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Get Ready for a Lot of QB Drama Over the Last Five Weeks with the Ravens

During his Monday press conference, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said “everything is on the table” with the team’s quarterback situation according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.

That apparently includes splitting drives once veteran Joe Flacco is finally cleared after missing the past two games with a hip injury. “We’ll just do what gives us the best chance and try to use all of our players the best way we can,” Harbaugh said.

Splitting drives sounds like a disaster and probably will be but we are talking a desperate team fighting to make the playoffs with their long-time general manager Ozzie Newsome riding off into the sunset at the end of the season and Harbaugh desperately trying to save his job so anything seems possible.

Harbaugh has ramped up his hedging on Flacco’s status, suggesting he’s prepared to stick with Lamar Jackson even once Flacco gets cleared. Flacco is visiting the doctor on Monday.

Harbaugh said the issue is the “protection” of Flacco’s hip, and that it must be “strong and stable.” Rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson is a work in progress but the team has won both games he has started and are back in the thick of the playoff picture. If Harbaugh truly wants to save his job, he would be foolish to mess with that success.

Report: Lamar Jackson to Get the Start for Ravens Sunday Against Raiders

The hip injury that has sidelined Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is still bothering him to the point where he’s going to miss another game, as rookie QB Lamar Jackson will get the start Sunday for the Ravens against the Oakland Raiders.

Jackson was impressive in his debut last week against the Bengals, rushing 26 times for 119 yards, and throwing for another 150 yards in the 24-21 win.

Can Lamar Jackson Lead the Ravens Past a History of Tough Road Decembers and Into the Playoffs?

After a 3-1 start the Baltimore Ravens seemed to go in the tank, ruining what likely (from all the rumors) will be the final season in Baltimore for head coach John Harbaugh.

With the coach stepping away after this season, it’s understandable for the team to have their thoughts elsewhere, but with a win over the Bengals at home last week, the Ravens suddenly have their sights set on a wild card spot in the AFC, and might just have the best chance at the sixth overall seed.

When looking at the latest odds, which you can see it here, the Ravens have six huge games left if they want to get to the postseason, but have a trek that might not be as daunting as some might think.

What could be the biggest key is that they probably are going to need to win once or twice in their final three road games, which is not going to be easy as history states.

The team will travel for a huge game in Atlanta against the Falcons, and also play at Kansas City Chiefs and at the Los Angeles Chargers.

When looking at the Ravens history of winning on the road in December, it’s simply not good. Since 2015, the Ravens has won once on the road in December, and if you don’t remember that, it was a lackluster win last season against a Cleveland Browns team that didn’t win a game in 2017.

On the positive side, the team is sixth right now in the playoff race, and one thing they have going for them is a rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson who in his first NFL start against the Bengals showed no fear, and he doens’t seem to care about the past when it comes to this team not winning on the road in December.

Jackson’s ability to run the ball is right up there with the likes of Michael Vick in his prime, and it gave the Bengals (as would be expected) fits in his first start last week at home.

Teams are going to get more tape on Jackson and likely have better game plans than that of the Bengals, but for now it was fun to watch a different look to the Ravens offense with Jackson under center and running every which way but loose, and the team seemed energized by it.

The playoffs are in sight, despite the history of the team not winning in December, but with Jackson anything is possible at this point.

Ravens OL Marshal Yanda Says He Never Spit on Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict

An outraged Marshal Yanda denied spitting on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Sunday, Jamison Hensley of ESPN reports.

“I take a lot of pride in my character and how I was raised,” said Yanda, a Pro Bowl guard for the Baltimore Ravens. “I would never, ever spit on another man, another person, individual ever.”

The sequence in question occurred in the fourth quarter after Burfict tackled Baltimore running back Alex Collins and a minor scuffle ensued involving several players.

Video from the CBS broadcast of the game shows spit coming from Yanda’s mouth while Burfict was on the ground after the play, and Burfict had no apparent reaction.

“The video, some people are taking it crazy, but all I was doing was wiping the spit off my helmet, away from the ground,” Yanda said Wednesday. “I swiped at it to make sure that it didn’t land on anybody. I don’t know if you guys know, during the course of a game, I’m like a heavy spitter. The adrenaline is fired up, and I’m spitting all the time — sidelines, on the field, but not on anyone ever.”

Neither Burfict nor the Bengals have publicly commented on the incident.

Yanda learned of the video at 9 a.m. Monday while heading to a charity event and was stunned that people assumed he spit on Burfict.

“It’s just unfortunate that it got twisted,” Yanda said. “My integrity and my character is being called in question because that does really matter to me. It’s really unfortunate. That would never be anything that would ever even be fathomed in my mind. That’s not the player I am.”

Ravens coach John Harbaugh strongly defended Yanda on Monday.

