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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2014
After enjoying more of a team mentality in college, first-year pros learn quickly during OTAs and minicamp that life in the NFL is spent mostly with your position groups. The Ravens four first-year offensive lineman - fifth-round pick John Urschel, plus undrafted free agents James Hurst, Brett Van Sloten, and Parker Graham - began their pro development this year as a unit. They know they could see their rookie group trimmed when the roster is dropped from 90 to 53 by the end of training camp, but have used this spring's team activities to learn the pro game together and improve their own game.
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Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2014
The Ravens survived an emergency situation at left guard when starter Kelechi Osemele was ruled out shortly before kickoff after testing out his bruised, hyperextended right knee during warmups. Osemele looked immobile while trying to do drills in the end zone, noticeably favoring his knee and unable to plant and change direction enough to convince the coaching staff and trainers to play him. So, the Ravens started rookie fifth-round draft pick John Urschel in place of Osemele after initially announcing that backup center Gino Gradkowski would start at left guard.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
Led by guards Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda and featuring undrafted rookie James Hurst at left tackle, the Ravens' offensive line held its opponent without a sack for the third straight game and paved the way for another strong performance by the team's running backs. The five-man line, which features only Yanda in the same role as he played last year, has become a strength for the team after spending 2013 as the offense's scapegoat. "It's been really good," quarterback Joe Flacco said after Sunday's 38-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS -- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco slowly picked himself up after being slammed to the ground, trudging off the field Sunday afternoon with a slight hitch in his step. Although he finished the game unhurt, Flacco appeared to be feeling the effects of being punished by the Indianapolis Colts' relentless pass rush. It was that kind of day for Flacco and the Ravens' offensive line during a 20-13 defeat to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The former Super Bowl Most Valuable Player was sacked four times and hit six times overall.
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By Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun | May 14, 2014
The timing couldn't have been much worse for offensive tackle James Hurst when he broke his left leg during North Carolina's bowl game in late December. As a senior last season, Hurst was projected by draft analysts to land in either the second or third round, until he got hurt. Because of the injury, Hurst could not play in the Senior Bowl or participate in the NFL scouting combine. And he still wasn't 100 percent by his pro day workout this spring. If not for that unfortunate set of circumstances, Hurst probably would have been drafted instead of being signed to a free-agent deal by the Ravens this week.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
At every stop in his young football career, undrafted rookie James Hurst hasn't had much time to settle in before being thrust into a starting role. In both high school and college, it turned out he was ready the moment he walked onto the field, and the Ravens are hoping the same proves true on Sunday when he starts in place of left tackle Eugene Monroe, who underwent knee surgery on Wednesday. "I'm going to use that [knowledge] for confidence and understanding that sure, this is a bigger stage and it's a completely different opportunity, but at the same time, the experience is similar, being a young guy and being thrust in there in a position where you're playing a really good team.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
After faring well in his first NFL start last week, Ravens left tackle James Hurst acknowledged that Sunday's game against the Colts will provide a different challenge because of the communication issues that traditionally come into play for an offensive line on the road. Hurst, though, takes some comfort in that he'll be quite familiar with his surroundings. The undrafted free agent, who made the team out of training camp and then was elevated into a starting role when Eugene Monroe had knee surgery, grew up in Plainfield, Ind., and has attended “countless” games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2014
Days after Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe was barely able to hobble back to the huddle against the Cleveland Browns, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to address the issue. Although Monroe isn't expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday Monroe won't play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and could miss additional games. With the left tackle situation having reached emergency status, Monroe will be replaced in the starting lineup by undrafted rookie James Hurst.
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Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2014
The Ravens survived an emergency situation at left guard when starter Kelechi Osemele was ruled out shortly before kickoff after testing out his bruised, hyperextended right knee during warmups. Osemele looked immobile while trying to do drills in the end zone, noticeably favoring his knee and unable to plant and change direction enough to convince the coaching staff and trainers to play him. So, the Ravens started rookie fifth-round draft pick John Urschel in place of Osemele after initially announcing that backup center Gino Gradkowski would start at left guard.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Although Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe said his arthroscopic knee surgery went well last week, he was noncommittal on when he'll return to practice. Monroe declined to say if he completely tore or partially tore his meniscus and said he has no timetable on when he'll be able to run again. Monroe is expected to miss roughly a month, according to a source. "It just depends," Monroe said. "I'm doing everything I can to get back as soon as it's possible. I just come in and work every day to get healthy.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
After faring well in his first NFL start last week, Ravens left tackle James Hurst acknowledged that Sunday's game against the Colts will provide a different challenge because of the communication issues that traditionally come into play for an offensive line on the road. Hurst, though, takes some comfort in that he'll be quite familiar with his surroundings. The undrafted free agent, who made the team out of training camp and then was elevated into a starting role when Eugene Monroe had knee surgery, grew up in Plainfield, Ind., and has attended “countless” games at Lucas Oil Stadium.
