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hab process, Ryan kin
12-10-2018, 07:53 AM
Post: #1
200
hab process, Ryan kin
BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-7)

New faces: QB Lamar Jackson Authentic Mason Rudolph Jersey , WR Michael Crabtree, WR Willie Snead, TE Hayden Hurst, QB Robert Griffin III, WR John Brown, defensive coordinator Don Martindale.

Key losses: WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Mike Wallace, RB Danny Woodhead, CB Lardarius Webb, WR Michael Campanaro, TE Benjamin Watson, RB Terrance West, QB Ryan Mallett, defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

Strengths: Defense kept Ravens in playoff hunt until final game of season. Baltimore led NFL with 22 interceptions, 34 takeaways and three shutouts. Ravens allowed 18.9 points per game, sixth best in league, but that also faltered in latter stages of 39-38 loss to Pittsburgh and crushing 31-27 defeat against Cincinnati in finale. Terrell Suggs had 11 sacks last year and still looks strong at age 36. Brandon Carr led DBs with four INTs, and must come up big while CB Jimmy Smith opens season serving four-game suspension.

Weaknesses: Offense sputtered last season, and there are no guarantees new receiving corps and rejuvenated QB Joe Flacco will make difference. Flacco averaged meager 5.72 yards per attempt, threw 13 INTs and was sacked 27 times. Return of guard Marshal Yanda, who missed 14 games with leg injury Leonard Fournette Jersey , could give Flacco protection he sorely needs. Addition of Crabtree, Snead and Brown can only help offense that ranked 29th in yards passing last year.

Fantasy Players To Watch: Brown. Speedster gives Ravens deep threat missing since Torrey Smith was sprinting downfield in 2013. Brown signed one-year contract in hopes of showing rest of league he’s more like player who amassed 1,003 yards with Arizona in 2015 than injury-riddled receiver who last year had 21 catches for 299 yards with Cardinals.

Vegas Says: Super Bowl 50-1. Over/under wins 8.5.

Expectations: Ravens haven’t reached playoffs in three straight years, longest dry spell since 1990s. General manager Ozzie Newsome, who enters final year before handing reins to Eric DeCosta, has assembled team capable of threatening Pittsburgh in AFC North. For that to happen, Flacco must return to form and get some help from set of receivers that represents upgrade from 2017 group. Martindale promises to deliver aggressive defense after earning promotion from LB coach. It’s worth noting, however, that Martindale hasn’t been defensive coordinator since 2010 with Denver, when team gave up more yards and points than any.
On the second day of training camp Friday, Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan spent much of the morning dropping into pass coverage and chasing tight ends, running backs and even speedy receiver Kenny Stills.

It’ll be different Saturday, when the Dolphins put on pads for the first time and conduct contact drills.

”That’s what middle linebackers live for,” McMillan said with a grin, ”so I’m ready for all of that.”

Especially since McMillan hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impact in the NFL. The 2017 second-round draft pick from Ohio State won raves and a starting job in his first few months as a pro, but on his first play in the first exhibition game, he blew out his right knee covering a punt.

”First injury I’ve had ever – college, high school, little league,” he said.

The torn ACL sidelined McMillan for his entire rookie season. He participated in offseason drills this spring still mindful of his surgically repaired knee, but is now more confident it’ll hold up.

”On the field I don’t really think about it much at all DaeSean Hamilton Color Rush Jersey ,” he said. ”In OTAs I was still thinking about it. I was still worrying about whether it was strong enough, or if it was ready yet to take every snap. I finally feel like I’m back to where I was.”

That sounds good to coach Adam Gase, who considers his evaluation of McMillan incomplete only because the former Butkus Award finalist has yet to play in an NFL game.

”Everything else tells us he’s exactly what we drafted him to be,” Gase said.

A year ago, McMillan impressed coaches with his aptitude and leadership skills, and he thrived in contact drills.

He’s expected to bolster a defense that needs him after ranking fourth-worst in the league in points allowed last year. The upgrade parallels the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who’s back after suffering a season-ending injury one week before McMillan was hurt.

The veteran QB and rookie linebacker rehabbed together, to the benefit of both.

”They did a good job of pushing each other,” Gase said. ”You hate to say it was good they had each other to go through that with, because it hurt us not to have them. But it was good for those two guys to have that other guy.”

McMillan said Tannehill helped him cope with the frustration and physical challenges of recovery.

”Throughout the whole rehab process, Ryan kind of walked me through what I was going to feel, how I was going to feel and some of the pains I was going to have, and how to get through them,” McMillan said.

He began to envision a career as an NFL middle linebacker when he first arrived at Ohio State and discussed his future with head coach Urban Meyer and an assistant coach.

”They sat me to the side and told me that was going to be the best position for me, for my future and for my family,” he said. ”So I took that and ran with it.”

On the night the Dolphins drafted McMillan, he cried tears of joy. Now, after an unlucky interruption, he’s back on track toward fulfilling his potential. Time to put on the pads.

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