Madden ‘21 player ratings for Lamar Jackson and Ravens rookies

The release of player ratings on Madden is an annual summer tradition. EA Sports’ flagship game has become a staple in the football community. The Baltimore Ravens’ roster is stacked with standout players. But they also added plenty of speed via the NFL Draft. 

All of the detailed ratings haven’t been released yet, so we don’t know what Marquis ‘Hollywood’ Brown’s speed will he rated. No rating was released for first-round pick Parrick Queen either.

Lets take a look at a few of their top ratings. It all starts with reigning MVP Lamar Jackson who also appears on the cover of Madden ‘21. Jackson received a 94 rating which placed him third out of the QBs behind Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Jackson offered his thoughts regarding the rating recently on Sportscenter.

“A 94? A 94?! Aww. I wish it was better. But hey, it’s [better] than last year. I guess we can roll with it until the season starts,” Jackson said.

Madden gave Jackson a 96 speed rating which fits his explosive playmaking ability.

Entering the 2019 season, Jackson’s rating was a 79 on last year’s Madden. His stellar play caused a ratings increase via downloadable updates as the season continued. 

Last season, Jackson proved that he was a legitimate quarterback, dispelling the foolish pre-draft ideas that he should switch to running back or wide receiver. 

A few of the Ravens rookies got some love from Madden as well. Second-round pick J.K. Dobbins was the highest rated rookie running back at 75 overall. His 91 speed and 90 acceleration highlighted his ratings.

Wide receiver Devin Duvernay was a 71 overall but he came in at 92 for his speed and 91 for his acceleration. Fellow rookie receiver James Proche checked in with an 88 speed and 90 acceleration. 

The top 10 Ravens player ratings in Madden ‘21 are as follows:

Calais Campbell – 95

Lamar Jackson – 94

Ronnie Stanley – 93

Marlon Humphrey – 89

Earl Thomas- 88

Justin Tucker – 87

Brandon Williams- 86

Mark Ingram – 86

Mark Andrews – 86

Sam Koch – 85

Ravens GM John Harbaugh hopeful to have NFL season

Like many other NFL teams, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way the Baltimore Ravens conducted their offseason. With training camp set to take place in just over a month, there are questions about whether or not the league will be able to have a season. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, offered some not too promising words when asked about the NFL 2020 season. 

“Unless players are essentially in a bubble insulated from the community and they are tested nearly every day— it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall,” Fauci told CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “If there is a second wave, which is certainly a possibility and which would be complicated by the predictable flu season, football may not happen this year.”

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Monday that he is hopeful the NFL season will move forward as scheduled.

Other sports that have attempted to take the next steps were met with an uptick in positive tests for Covid-19. Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic tested positive after an exhibition match in Croatia. 

College football started their summer workouts last week. Clemson announced 23 of their players and five of their staff members have tested positive. Texas had 13 positive tests and they currently have 10 players in quarantine. Kansas State shutdown their workouts after 14 cases. 

The NFL has said they will make the necessary adjustments to provide the safest possible work environment for the coaches and players. The league issued a memo outlining tiers of access for team employees.

They’ll work to implement their strategy before the start of training camp. When they do start, the same challenge that other sports are encountering will be presented to NFL teams.

Harbaugh remains optimistic about the NFL’s chances and is speaking it into existence. 

“I’m confident that it will happen. I’m very hopeful. I’m praying for it,” Harbaugh said. “I want it to happen and think it will happen. I believe it will happen. I think we’ll have the protocols in place.”

Ravens Steve Bisciotti releases statement about Black Lives Matter

The Baltimore Ravens have consistently been one of the more progressive organizations in the NFL. In November 2002, Ozzie Newsome was named as the team’s general manager. Newsome was the first black man to hold the position in the NFL. With Steve Bisciotti as the owner, the Ravens continue to show support to the Baltimore community, the majority of which is black. Bisciotti’s latest message is possibly his strongest yet.

The Ravens owner released a message via the team’s website in support of Black Lives Matter and took a bold stand against the social injustices, police brutality, and systemic racism that exists today.

“Ravens Nation, like most of you I’m sure watching those videos shook you, and shook me to my core. It made me sick; and it made me angry,” Bisciotti said.

One of the videos Bisciotti was referring to was of George Floyd being murdered by former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s kneck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, resulting in Floyd’s death.

