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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2013
The NFL offseason heats up on Tuesday when the free agency period begins and the NFL draft will take place next month. In anticipation of those events, blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will look at six key positions the Ravens might address in free agency and the NFL draft in the days leading up to the start of free agency. The Ravens won their second Lombardi Trophy this winter thanks in large part due to the play of quarterback Joe Flacco, but let's not forget about the speedy guys who were on the receiving end of all those tight spirals.
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By Matt Zenitz and Baltimore Sun Media Group | October 6, 2014
The Green Bay Packers signed former Maryland wide receiver Kevin Dorsey to their active roster Monday. Dorsey, who was selected by the Packers in the seventh round of last year's draft, spent the first five weeks of this season on Green Bay's practice squad after spending last year on the team's injured reserve because of a toe injury. Dorsey, who had five catches for 52 yards for Green Bay during the preseason, only had 18 catches for 311 yards and four touchdowns as a senior at Maryland in 2013.
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Mike Preston | September 12, 2013
Despite high praise for being one of the best drafting teams in the NFL, the Ravens still have one significant area to improve: developing wide receivers. They solved the quarterback dilemma in 2008 when they selected Joe Flacco out of Delaware, but the talent at wide receiver hasn't always been there, and has become more glaring in 2013 after the Ravens traded receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers and lost tight end Dennis Pitta to a hip injury. Since the team began play in Baltimore in 1996, only two of the 20 receivers selected in the draft, Jermaine Lewis (1996)
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
There's a pretty solid chance that the Ravens' scouting report on the Indianapolis Colts' offense includes a few bolded reminders about how dangerous wide receiver T.Y. Hilton can be as a deep threat. Hilton is one of the fastest wide receivers in the NFL, having run the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds. “We just can't let him take the top off the defense,” Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. Hilton emerged last season as a pivotal figure in the Colts' offense, catching a career-high 82 passes for 1,083 yards and six touchdowns.
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By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2011
The addition of wide receivers Lee Evans and Torrey Smith presented quarterback Joe Flacco with two more weapons, and was supposed to make the Ravens more dynamic on offense. But after two weeks and one discouraging loss, the Ravens are already facing familiar questions about their downfield passing attack. In a disappointing 26-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Flacco threw for 197 yards and a touchdown, but he never got much going down the field. Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans combined for five catches and 91 yards and Smith, the former University of Maryland standout, remained without a catch in his rookie season.
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By Matt Vensel | April 25, 2011
We all know the Ravens have struggled to draft and develop wide receivers in their 15-year history. But as my Baltimore Sun colleague Jamison Hensley pointed out this weekend in an article on the subject, it’s not for a lack of trying. The Ravens have drafted 16 wide receivers over the years, from Jermaine Lewis in 1996 to David Reed last year. Here’s a link to Hensley’s story , which is a good read. General manager Ozzie Newsome said at least week’s draft luncheon that the Ravens will take a wide receiver with one of their nine picks, and with T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth set to become free agents, that probably isn’t a smokescreen.
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By Edward Lee | September 13, 2011
Lee Evans did not catch a pass despite being targeted four times by quarterback Joe Flacco in the Ravens' 35-7 thumping of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, but that doesn't mean that the wide receiver was ineffective. Coach John Harbaugh said Evans' speed forced the Pittsburgh defense to monitor him closely, which carved out opportunities for his teammates on underneath and intermediate routes. "Lee opened up a couple crossing routes for us where he takes the top off the coverage, and if they don't run with him, Joe's going to throw to him," Harbaugh said during his post-game media session on Monday.
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By Matt Vensel and The Baltimore Sun | February 27, 2012
The Ravens have stated that adding another wide receiver to the mix is one of their top offseason priorities. As my colleague Jeff Zrebiec reported this weekend from the 2012 NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh pretty much shot down the notion that the team would pursue one of the top unrestricted free agents on the market next month and general manager Ozzie Newsome said the Ravens aren't going to attempt to...
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By Matt Zenitz and Baltimore Sun Media Group | August 14, 2014
COLLEGE PARK -  Maryland coach Randy Edsall sat in front of a crowded auditorium for the Terps' media day Monday. He was complimentary of many players and spoke optimistically throughout the 30-minute news conference. Wide receiver was the one position of which he was openly critical. Edsall shared his disappointment regarding how the group looked during the first week of preseason practice and talked about wanting to see better and more consistent play from what many analysts look at as the best collection of receivers in the Big Ten. Since then, he has. Edsall still wants more consistent effort when it comes to blocking.
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By Matt Vensel | March 3, 2012
When it comes to star power in NFL free agency in 2012, there might not be a more stacked position group than wide receiver. But much like the running back class, this year's bumper crop of free agent wide receivers will likely be thinned when some teams exercise their right to place the franchise tag on pending free agents. DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles has already received the franchise tagm and the long list of other free agent wideouts who could get tagged includes Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers, Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs, Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints, and Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills.
