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http://www.atlantafalconsteamo​ 5 months 2 weeks ago #1272

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Long before they finished their season with a first-round playoff defeat Qadree Ollison Jersey , the Baltimore Ravens were already preparing for 2019 and beyond.The process began last February, when owner Steve Bisciotti announced that this would be final year for general manager Ozzie Newsome, who has held the post since the franchise moved from Cleveland before the 1996 season. The job now belongs to Eric DeCosta, the assistant GM since 2012.This also turned out to be the final season in Baltimore for quarterback Joe Flacco, whose 11-year run included three trips to the AFC Championship game and a Super Bowl MVP trophy.Flacco was displaced in November by rookie Lamar Jackson , who guided the Ravens to the AFC North title and helped the team end a three-year hiatus from the playoffs.And, if there was any question about the stability of coach John Harbaugh, that item was addressed last month when the team asserted he would return in 2019 and that both sides were working on an extension.Not long after the Ravens (10-7) were eliminated Sunday with a 23-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Harbaugh was already looking toward next year.“There are plenty of things that we can do to improve,” he said. “We’ll look at this as our beginning and go from here.”Flacco began his NFL career with the Ravens by reaching the playoffs in five consecutive years. The Ravens can only hope for a similar start from Jackson, who turned 22 Monday, one day after becoming the youngest quarterback in league history to start in the postseason.The rookie had a flawed performance against the Chargers, fumbling three times of offset two touchdown passes during a failed fourth-quarter comeback bid. But Harbaugh and the Ravens are fully behind the fleet-footed Jackson, who didn’t get his first NFL start until the 10th game of the season.“Lamar is our quarterback going forward,” Harbaugh said. “No question about that.”He left little doubt that Flacco won’t be part of the equation in 2019.“Joe’s going to have a market. A lot of teams are going to want Joe,” Harbaugh said.The Ravens have their man.“He’s the future,” safety Eric Weddle said. “He’ll come back 10 times better than he was this year. For what he did Brian Burns Jersey , and to the belief that he gave not only our team, but our city, this organization, is pretty special.”Some other things to know about the Ravens as they begin the offseason:NOT GONE, NEVER FORGOTTENNewsome will stick around as an adviser to DeCosta, who received the promotion because that was likely the only way for the Ravens keep him from going elsewhere.“He has made the Ravens who they are, in my opinion,” Harbaugh said of Newsome. “I’m biased, but I think he’s the greatest GM in the history of football.”The transition should be smooth, because DeCosta has been part of the front office as long as the Ravens have been in existence.JACKSON: YEAR TWOJackson fumbled at least once in each of his eight starts and had only one 200-yard passing game.At least he knows what he must improve upon in 2019.“The ball handling in an offense like this is the thing we have to be great at,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll become a good drop-back pass team. We’ll become a good play-action pass team.”FLACCO FAREWELLFlacco’s hip injury in November opened the door for Jackson to start, and the rookie maintained the job after the team went on a hot streak.The Ravens can’t afford to pay Flacco to be a backup, so the veteran’s postgame session with the media had a nostalgic feel.“To be honest with you, I can’t imagine a better 11 years,” Flacco said. “This place becoming my home and my children’s home. Just how many different life changes I went through and how much we won here.”SUGGS WANTS MOREHall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis played 17 years with the Ravens, and LB Terrell Suggs wants to at least match that number.After completing his 16th season Sunday, the Ravens career sack leader offered no hint that retirement was in his future.“I’m healthy , and I still feel like I have some juice in the tank,” Suggs said. “I would love to be a Raven for life. It’s a long time between here and March. So, we’re just going to enjoy it and hope we can work it out. If not, I’ll be lining up for somebody next year.”DEFENSE RESTSFirst-year defensive coordinator Don Martindale put together the league’s No. 1 unit this year, restoring a tradition for a franchise that has long relied on stuffing the opposition.“We re-set a standard,” tackle Michael Pierce said.No team allowed fewer yards, and only the Chicago Bears gave up fewer points per game. Baltimore limited the high-powered Chargers to one touchdown and 243 yards on Sunday. BEREA, Ohio (AP)Baker Mayfield stood 15 yards away from a semicircle of cameras with a member of Cleveland’s media relations staff as Browns starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was peppered with questions.Mayfield held his ground and waited his turn in line.For now, this is life for the No. 1 overall draft pick – and the No. 2 QB in Cleveland.Along with learning a new playbook, offensive system, football-obsessed city and everything else that comes with being a rookie, Mayfield is getting a crash course in patience in the initial stages of his NFL career.He’s a backup, and unless there’s a dramatic change over the next two months, it will likely be Mayfield’s role this season for the Browns.”I’m not worried about it,” Mayfield said when asked if he felt like a backup. ”I’m just trying to get better every day. We’re still early in June, this is just the second minicamp day and so I’m not worried about that now.”This is new, and yet not unfamiliar territory for Mayfield Will Grier Jersey , who went from being a walk-on at Oklahoma to a gun-slinging, trash-talking Heisman Trophy winner last season.The Browns drafted him first to be their long-term starter, their franchise QB, their franchise’s face. But right now, Mayfield is slotted behind Taylor, who took Buffalo to the playoffs last season and has been so impressive during his first few months in Cleveland.Mayfield is not only accepting his role, but he’s modeling himself after Taylor. It’s easy now because the season seems far away and each day brings a new challenge to overcome.But when training camp rolls around next month, Mayfield knows it’s going to be much harder to accept that he’s not the one taking snaps with Cleveland’s starters.”It’s human nature,” Mayfield said. ”Yeah, you want to play, but I wasn’t brought here to just start. I was brought here to help turn this thing around and whatever my role is that’s what I need to do – whether that’s playing scout team or being the best backup possible or playing. So for me, I’m not worried about that. I need to be prepared for when I do get my shot to be ready to play, but other than that I just gotta continue getting better and improving this team as well.”Mayfield believes he’s made significant strides since rookie minicamp. With each practice, he senses the game slowing down. He’s getting more confident in the pocket. He’s seeing the field. He’s deciphering complicated defenses.He’s better, but Mayfield is far from being a finished product.”Human nature, especially for me, I want to have it all figured out all right now , but that is just not how it works,” he said. ”It is about realizing that we are going to have to take baby steps right now to get to where I want to go. You do not build a great castle all at once. You have to build it block by block. For me, that is how I need to handle it.”Taylor does, too. He was once in Mayfield’s shoes, sitting behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore. He also knows how quickly things can change after being benched last season by the Bills despite having them in the playoff race.Taylor has been impressed with Mayfield’s thirst to improve.”He is asking questions,” Taylor said. ”He is trying to learn the playbook, as well as everyone else is. He is competing. He is a rookie. He is trying to gain as much knowledge as possible.”Mayfield’s getting some major help from veteran quarterback Drew Stanton, who is serving as a mentor/tutor for the 23-year-old.It’s a role the 34-year-old Stanton has performed and excelled at previously while working with Matthew Stafford and Carson Palmer, both former top overall picks.Like Taylor, Stanton feels Mayfield has all the intangibles to succeed.”He has a great mindset,” Stanton said. ”Just coming in here, wanting to work and get better and learn how to do all those things. He’s asking questions that are relevant. He’s engaged and he’s doing it the right way, so I think it’s a relationship that will continue to progress over a period of time. It’s not just something you build overnight, but he has all those tools that you’re excited about. Obviously, there’s a reason why he was drafted No. 1 overall.”—
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