Floyd’s murder wasn’t the only video that Bisciotti watched. Bisciotti said he saw the video of Ahmaud Aubrey being murdered 7-10 days before seeing the video of Floyd’s murder. He called it the most despicable thing he had ever seen.

As the owner of the Ravens, Bisciotti has gotten the chance to develop close-knit relationships with many black players. He wants them to be able to express their concerns and have people actually listen. 

“All they’re asking for is right now is to be heard. I want to ask you individually, Are you willing to listen? That’s all they want. And if you listen enough, will you learn to speak up? That’s the hardest thing for us. But it’s the first thing that they need…to just believe they have partners that want to listen.

“I’ve learned in my life more than anything, that anger comes from hurt. I see that anger. If we don’t stop and think about the hurt that has been caused nothing will ever change. These young men are hurting and they’re begging us to listen.”

Bisciotti said he got to sit in on virtual meetings with the players. He admitted that the conversations were uncomfortable for both he and the players. Seeing them being uncomfortable had a huge impact on Bisciotti. His fear of saying the wrong thing would have made it easy not to say anything but he refused to allow being quiet to be an option for him or the Ravens organization.

Now he is urging everyone to speak up and take a stand in addition to calling out those who don’t.

“To say ‘stick to sports’ to my players is the worst possible thing that you can feel and say. If my players both white and black don’t speak out about this injustice to their communities, then they’re sellouts or they’re hypocrites. If I don’t defend my players, then I’m the worst kind of hypocrite.

“I’ve spent 20 years loving watching them perform. Building relationships with these young men has meant more than success on the field. If I was them, I wouldn’t want to work for me if I’m scared to speak out or if I didn’t consider economic hurt because I don’t want to offend. I’m not going to do it and I hope the fans feel the same way. 

“Black lives matter and I think for the vast majority of you all, you feel it and more importantly you live it by your actions. So, why is saying it, so hard? If you don’t understand it then ask the difficult questions.”Well said, Mr. Bisciotti.

Ravens make financial commitment to social justice reform

The recent occurrences of police social injustice have made it clear that change is needed. Breona Taylor and George Floyd lost their lives at the hands of

police. Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by vigilantes. Enough is enough.

The Baltimore Ravens have always been an organization that has a deep connection to the community. Knowing that change is needed, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is committing $1 million to make that change through social justice reform in the Baltimore area through the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation according to the team site.

Bisciotti released the following statement via on Monday, June 1, 2020:

“There is nothing I can say to ease the pain felt by African-American communities across our country. No words will repair the damage that has been done.

“Like many people, I am sickened, disheartened and shaken by the acts of racism that continue to overwhelm our society. The most recent killing, involving George Floyd, is yet another tragic example of the discrimination that African-Americans face each day.

“Now, more than ever, we must all strengthen our pursuit of positive change, as we stand with peaceful protestors around the country. We must all seek to understand by listening better and learning more. We must all discover new ways to unite. We must all work to break the cycle of systematic racial injustice.

“Our players have been— and will continue to be— at the forefront of this change. We believe in their commitment to furthering social justice and invoking meaningful change. We stand side by side with them, in full support. It is for this reason that I have asked a group of former and current Ravens players to decide which organizations should receive proceeds from the $1 million donation we are making today.”

A committee consisting of current and former Ravens players will determine which programs will directly benefit from the funds.

This isn’t the first time the Ravens have worked to create change after police brutality. In 2018, the Ravens organization along with its players donated a combined $500,000 to various social justice efforts throughout Baltimore City.

Back in 2015, after Freddie Gray’s death during an arrest by Baltimore police, the Ravens reached out to the community. Protestors stormed the streets and the protest turned into looting. The Ravens sent two busloads of coaches and players to talk to people in the community and help out where they could.

Now is the time for unity and taking a collective stand against social injustice. The Ravens are doing the right thing, which will hopefully be the start of an extreme push towards making America a better place for people of color.

Ravens re-open training facility

The NFL recently showed signs of climbing out from the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the country. As more states begin to open up, various NFL teams are re-opening their facilities.

The Baltimore Ravens recently received notice from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan that they are cleared to re-open their facilities with Phase 1 restrictions.

A drive past the Under Armour Performance Center or M&T Bank Stadium will no longer result in seeing an empty parking lot. The buildings won’t see the return of all team employees however. Phase 1 permits up to 75 team employees to be allowed in the building.