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The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston answers readers' questions on the Ravens' win over the Carolina Panthers and other topics about the team. Sure, Steve Smith was the star of Sunday's win over his former team. But I really liked what I saw from Justin Forsett. Last week it was Lorenzo Taliaferro. How long can the Ravens keep up this running back-by-committee approach? -- Eddie R. The Ravens should keep the running back by committee going for the rest of the season. It is working and they do not have a feature back on the roster.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Although Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe said his arthroscopic knee surgery went well last week, he was noncommittal on when he'll return to practice. Monroe declined to say if he completely tore or partially tore his meniscus and said he has no timetable on when he'll be able to run again. Monroe is expected to miss roughly a month, according to a source. "It just depends," Monroe said. "I'm doing everything I can to get back as soon as it's possible. I just come in and work every day to get healthy.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
Led by guards Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda and featuring undrafted rookie James Hurst at left tackle, the Ravens' offensive line held its opponent without a sack for the third straight game and paved the way for another strong performance by the team's running backs. The five-man line, which features only Yanda in the same role as he played last year, has become a strength for the team after spending 2013 as the offense's scapegoat. "It's been really good," quarterback Joe Flacco said after Sunday's 38-10 win over the Carolina Panthers.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
At every stop in his young football career, undrafted rookie James Hurst hasn't had much time to settle in before being thrust into a starting role. In both high school and college, it turned out he was ready the moment he walked onto the field, and the Ravens are hoping the same proves true on Sunday when he starts in place of left tackle Eugene Monroe, who underwent knee surgery on Wednesday. "I'm going to use that [knowledge] for confidence and understanding that sure, this is a bigger stage and it's a completely different opportunity, but at the same time, the experience is similar, being a young guy and being thrust in there in a position where you're playing a really good team.
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Mike Preston | September 25, 2014
Soon after the 2013 season ended, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh admitted that he knew his offense was in trouble once tight end Dennis Pitta was injured and declared out for the season shortly into training camp. Pitta is out for the season again after he re-injured his hip Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, and the Ravens announced Wednesday that starting left tackle Eugene Monroe could be out for an extended period because of a knee injury. It's not a good situation for the Ravens, who play the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers within the next six weeks.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2014
The Ravens' second-string offensive line, featuring a combination of rookies and former starters, will get its most extended playing time Thursday in the final preseason game against New Orleans. Despite some injuries and shuffling within the unit during the preseason, coach John Harbaugh said he's happy with the group's performance so far in the preseason. “I think our depth on our offensive line is at least as good as anybody else's,” Harbaugh said. “If you look around the league, it's hard to have ten starting offensive linemen on your roster.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2014
The Ravens' top decision makers are always preaching about the importance of roster competition. They want it at every position, not just for starting roles but for special teams units and back-end roster spots. Heading into training camp which officially begins with the first full-squad practice on July 24, the Ravens' front office has assembled a 90-man roster that will need to be whittled down to 53 in the coming weeks. The roster has a mixture of youth and experience and is particularly deep at wide receiver where 12 guys are competing for five or six spots.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2014
Days after Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe was barely able to hobble back to the huddle against the Cleveland Browns, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to address the issue. Although Monroe isn't expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday Monroe won't play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and could miss additional games. With the left tackle situation having reached emergency status, Monroe will be replaced in the starting lineup by undrafted rookie James Hurst.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | August 30, 2014
The Ravens pared their roster down to the NFL's required 53-player limit Saturday, choosing to keep two quarterbacks and seven wide receivers and leaving themselves thin at cornerback and along the offensive and defensive lines. Among their 13 cuts were veteran guard A.Q. Shipley, who started nine games last year; outside linebacker John Simon, a fourth-round draft pick in 2013; quarterback Keith Wenning, a sixth-round selection in May; and veteran cornerbacks Dominique Franks and Derek Cox. With Wenning's release, the Ravens will enter their fifth straight season with just two quarterbacks on the roster.
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