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Ravens Insider
The latest Baltimore Ravens news, notes and analysis
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 with a quick-starting offense

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

Head coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that the Ravens have put an emphasis on “situational football” in practice and one of those situations is starting the game.

“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 out-scoring their opponents, 45-16, in first quarters and 99-38 at halftime.

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

One of...

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Owen Daniels sidelined from Ravens' practice for second straight day

Ravens tight end Owen Daniels missed a second straight practice as he deals with a knee injury that he sustained in the team's 29-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday.

Because of his veteran status, Daniels has been getting periodic days off from practice. However, his absence on back-to-back days calls into question whether he'll be ready for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

If he can't play, rookie Crockett Gillmore likely would start at tight end and Ryan Taylor probably would be active for the Ravens for the first time since they claimed him off waivers from the Green Bay Packers.

The other two Ravens not practicing Thursday were middle linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive end Chris Canty. Canty had wrist surgery and has missed three straight games. He's not expected to face the Bengals on Sunday.

It's unclear what's causing Smith's absence. However, like Daniels, the Ravens have given him occasional days off from practice to make sure...

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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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Ravens anticipating Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green playing Sunday

The last time the Ravens squared off with Cincinnati Bengals All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green, he caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the season-opener just behind cornerback Chykie Brown's outstretched fingertips.

However, Green has been sidelined for the past two games with a turf toe injury and his status for Sunday's game against the Ravens remains undetermined.

Although Green didn't practice Wednesday and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was noncommittal about his medical outlook, the Ravens are preparing as if Green will be on the field Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

"He's going to play," Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb said authoritatively of Green.

The Ravens didn't have their top cornerback, Jimmy Smith, covering Green on the game-deciding play in the fourth quarter. Since that game, they've replaced Brown in the starting lineup with Webb back from a lower-back injury. Brown was inactive in the Ravens' 29-7 win on Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons.

"You have to assume that any...

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