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By Jeff Zrebiec and The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2014
Jacoby Jones stalked from side-to-side in the end zone, measuring every step while paying no attention to the players lining up in front of him. When the ball sailed off the right foot of Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano, Jones sprung forward, sensing a rare opportunity. The anticipation, however, was short-lived. The kickoff landed about five yards in front of him and bounced over Jones' right shoulder to the back of the end zone for the touchback. It was yet another missed opportunity for Jones, who is having a hard time getting the ball in his hands and securing it when it does come his way. "I'm in a funk right now," an upbeat Jones said Wednesday.
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By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Maryland has won a five-year, $650 million federal grant that will give officials more flexibility to run the state's foster care program and reduce the number of children entering the system, Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration said Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant, which has been awarded to about 20 states so far, will allow Maryland to expand programs that help struggling families to avoid having their children turned over to foster care, state officials said.
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By Liz Bowie and The Baltimore Sun | September 30, 2014
Six public schools and three Catholic schools in Maryland were named Tuesday as National Blue Ribbon Schools, a designation given to the most successful schools in the country. The public schools honored this year included Western School of Technology and Environmental Science, a magnet school in Baltimore County, and Linthicum Elementary School in Anne Arundel County. Three Baltimore-area Catholic schools also were given the award: The School of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Immaculate Conception School in Towson and Our Lady of Grace School in Parkton.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | September 29, 2014
Orioles left-hander Zach Britton won't lie about it. Yes, in the past year, he considered what it would be like to wear a different uniform, to get a second chance elsewhere. Heading into last fall, Britton had struggled through consecutive rocky seasons in which a shoulder injury, lack of command and cracking confidence had thrust him into a career crossroads. Once considered a future ace, Britton weathered a brutal final month last season, pitching poorly in a spot start against the Cleveland Indians before being jettisoned to instructional league while his teammates were fighting in a pennant race.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The Ravens have re-signed veteran wide receiver Deonte Thompson to their practice squad and cut defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali'i. Thompson's practice squad salary will be more than the usual $6,300 per week, according to a source. Thompson cleared waivers Thursday, one day after being released for the second time in five days. He caught three touchdown passes during the preseason and 10 passes for 96 yards last season. Thompson is possibly the fastest player on the team with 4.21-second speed in the 40-yard dash.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The NFL sent a memo to every owner and team president today denying a report that it had received a video in April of former Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee inside a casino elevator. The Associated Press report Thursday night said a video of the February incident was sent by an anonymous law enforcement official to NFL security chief Jeffrey Miller. Rice's $35 million contract was terminated by the Ravens when a video of the punch surfaced on TMZ on Sept. 8. The NFL issued the following denial to owners and team presidents in this memo obtained by The Baltimore Sun: "Our office has found absolutely no evidence to support the claim of the anonymous 'law enforcement source' that he sent a video to the NFL office or that he received a telephone call to his 'disposable cell phone' from an unidentified female using an NFL line.
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By Matt Vensel | April 6, 2011
In the weeks leading up to April's NFL draft, I will highlight four players at each position whom the Ravens could target at different stages in the draft -- from their top pick to their Mr. Irrelevant. In this post, I will focus on wide receivers. Remember, I'm not saying the Ravens will take a wideout with their first-round pick. I'm just giving you a player whom they might consider if they decided to go that route, and it is definitely a possibility with T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte’ Stallworth slated to become unrestricted free agents.
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By Matt Vensel | August 17, 2011
Let's jump in the time machine and flash back in time to the early 2000s when Tom Cruise wasn't a known crazy person, "Freedom Fries" were an innovation in redneck culinary circles and men under the age of 40 wearing visors in public was considered to be socially acceptable. Thanks to Al Gore's Internet invention, fantasy football was starting to blow up -- and we were advised to select running backs with our first 13 or so picks. Back to the future, the NFL has become a passing league.
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By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
The arrival of veteran wide receiver Steve Smith didn't suddenly transform wide receiver Torrey Smith into the forgotten man in the Ravens' offense. That's been the net effect, though, for the former Maryland standout as Torrey Smith and quarterback Joe Flacco have struggled to connect on deep passes. Meanwhile, Steve Smith has thrived in offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's system. Torrey Smith has been targeted 19 times and has caught just six passes for 85 yards while Steve Smith has been thrown to 31 times and has 18 catches, 290 yards and a touchdown.
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By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
On Towson's first play from scrimmage last week against North Carolina Central, a 9-yard reception by fullback Dreon Johnson was nullified by an illegal block penalty on senior wide receiver Spencer Wilkins. Wilkins promptly got an earful from coach Rob Ambrose, but rather than take offense, the Ellicott City resident and Mount Hebron graduate found it reassuring. "Honestly, I would take more offense if the coaches weren't yelling at me, because I would feel like they don't care," Wilkins said after a practice this week.
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