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The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
Bernard Pierce says that he's not frustrated by inconsistent workload

This season hasn’t gone exactly as Ravens running back Bernard Pierce had planned.

There was the first-half fumble in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals that resulted in him spending the rest of the game on the bench. There was a quadriceps injury that kept him sidelined for two weeks, the first time in his young NFL career that he’s had to miss games.

And now that he’s getting closer to 100 percent, Pierce is getting an inconsistent workload as the backup to Justin Forsett, who is currently fourth in the NFL with 503 rushing yards.  

“It’s not frustrating,” said Pierce who has rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns on 55 carries. “I went down, missed two weeks and the two weeks that I was absent, [Forsett] had two great performances. He keeps coming in and performing week in and week out. You can’t take it from him. When my number is called, I just go out there and go.”

Pierce had his best and busiest game in Week Two against the Pittsburgh Steelers, rushing 22 times...

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Ravens rookie tight end Crockett Gillmore's role increasing

As a rookie, Ravens backup tight end Crockett Gillmore is figuring out what's expected from him. The third-round draft pick has primarily operated as a blocker, playing in all seven games.

Gillmore, 6 feet 6, 251 pounds, caught his longest pass of the season during the Ravens' 29-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons, a 13-yard reception for a first down. Gillmore played a season-high 43 snaps on offense against the Falcons, one less than veteran starter Owen Daniels.

Gillmore said he's staying ready just in case Daniels is sidelined Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the two-time Pro Bowl selection is expected to play despite a knee injury that has kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said Thursday that Daniels is "fine" and that coach John Harbaugh has a plan for veteran players like him.

"I'm prepared every week to be the starter from the first day I got here," Gillmore said. "That's just the mentality I've had. I've always been a guy...

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Ravens flip script this season with a quick-starting offense

A staple of the Ravens’ struggles on the road last season was slow starts by the offense. But the Ravens have managed to flip the script this year, possibly because of changes they’ve made in how they practice.

Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that the Ravens have put an emphasis on “situational football” in practice; one of those situations is the start of games.

“That has been something we’ve done through training camp, and we do it usually about once a week,” Harbaugh said. “We have a first drive of the game. It’s nothing elaborate. It’s just a drill.”

The Ravens have scored touchdowns on their first drive in back-to-back weeks, totaling 35 first-quarter points against the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This season, they are outscoring their opponents 45-16 in the first quarter and 99-38 in the first half.

Last year, the Ravens were outscored 63-59 in the first quarter and scored just 138 total first-half points. Only two other teams had fewer. 

"One of the first things...

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Owen Daniels sidelined from Ravens' practice for second straight day

Ravens tight end Owen Daniels missed a second straight practice with a knee injury, though offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak indicated that the veteran should be ready to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.  

 “Owen’s fine,” Kubiak said. “John’s got a plan for these veteran guys. I know he’s got a plan for O.D. and how to keep him fresh and keep him ready to go. But as far as what we’re doing, game plan, those types of thing, O.D. will be fine.”

 Because of his veteran status, Daniels, who limped off the field in the second half of the Ravens’ victory over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, has been getting periodic off days from practice. However, he hadn’t missed back-to-back practices since the regular-season began.

 If he didn’t play and that seems unlikely based on Kubiak’s comments, rookie Crockett Gillmore would take on a bigger role

 "I'm prepared every week to be the starter from the first day I got here,” said Gillmore who has three catches for 29 yards. “That's just...

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Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass to testify at Ray Rice's appeal hearing, sources say

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass have been informed in a ruling by a third-party arbitrator that they must testify at the appeal hearing for Ray Rice, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Former federal judge Barbara S. Jones determined that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to testify in Rice's hearing, which is set for Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, along with the Ravens' executives and Rice, according to sources.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and director of team security Darren Sanders weren't included in Jones' ruling of who must testify in the hearing, according to sources.

Newsome and Cass attended Rice's meeting with Goodell in New York along with Rice's wife, Janay. Newsome, Cass and Goodell are expected to be questioned by Rice's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, along with NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler.

Goodell originally suspended Rice for two games for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy then increased his...

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ordered to testify in Ray Rice appeal hearing, sources say

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been ordered to testify in former Ravens running back Ray Rice's appeal hearing, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

NFL lawyers have been resistant to having Goodell testify in the hearing, set for Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, hoping to avoid a he-said, he-said situation between the league's top executive and the three-time Pro Bowl running back, who was suspended indefinitely by the league.

Former federal judge Barbara S. Jones, the third-party arbitrator appointed by Goodell in consultation with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, has decided to have Goodell testify as a witness, according to sources.

The NFL had no immediate comment, but Goodell said during the fall league meeting that whether he testified would be at the judge's discretion. League spokesman Brian McCarthy previously told The Baltimore Sun: "We intend to comply with the confidentiality order entered by Judge Jones regarding the appeal proceedings."

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