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Jimmy Clausen following Steve Smith Sr.'s advice, learning playbook quickly as new backup

Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen warms up.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jimmy Clausen warms up. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

New Ravens backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen, once he found out the Ravens claimed him off waivers from the Chicago Bears, reached out to the only player in the locker room he knew and got a worthwhile piece of advice.

Clausen spent three years in Carolina with Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., starting 10 games as a rookie in 2010 before backing up Cam Newton, and now comes to Smith's current team under difficult circumstances.

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Clausen has less than a week to learn the Ravens playbook well enough to be the backup quarterback against the Cleveland Browns Monday, when he'll be one play from taking over for new starter Matt Schaub, so Smith's advice resonated with him Tuesday night.

"He said, 'Hurry up and get there and start studying,'" Clausen said Wednesday, a snippet of what he said was a half-hour phone call with his former teammate.

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The Ravens seemed to have their backup quarterback hopes pinned on Clausen Tuesday afternoon, having not signed anyone while waiting for the waiver claims to be processed. Clausen said he didn't think much of the fit with his former coach in Chicago, offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, before the Ravens claimed him.

But now that he's here, he's happy to be "somewhere they want you," he said.

"I'm glad to be here," Clausen said. "I'm glad to be a Raven."

The relationship with Trestman was a "plus," coach John Harbaugh said.

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"It's good knowing that," Clausen said. "It's a little different formations and plays and stuff like that, protections, because they kept a lot of the stuff that Joe liked last year. … It's going to be a fun next few days, just trying to get as much down as I can to back up Matt and be ready to go."

The extra day to prepare -- because the game is on Monday -- will help, Clausen said.

"In any situation where your starter goes down, you have to bring someone in who's not a practice squad guy or a third-string guy that you bring up, it's going to be tough," he said. "I've just got to manage it, get into the books, study as much as I can and get ready to go."

Clausen has made one start this season, and a second substitute appearance, and has completed 58.4 percent of his passes for 184 yards and an interception. He's 1-11 as a starter in his career with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 19 career games.

Block party

Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers' 25-yard field goal miss wasn't initially ruled a block, but the Ravens asked the NFL to take another look at it after special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg and outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith insisted Smith got a piece of the kick.

On Wednesday, 10 days after that game, the league awarded Smith the block. As a result, the Ravens now have a blocked kick in four straight games.

Asa Jackson blocked a punt in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals and an extra-point attempt the following week against the San Diego Chargers. On Sunday against the Rams, defensive end Lawrence Guy blocked an extra point.

End zone

Running back Justin Forsett is the Ravens' nominee for the NFL's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. … Punter Sam Koch leads in the Pro Bowl voting at his position, just over 5,000 votes ahead of New England Patriots punter Ryan Allen. The only other player in the top two at his position, kicker Justin Tucker, trails Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, by more than 55,000 votes.

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