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Ravens News 8/25: Perfect Fit and more

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Baltimore Ravens v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ravens edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney says he’s found the team that will love him: ‘I’ve got a lot left in me’

Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun

“I’ve been a fan since I’ve been in the league,” the Ravens’ newest edge rusher said Thursday as he spoke with Baltimore reporters for the first time since he signed a one-year, reportedly $2.5 million deal last week. “I just felt like watching them on TV, he’s all about his players. So I wanted to be a part of it.”

“It was a really easy conversation when we first met,” Harbaugh recalled. “We had so many shared experiences on the other side of the field, and we had a chance to talk about that stuff. It was a big smile from both of us and a hug, and we were just rolling and talking about family and about football. It did feel like a perfect fit.”

His best skills — setting the edge, occupying blockers, flipping seamlessly from outside to inside — are not always appreciated.

But those are the precise traits that make him so attractive to the Ravens, who have long prized edge rushers — think Za’Darius Smith and Pernell McPhee — powerful enough to slide inside. Jason Pierre-Paul took on that role after the team signed him in September last season, but Clowney’s upside is higher. He’s the most seasoned player and easily the most proven run defender in a rotation that will include 24-year-old Odafe Oweh and 23-year-old David Ojabo.

“They were all chosen high,” he said of his new teammates. “They can rush off the ball, inside or outside. That’s the good thing about being in a group like this, where everybody can play a different position. You don’t know where they’re coming from.”

After ‘roller-coaster’ year, Ravens WR Rashod Bateman is getting up to speed again

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

Bateman, lined up along the right sideline, could’ve run just about any route. He chose a straight line, motoring past Darby and bringing in a deep shot of about 40 yards.

“It’s felt good to get back out there with the guys,” Bateman said Wednesday, his first meeting with reporters since Lisfranc (foot) surgery ended his second season in early November. “Just still getting the hang of things, so it feels good to get back out there.”

Bateman is not all the way back, not yet. Asked how close to 100% his left foot feels, he said, “99. Very close.” But there have been enough flashes since Bateman returned to camp — one-handed grabs, deep catches in team drills — to suggest his not-quite-best is still better than a lot of others’ absolute best.

Said Bateman: “These are the cards that were dealt to me, so I got to deal with that. Stay in my lane, keep working, keep grinding. That’s all I really can do, control what I can control.”

Ravens stock report: Who’s up and who’s down as roster decisions near?

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

Justice Hill, RB: You no longer should be asking whether Hill is a lock to make the team. It’s probably more pertinent to ask whether he’ll have a notable role on offense. He’s earned it with how he’s practiced this summer and played in the preseason. In two games, he has five rushes for 73 yards and one catch for 13 yards. Hill’s roster spot was probably secure because of his special teams ability. But new offensive coordinator Todd Monken could be just what Hill needed in his quest to become a bigger offensive contributor.

DeAndre Houston-Carson, S: It’s still too early to have a feel for Houston-Carson’s roster chances. He signed only a week ago, joining a secondary decimated by injuries. If Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington remain at cornerback, and that seems to be the plan, then Houston-Carson is most likely competing with Daryl Worley for the fourth safety role. He’s made a good first impression, registering five tackles, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery against the Commanders. What was even more impressive is that Houston-Carson played 80 total snaps (63 on offense, 17 on special teams) just days after signing.

Highest-graded UDFAs for all 32 NFL teams ahead of preseason Week 2

Braxton Howard, PFF


Ricard was once an undrafted free agent out of Maine who signed with the Ravens in 2017 and never looked back. He has that role on lockdown in Baltimore, and he played nine snaps in their second preseason game. Seven of those nine snaps came as an inline tight end, so Ricard’s role could be slightly expanding under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. He hauled in one contested catch for five yards and a first down.

2023 NFL Preseason, Week 3: One thing to watch on each of the 32 teams

Eric Edholm,

RAVENS: Saturday’s game is a chance to begin a new winning streak after the Ravens saw their 24-game unbeaten stretch come to an end Monday against the Commanders. But really, it will be a chance for players to make their final arguments for a roster spot at two key positions: cornerback and wide receiver. The Ravens might not keep six receivers, but if they do, Tylan Wallace could have the edge over Sean Ryan, James Proche II and Laquon Treadwell heading into the preseason finale. On defense, Ar’Darius Washington’s versatility might help him carve out a spot, but the entire unit requires a long look after a slew of injuries (including one to CB Marlon Humphrey) has shuffled the roster significantly.

One thing to watch in each NFL preseason Week 3 game: Aaron Rodgers makes Jets debut, Dolphins’ QB2 battle

Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports

Ravens: With the preseason win streak snapped at 24 games, the focus turns to rookies Zay Flowers and Keaton Mitchell. Flowers has the makings of a very good NFL wide receiver with his route running, while showcasing his talents with gaining yards after the catch and creating big plays. Mitchell may also make the 53-man roster thanks to his burst at the line, having just one carry that went for 31 yards last week. He may make the 53 over Melvin Gordon.