“This guy has been playing 11 years and played at the University of Iowa, for whoever wrote the article that makes the insinuation, have you ever heard of Marshal Yanda’s character being attacked or him doing something along those lines ever in his whole career?” Harbaugh asked rhetorically. “But now all of a sudden, we’re going to say, ‘Oh, I know Marshal Yanda spit at somebody.’ Really? Come on, there’s no way.”

Report: Ravens OL Marshal Yanda Spat at Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has the reputation-and deservingly so-for being one of the NFL’s dirtiest players but he was the recipient of a dirty play by Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda on Sunday according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football

Yanda reportedly spat at Burfict as the linebacker was lying on the ground. Smith stated that the video of the incident is clear: There’s a pileup with some pushing and shoving on both sides, and Burfict is in the middle of it, as he so often is. But afterward, Yanda stood up and leaned over Burfict, and spit clearly came out of Yanda’s mouth and toward Burfict. It is unclear whether the spit actually landed on Burfict as the linebacker did not react but the intent was clear.

The NFL has disciplined players for spitting on opponents in the past and Yanda should expect a hefty chunk taken out of his paycheck later in the week.

Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell in Baltimore Next Season? One Source Says ‘Yes’ to the Move

Pittsburgh Steelers star Running Back Le’Veon Bell isn’t going to play this season after deciding to sit out when he and the team that drafted him could not make a deal.

With a year of rest underneath his belt, Bell won’t be in black and gold next season, but how about playing in Baltimore, the biggest rival to the Steelers?

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report says that the dynamic back will probably be in New York next season, giving the Jets running back position the biggest upgrade it could possibly get (unless maybe they dealt for Rams running back Todd Gurley).

But, he also talks about some other teams in the mix for Bell’s services, and one of them could be the Ravens, where he would give a HUGE upgrade to the offense.

Here’s the portion of the story about the Ravens and Bell:

One team source’s belief is the Ravens will move on from quarterback Joe Flacco, hand control of the offense to Lamar Jackson and sign Bell to help take pressure off Jackson. Bell would be Jackson’s version of Todd Gurley.

So while it sounds like a long shot, how great would the Ravens offense be with Bell running the football wearing purprle next season?

Report: Ravens and Coach John Harbaugh to Part Ways at the End of 2018

The Ravens 3-1 start is very much a thing of the past, and now there’s been more and more chatter about head coach John Harbaugh leaving the team at the end of the season.

The reports are gaining momentum, and now Sunday Jason La Canfora reports that there will not be a firing during the season, but with numerous changes coming within the Ravens front office after the year is over, it would be a good time for a new voice, ending the reign for Harbaugh as coach.

Here’s part of the report from the story:

The odds of Harbaugh being back in Baltimore in 2019 are quite bleak, according to several sources close to the situation, with next year set to be the final year of his contract. There will not be another one-year extension forthcoming, I’m told (Harbaugh agreed to such a deal prior to last season to avoid a looming “lame duck” season), and with rising general manager Eric DeCosta set to take over for Ozzie Newsome after the season, and the Ravens facing a possible roster overhaul, there is a strong sense that these sides will be moving on amicably.

The parting of the ways makes perfect sense, Harbaugh and the Ravens have not been successful since their last Super Bowl being a powerhouse in the AFC, and haven’t really competed to be a Super Bowl contender in a number of seasons, not making the postseason since 2014.

Expect Harbaugh to be a candidate for a number of NFL and even college coaching jobs, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Cleveland Browns take a long look at bringing him in – as they’ve already fired Hue Jackson and despite a big win for interim coach Gregg Williams Sunday over the Falcons, they will be in the market for a coach come January as well.

How Hot is the Coaching Seat for Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh?

The Ravens since their win in late September over the Steelers at Heinz Field have been in a major tailspin, one that has the rumor mill swirling that the seat under head coach John Harbaugh is very, very hot.

Baltimore was 3-1 after the September 30th win over the Steelers, but since have gone 1-3, leading many to think that it just might be time to make a change at the head coaching spot.

A loss today to the Steelers at home will not help matters in the least.

Emotions were especially high after last week’s game, a 36-21 loss to the Panthers. While those inside the organization have strong personal feelings for Harbaugh — he did lead them to a Super Bowl title — they haven’t made the playoffs since 2014.

Contractually, the Ravens already put Harbaugh in a win-or-else situation. He received a one-year extension during training camp last year, taking him through 2019.

The organization did weigh whether or not to have Harbaugh return after 2017, before deciding he should be back with no changes to his deal. And clearly, the coach is committed to doing everything he can to win with an organization he loves.

This offseason, Baltimore spent money in free agency, revamping the receivers room among other things, but the changes haven’t made a dent.

To make matters more complicated, general manager Eric DeCosta is now in charge, and Harbaugh wasn’t his hire. On the field, the defense has been nasty, allowing the fewest points. The roster improved compared to last year.

Another failure this week will not sit well with the front office, and the way things are going with a bye week coming up and another game against the Bengals, who beat the Ravens earlier this season, it might be time to make a move and end the Harbaugh tenure with a week to give an interim coach time to get his team ready for the second half of the season.