Each NFL team opening their facilities are required to implement an Infection Response Team. The team is made up of the following:

• A local physical with expertise in common infectious disease principles

• The club infection control officer

• Team athletic trainer

• Team head physician

• HR Director

• Chief of security

• Team mental health physician

• Member of club operations staff

The 75 employees don’t include players or coaches. Players that reporting to the facility for rehab before it closed in March are permitted to continue to go to the building. If the strength and conditioning coach was working with the players during their rehab process before the facility closed, he/she is able to continue to do so during Phase 1.

Members of the football administration staff, football operations staff, personnel staff, medical staff, equipment staff and nutritionists are permitted in the building. Any employee entering the building must first undergo COVID-19 safety and hygiene training.

Like other teams that are re-opening, the Ravens will require employees to wear masks and practice social distancing. There will also be temperature checks before entrance into the facility is granted.

Although the future schedule is uncertain, this is a step in the right direction towards revisiting some form of continuation into the next part of the offseason.

The next phase of the reopening plan calls for coaches to return to the building. but Ravens team President Dick Cass hinted that it will be kind of a wait and see approach.

“If the infection rate is really low, as I expect it will be by late summer, and we have adequate testing, and people are careful when they leave the building, I think there’s a really good shot that we’ll be OK,” Cass said via the Ravens team website.

The goal is to at least have a full training camp leading into the regular season. According to Yahoo Sports, June 15 and June 27 are dates earmarked as possibilities for full-squad minicamps. None or that is possible without signoff from the NFLPA.

As of Wednesday, there is no agreement in place regarding the players’ role in the reopening plan. Cleveland Browns offensive lineman and NFLPA president JC Tretter released the following statement on social media on Tuesday:

“Our union has not agreed to any reopening plan. Any reports about coming back to work are hypothetical. You will hear from the NFLPA when there are new developments.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross told CNBC earlier this week that he fully expects an NFL season to take place. However, Ross admitted that he was uncertain as to whether or not fans will be in the stands.

Ravens Ray Lewis to start a podcast

Baltimore Ravens fans flocked to M&T Bank Stadium every time Ray Lewis took the field from 1996 – 2012. The Super Bowl MVP and 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker even has a statute outside of the stadium. His story of overcoming a rough childhood and his drive to become great has served as motivation for so many people.

Imagine being able to listen to Baltimore Ravens Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis tell stories and offer words of encouragement basically whenever you want. The idea of being able to have that kind of access to Lewis is a dream for most Ravens fans.

Fans can now get an up-close experience with Lewis because he is starting his own podcast called, “Everyday Greatness. The Ray Lewis Podcast.” New episodes will be available every Friday on iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts, and other platforms.

Here is the description of the podcast from the home page: “Through compelling interviews and sharing personal stories and life lessons— both on and off the field, “Everyday Greatness: The Ray Lewis Podcast” is an opportunity to join the former NFL linebacker in his life-long quest to understand what inspires and motivates GREATNESS.”

Lewis says he decided to start the podcast after his daughter Diamond told him that all of his great stories should be shared with the masses. Throughout his

12-year career, Lewis was known as one of the NFL’s all-time best leaders and motivators. Countless teammates have said Lewis’ intense leadership helped push them to higher levels of Greatness.

Having led Ravens teams to the only two Super Bowl wins in franchise history, Lewis should have an extensive library full of stories to share on his podcast.

“I am excited to announce the launch of my new podcast. Every day we try to figure out a way to be better, a way to better our situation, a way to come out of bad situations. Now, I get this opportunity to sit back and share, travel the world and interview some awesome people, to actually chase what greatness is,” Lewis said on his homepage. “I believe, if you think about where we are now in this pandemic, we are in a place that you now have time to re-identify with yourself. So, I am asking you to come along with me on this ride and download new episodes of Everyday Greatness. The Ray Lewis podcast every Friday! It’s not what you have, it’s what’s inside of you that actually inspires greatness.”

DJ Fluker signs with Ravens, reunites with college teammate Mark Ingram

The Baltimore Ravens finished last season with an NFL-best 206-yard rushing average per game. The trio of Mark Ingram, Lamar Jackson, and Gus Edwards did most of the running but the offensive line led by guard Marshal Yanda was an equally important part.

