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Ravens Insider The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
Ex-Ravens running back Bernard Pierce DUI case postponed, assigned July court date

Former Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce has been assigned a July court date in his case for driving while under the influence of alcohol, according to Maryland court records.

Pierce had been scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, but the case was postponed until July 28 in Towson District Court.

Pierce was arrested March 18 at 1:54 a.m. in Baltimore County on Dulaney Valley Road and was released by the Ravens roughly a dozen hours after his arrest.

Pierce, 24, was driving a 2014 Ford Mustang when he was pulled over by an unmarked patrol car for speeding 55 mph in a 30-mph zone on Dulaney Valley Road near Interstate 695 just prior to 2 a.m., according to Baltimore County police charging documents.

The officer said Pierce’s car crossed into the next lane before he pulled him over. When told why he was pulled over, Pierce asked, “What did I do again?” The officer wrote in his charging document that Pierce smelled of alcohol and struggled to pull his driver’s license out of his wallet.


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Joe Flacco weighs in on new extra-point rule, inflation of footballs

When the Ravens break the huddle after touchdowns this fall, they'll have more decisions to contemplate than in the past.

With the extra point moved back to the 15-yard line and the two-point conversion remaining at the 2-yard line, NFL teams are facing a debate on whether to go for two or kick the longer extra point.

An uptick in two-point conversion attempts has been predicted, but quarterback Joe Flacco was noncommittal on whether he believes there will be a lot of change.

"I have no idea, I really don’t know," Flacco said. "The only thing I can think of is I wouldn’t think that you would just naturally go for a two-point conversion, more so. I’m not the coach though.

"There may be a couple more misses here and there, and I guess in order to make up for that miss, maybe teams will go for two the next time. I don’t know. I’m sure it will work out so that there are a couple more two-point conversions, but we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Flacco laughed when asked about how he likes footballs to...

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For Ravens' Steve Smith, age is just a number

Ravens veteran wide receiver Steve Smith downplays his age (36), but he has to train extremely hard to maintain his high level of play.

The Ravens have had several players who have played past their prime, but as they got older they trained harder.

Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis made the mountain run at Oregon Ridge part of his regular regiment and his former teammate, safety Ed Reed, love to build and train in sand pits. He had one built over at The Castle as part of his negotiations once.

Former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe employed his own personal chef and she often followed him around at the team's old training facility in Owings Mills when it was time for lunch or dinner.

Smith was one of the few offensive starters who showed up for OTA practice on Wednesday and he still looks sharp. He still runs crisp routes.

"Age comes, but football conditioning and routes and all that stuff, that doesn't change with age,"  Smith said. "Obviously, you probably have to start a little bit...

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Veteran corner Cassius Vaughn signs one-year, $825,000 contract, says he's 'blessed' to join Ravens

Now that veteran cornerback Cassius Vaughn has joined the Ravens on a one-year, $825,000 contract, he's intent on proving that he's a worthy investment.

Vaughn, 27, flew to Baltimore on Thursday night from his hometown in Memphis, Tenn., passed a physical and signed his contract.

"It's a great opportunity," Vaughn told The Baltimore Sun. "It's a blessing that the front office gave me this chance and let me become a Raven. I've been watching them for so long. It's a steady consistency and a great organization."

With the Ravens, Vaughn is expected to compete with Asa Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, Tray Walker and Chris Greenwood for playing time and a roster spot behind starters Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb and nickel back Kyle Arrington.

Vaughn has played five NFL seasons and interceped five passes with two returned for touchdowns. A 5-foot-11, 195-pound former undrafted free agent from Mississippi, Vaughn played last season for the Detroit Lions. He started five of 13 games and intercepted...

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Ravens rookie pass rusher Za'Darius Smith flashes athleticism, skill in first NFL practices

Ravens rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith saw it coming, instinctively anticipating a screen pass from backup quarterback Matt Schaub.

After reading the play, Smith bolted into the flat to intercept Schaub, who threw 16 interceptions the past two seasons with the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders. He signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Ravens this offseason.

After picking off Schaub, Smith ran it back for a touchdown.

As the Ravens launched their first round of organized team activities, the fourth-round draft pick from Kentucky was one of their most impressive players. Smith flashed athleticism and hustle while rushing the passer.

Signed to a four-year, $2.763 million contract that includes a $483,124 bonus, Smith is projected as a situational pass rusher behind veteran outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. The Most Valuable Player at the East-West Shrine all-star game, Smith is expected to replace Pernell McPhee. McPhee signed a five-year, $39 million...

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Ravens defensive backs Jimmy Smith, Terrence Brooks ahead of schedule coming off injuries

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was coy in April when asked about the status of his surgically repaired foot.

During an organized team activity Thursday, Smith wasn't hesitant in his movements as he routinely shadowed wide receivers in passing drills.

Signed to a four-year, $48 million contract this offseason, Smith appears to be on his way to a full and relatively speedy recovery after undergoing surgery in November for a Lisfranc foot sprain.

“He’s probably ahead of schedule,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I saw a little competitive streak. I tried to remind him he has the red jersey. He won’t put it on. He just has it tucked in his belt right there. So, I think that tells you where his mind is at.”

Meanwhile, free safety Terrence Brooks is running after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee in December. Brooks is slated to start the season on the physically unable to perform list.

“Terrence Brooks is doing really well,” Harbaugh said. “No predictions right now, but he looks good....

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