- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Like every weekday morning, you need your Ravens wake-up caw ...
Defensive lineman Art Jones was cleared earlier this week to return to practice after a two-week absence. In his first comments since coming back, Jones revealed his illness was a racing heartbeat that would not settle down following the preseason game on Aug. 22. "It was definitely stressful for a little bit," Jones said, via Comcast SportsNet Baltimore. "If my time for playing football was over, I had a good run at it. But my work isn’t done yet." Jones has endured personal hardships growing up, from the death of his older sister to a fire in the family home. It was a good sight to see his big smile back in the locker room.
The Ravens are still working on developing wide receivers, The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston wrote. "We've made our mistakes in scouting in all positions throughout the years, not just receiver," said Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' assistant general manager. "I think receiver is a challenging position to evaluate, but I think we can do better. We have excellent coaches here, but I would say the fault probably lies more in scouting. We just haven't always picked the right guy." None of the 20 wide receivers drafted by the Ravens has eclipsed 70 catches in a season or 1,000 yards for the team.
Arthur Brown's missed block led to a blocked punt in the preseason opener. Playing on the punt team, as well as blocking, is a learning process for the rookie linebacker, who never played special teams at Kansas State. “There’s a lot that I don’t know about special teams and there’s a lot of technique that I’m learning at this point in time,” Brown told the team's official website. “I’m still not where I want to be at this point.”
The Ravens have a lot of respect for the Browns' defensive front and linebackers. “Their front seven is a strength of their team," Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele told the Carroll County (Md.) Times. "Their front seven is one of the best that we’re going to see. They’re definitely getting up there with the Pittsburghs of the world and definitely playing well as a unit.” One of the top matchups is Browns lineman Desmond Bryant against the left side of the Ravens' line (guard Marshal Yanda and tackle Bryant McKinnie).
The Browns blitzed on 20 of 43 of the Dolphins' pass plays in Week 1, according to Pro Football Focus (via The Baltimore Sun). Against Denver, quarterback Joe Flacco completed fewer than half of his passes against the blitz but threw two touchdowns when the Broncos rushed five or more defenders.