2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens preparing for NFL's 4th-toughest schedule

    2012-04-20 03:23

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens will face a demanding schedule when they begin defense of their AFC North division title this fall - including eight games against playoff teams from last season.

The Ravens' schedule is statistically the fourth-toughest in the league as their opponents had a combined record of 134-122 last season, a .523 winning percentage.

And the Ravens face 11 quarterbacks who have been named to at least one Pro Bowl. They square off with the Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, in consecutive December games.

``It's a tough schedule, but it's a schedule for the Baltimore Ravens,'' said cornerback Lardarius Webb, who signed a $50 million contract this month. ``It's a schedule they always give us because they know that we can take that schedule. We're ready for it. It makes us work a little harder.''

The Ravens open the season by playing four games in 17 days with contests against the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns.

And the Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers are the lone teams to play both Super Bowl teams from last season: the champion New York Giants and the Patriots.

``Every Sunday is tough,'' offensive tackle Michael Oher said. ``You're going to have to come out the same way every Sunday, so get ready for your opponent.''

Under coach John Harbaugh, the Ravens have made the playoffs for four consecutive years and have reached the AFC title game twice. They're the lone NFL team to win a playoff game each of the past four seasons.

The NFL's third-ranked defense from a year ago will need to have another strong campaign while breaking in a new starter in outside linebacker Paul Kruger, the top candidate to replace Jarret Johnson. The Ravens also have Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee competing at defensive end to replace Cory Redding, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

``It's a great opportunity for me,'' said Kruger, a former second-round draft pick who recorded 5 1/2 sacks last season as a situational pass rusher. ``I couldn't ask to be in a better situation, so I'm going to be grinding as much as I can from here until August to prepare myself for camp as much as possible. I'm real excited.''

Johnson, one of the most durable players in franchise history, signed a four-year, $19 million contract with the San Diego Chargers.

Before Johnson left, he imparted some of his knowledge of the game to Kruger.

``He taught me a number of things, mainly just how to be a student of the game and how to make yourself better in the classroom,'' Kruger said. ``So, that's one thing that I'm going to take from him for sure. My main focus this offseason, is just grasping everything, understanding the defense through and through.''

The Ravens also will have a new left offensive guard as Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs signed a $36 million contract with the New Orleans Saints during free agency.

Jah Reid, a third-round draft pick last year who played sparingly as a rookie, has shifted from offensive tackle and is now ranked first on the depth chart at left guard.

``They told me to expect to be a starter, work to be a starter, expect to come in and play and work hard,'' Reid said. ``That's what I've been doing.''

Notes: The Ravens have signed former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Curtis Painter to a one-year deal. Painter, former Baltimore starting quarterback Kyle Boller and former Pittsburgh backup Dennis Dixon all worked out for the team on Thursday.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group