed and surprised

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

22. Zay Flowers, WR, Ravens

Grade: A-

Flowers looked ultra shifty on his touchdown early in the Monday Night Football preseason outing against the Commanders.

Ranking all 32 RB1s heading into the 2023 NFL season: Saquon Barkley not a top-five running back?

Maurice Jones-Drew,

Rank 11

J.K. Dobbins

Baltimore Ravens · Year 4

Back on the field after a knee injury, Dobbins should pick up right where he left off in the final stretch of the 2022 campaign: as the lead back in Baltimore. When healthy, Dobbins is comparable to the best in the league, as evidenced by his production in Weeks 14 through 17 of last season, when he led the NFL in both rush yards (397) and yards per carry (7.0) among players with a minimum of 35 attempts. He’s hungry for a full bounce-back season and a new contract. Might we see him get both? I like his chances.

Fantasy football draft: One need-to-know training camp tidbit for each NFL team

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

Baltimore Ravens: Mark Andrews should be as busy as ever

There seems to be a belief in the fantasy community that Andrews’ numbers could drop significantly after the Ravens added receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Nelson Agholor and rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers — in addition to welcoming back a healthier Rashod Bateman. Without a doubt, the Ravens have more pass-catching talent than they’ve had since Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback in the second half of 2018. Still, if training camp practices are any indication, Andrews will remain Jackson’s go-to target. Jackson loves throwing the ball between the numbers to his big and athletic tight end, and they’ve built a strong chemistry. That’s just not going to go away.

Ravens roster projection: How will GM Eric DeCosta handle injuries at CB? He has options.

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

Cornerback (5): Marlon Humphrey, Rock Ya-Sin, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion “Pepe” Williams, Kyu Kelly

Here’s where it gets tricky, because here’s where the Ravens can get creative. Kevon Seymour is a virtual lock to play, if not start, in Week 1. Arthur Maulet, assuming his hamstring is healthy, has the track record that suggests he can help, too. New signing Ronald Darby is expected to be “out there playing hard” in Week 1, Harbaugh said last week. All three, crucially, are also vested veterans, meaning the Ravens could release them without exposing them to waivers — and with the understanding that they’ll be re-signed after some space-clearing roster moves.

(Also crucial: Vested veterans have their base salary guaranteed if they’re on a team’s Week 1 active roster, while vested veterans who sign after Week 1 are guaranteed just 25% of their salary. Last year, that seemed to lead to the Ravens stashing defensive back Anthony Levine Sr. and defensive lineman Justin Ellis on the practice squad, calling them up for the season opener, then promoting them to the 53-man roster in Week 2.)

Williams’ ankle surgery will sideline him until at least October, but the Ravens can’t place him on injured reserve until he makes the team. Humphrey’s foot surgery has clouded his availability for Week 1. Ya-Sin and Armour-Davis should both be available for the opener, barring injury setbacks. If the Ravens can somehow make the roster math work, Kelly’s spot might be safe. If not, he could be released after one preseason, a rarity for Ravens draft picks.

Five questions the Ravens still need to answer before season opener

Brian Wacker, The Baltimore Banner

When will Tyus Bowser be back?

The outside linebacker was in attendance Monday, playing catch with fans before the game, as has been tradition. But he was also in street clothes, walked with a slight limp and had his right leg wrapped in a sleeve.

Harbaugh said he’s optimistic Bowser will be ready for Week 1, but the veteran hasn’t practiced this summer and is still on the non-football injury list with a knee problem, putting the start of the regular season in jeopardy for the 28-year-old.

There could be some clarity soon. If Bowser is still on the injury list following next week’s roster cuts, he will have to sit out at least the first four games of the season. The recent signing of Jadeveon Clowney could help fill the void, and since Bowser wouldn’t count against the active roster, it would potentially open the door for a player such as Jeremiah Moon or Malik Hamm to step in until he’s back.

Hamm, a Baltimore native and City College alum, has played well during training camp and in the preseason, registering a sack against the Philadelphia Eagles and forcing a fumble against the Commanders.