Last Updated: 28th August, 2020 07:28 IST Jackson, Fully Stocked Ravens Look For Better Ending In 2020 The Baltimore Ravens put together a storybook regular season in 2019, using dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson to set several NFL marks and win the AFC North with the best record in franchise history Written By LIVE TV SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW US COMMENT First Published: 28th August, 2020 07:28 IST WATCH US LIVE Associated Press Television News The Baltimore Ravens put together a storybook regular season in 2019, using dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson to set several NFL marks and win the AFC North with the best record in franchise history.Their goal this season is to duplicate that success, and attach to it an alternate ending.The Ravens went 14-2 last year, winning their final 12 games to enter the postseason as the top seed in the AFC. Jackson was the NFL MVP after setting a league record for yards rushing by a quarterback with 1,206, part of Baltimore’s record-breaking 3,296 yards on the ground.Those gaudy numbers were, unfortunately, the only positive takeaways from a season that ended with a deeply disappointing 28-12 loss to Tennessee in Baltimore’s playoff opener.After watching Derrick Henry throttle the Ravens’ defense for 195 yards, general manager Eric DeCosta traded for veteran lineman Calais Campbell and signed free agent end Derek Wolfe . DeCosta also secured middle linebacker Patrick Queen, running back J.K. Dobbins and speedy receiver Devin Duvernay in the draft and slapped the franchise tag on linebacker Matthew Judon.“We added a lot of key pieces this offseason with free agency and the draft,” running back Mark Ingram said. “We’re bringing back our ballers and playmakers. We added more ballers and playmakers. We’ve got our coaching staff back.”The resulting mix just might erase the sting of that loss to the Titans.“That’s the goal — to have a better season than we did last year. We didn’t finish how we wanted. We wanted to be champions,” Ingram said. “That’s the standard here. Nothing less.”For a team to get to the Super Bowl, solid coaching and standout players are a must. Chemistry is also a factor, which is why the Ravens were willing to cut loose seven-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas after he became involved in a fight during practice and was detracting from the feel-good vibe in the locker room.JACKSON, CHAPTER 3Jackson had a breakout season in his first full year as a starter, running wild and throwing for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns.Not too shabby, but the third-year quarterback and the Ravens know there’s room for improvement, especially in the passing game.“You talk about Brett Favre and Joe Montana and those guys, it’s always (about) putting more tricks in your bag,” Ravens quarterback coach James Urban said. “We’re never going to lose the ability for him to take the ball and run, like he does, and that great natural ability. But we do want to improve the pocket passing consistency.”Jackson knows he has a reliable target in tight end Mark Andrews, who led the Ravens last year in catches, yards receiving and touchdown catches. The plan is to make wideouts Marquise Brown, Willie Snead and Duvernay a bigger part of the mix.“We’re building a lot,” Jackson said. “We’re doing a lot better than we were last year, especially at deep passes.”THE BIG GUYIt’s didn’t take long for the hulking 6-foot-8, 300-pound Campbell to make a big impression on his coach and new teammates.“He’s a great leader,” coach John Harbaugh said of the five-time Pro Bowl lineman. “But you know the thing about these guys is — you don’t realize it until you stand there on the field — how big they are. Calais looks big.”Campbell will be a huge part of the run defense, but he can also get after the quarterback. He totaled 30 1/2 sacks over the past three years with Jacksonville.FOUR ACESThe Ravens had a trio of solid running backs last year, with Ingram rushing for 1,018 yards, Gus Edwards accounting for 711 and Justice Hill adding 225 and a pair of scores as a rookie.Dobbins, a star at Ohio State, provides Harbaugh with a fourth option.“He’s going to get an opportunity to play, for sure,” Harbaugh said. “I like everything we’ve seen so far. It’s just camp, but he has certainly lived up to expectations.”REPLACING YANDAIt’s tough to replace a standout guard such as Marshal Yanda, who retired this past offseason, but DeCosta took a stab at it by signing free agent guard D.J. Fluker.Fluker has seven years of experience, but there’s no substitute for Yanda in terms of execution and leadership.“What Marshal did here, it’s going to be so hard to replicate,” tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. “He was just so important and so special to our offensive line room, as well as the franchise.”PANDEMICThe Ravens had only two players opt out because of the coronavirus pandemic, kick returner De’Anthony Thomas and reserve offensive tackle Andre Smith.There won’t be any fans at home games for the initial part of the season, which means the Ravens lose the advantage of having 70,000 fans offering their support and making enough noise to rattle opposing offenses at the line.“It’s going to a different vibe,” linebacker Tyus Bowser said.Image credits: AP
The 30-year-old has reeled off nine successive wins since losing to rival Anthony Joshua in December 2015, with that stoppage defeat the only blemish on his professional record.”Wilder should have fought me a year ago. We’ve offered him $15 million, and he’s going to make $1m or $2m fighting Breazeale. Why?” Whyte said. “I’m your No. 1 challenger, I’m a bigger name than Breazeale, I bring more to the table and I’m going repay you $15 million.”He just doesn’t want the fight. For some reason there’s something about me he sees that he doesn’t like – whether that the body punches, toughness or what, I don’t know.” Join DAZN to watch GGG in June and 100+ fight nights a yearWhyte had previously been set to take on Breazeale to decide who would become the mandatory challenger for the belt, only for the latter to then suddenly be elevated to the position.Now left in limbo, the Jamaica-born fighter has questioned why he has been overlooked by the WBC.”It’s a joke fight, it’s all politics,” Whyte told talkSPORT. “They’ve had no choice, they’ve been put in this position.”He shouldn’t be mandatory. I’ve been the number one for two years, I’ve won every single title outside the world title the WBC have to offer.”I don’t understand, how come he’s fighting Wilder?”Whyte also criticized Wilder for turning down a lucrative offer for them to face each other, believing his unbeaten rival is simply not keen to come up against him. Dillian Whyte has hit out at the WBC’s decision to order Deontay Wilder to defend his title against Dominic Breazeale, branding the fight a “joke.”The governing body issued a statement on Wednesday announcing heavyweight champion Wilder will face fellow American Breazeale next after failing to agree a deal for a rematch against Tyson Fury.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is expected to open a new sub-office at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) very soon, the agency has said.The DEA has gained substantial ground at the RIA, Lower Margibi County, in terms of an appreciable office space befitting the entity’s scope of operations that is deemed nationally and internationally crucial in the face of the proliferation of drug trafficking and abuse in the society.It may be recalled that during a recent visit to Liberia by the U.S. Under Secretary of State, a cheque of US$10,000 was presented to the Agency to be used for renovating a decent office space for its agents at the RIA. With the renovated office now available, DEA agents at the airport will have their own premises, unlike before when those assigned there would operate in the open.Ahead of the pending dedicatory ceremony, office furniture and equipment including computers, desks, chairs and other items were donated to the Agency by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC). UNODC is working in conjunction with the International Narcotics Law Enforcement (INL) to build the DEA’s capacity.UNODC representative Yilaa Wloti Se said the donations were a practical indication of the partnership between DEA and UNODC in their mutual fight against dangerous narcotics drugs. He promised UNODC’s willingness to embrace efforts being made by the DEA to ensure that the fight against dangerous narcotics drugs produce good results.DEA Director General Anthony K. Souh, who received the donations, expressed gratitude that the dream of his administration to establish firm roots in all strategic ports of entry in the country is becoming a reality.Souh said the enthusiasm of his administration has begun to grow deeper and deeper given the recognition and backing from the international community, particularly the United States Government.“When the governments of Liberia, the United States, and the UN, among other stakeholders, are on our side, why should we fear?” he cheerfully asked. According to him, the DEA remains committed to its mandate, and as such, will make the difference.“Our being at the RIA is a matter of law as well as well as the request of the UNODC assessment report on Liberia,” said Mr. Souh. He went on to commend the management of the RIA for making the office space available and noted that a formal dedication of the new DEA office is expected soon.