Yanda retired after the season, leaving a void at right guard. Veteran offensive lineman DJ Fluker was realeaed by the Seattle Seahawks soon after the draft. He made it no secret that he wanted to become a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

“The Ravens were like, ‘Hey if they’re going to let you go we’ll pick you up.’ It was perfect timing,” Fluker told Ben Baller on the Behind the Baller podcast.

Soon afterward, his desire came to fruition. The Ravens officially announced that Fluker was signed to a one-year contract on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Fluker will compete with second-year guard Ben Powers and 2020 third-round pick Tyre Phillips for the starting spot replacing Yanda. Fluker started 14 games for the Seahawks last season.

At 6-foot-5, 342 pounds, Fluker is known as a bulldozing lineman perfect for a power scheme like the Ravens utilize. The player to team match is obvious.

It goes beyond scheme. Fluker was a standout at Alabama where he was a teammate of Ravens running back Mark Ingram in 2009 and 2010. Ingram was selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 28th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

“Ingram was one of the guys that would talk trash to you. He knew he was the man when he stepped into the backfield. His dad played in the NFL, so he had it embedded in him that he was destined to be great. I knew he was going to the league because of his mentality and how he worked,” Fluker told Baller.

As a freshman, he was a candidate to replace current Ravens offensive lineman Andre Smith who was the No. 6 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2009 NFL Draft. Two years later, Fluker was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the 11th pick in 2013.

The Chargers originally slotted Fluker to play right tackle where he started all 16 games as a rookie and was named to the All-Rookie team. He moved to right guard in 2015.

The Chargers released Fluker in 2017. Four days later he signed a one-year $3 million deal with the New York Giants. Fluker started six games at right guard before a toe injury in Week 11 caused him to be placed on injured reserve.

Fluker moved on to the Seahawks the following season where he started nine games at right guard. He signed a two-year, $9 million extension with Seattle in 2019 but was released one year into the deal despite starting 14 games. One of his starts was in a 30-16 loss to the Ravens.

Now Fluker is reunited with Ingram in Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s scheme. Fluker is one of six Ravens who played at Alabama.

Ravens and Pernell McPhee reunite for another year

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a one-year-deal to bring veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee back for another season. Over the years, the Ravens have relied on their defense to build their tough, blue- collar reputation. Five of the 11 names on the Ravens’ ring of honor were defensive players. Even though McPhee may never see his name up there with the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, he has been a key part of the team’s history.

The offense uncharacteristically drew most of the attention last season. NFL MVP Lamar Jackson produced one of the most dynamic seasons ever by a quarterback. Baltimore averaged 31 points per game— a league best.

After a 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens are focused on building their defense through free agency this offsea- son. Signing McPhee gives them another defender that can help Baltimore return to the days of having a top defense.

McPhee was the 165th pick in the 2011draft but made his mark early in his career as a Raven. As a rookie McPhee posted six sacks. In his second season McPhee played a critical role during the playoffs when the 2012 Ravens team won the franchise’s second Super Bowl title.

After stints with the Chicago Bears from 2015 – 2017 and the Washington Redskins in 2018, McPhee returned to Baltimore last season.

McPhee was able to revisit his days as a disruptive player by registering three sacks, six QB hits, 19 tackles and seven tackles for a loss on seven games last year. Unfortunately, he missed the last nine games of the year after suffering a triceps injury in Baltimore’s week seven win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh hinted at the possibility of bringing McPhee back for another season last year. He felt that McPhee still had some productive football left in him. Har- baugh also praised how McPhee set the example for the younger players, specif- ically the outside linebackers.

“He’s been instrumental with the young guys. He’s been a very good player for us,” Harbaugh said after the Seahawks game.

The player who benefited the most from working with McPhee is perhaps third-year outside linebacker Jaylon Fer- guson. The season, Ferguson and sixth- year linebacker Jihad Ward will compete with McPhee for playing time.

Defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale used outside linebacker Matt Judon all over the field last year. That’s the way former defensive coordinator Dean Pees once featured McPhee. Mar- tindale will get another player that can be employed in different alignments to attack opposing teams.

It’s a win-win situation for the Ravens and McPhee. Baltimore retains a player who fully understands and embodies what it means to “play like a Raven.” The veteran player will have a presence in the locker room and set the tone for younger guys such as rookie Patrick Queen and Justin Madubuike.

McPhee will get to play for the team where he had lots of success and also where he has some unfinished business after having his last season cut short by injury.

Ravens Devin Duvernay Draws Comparison To Steve Smith Sr.

The Baltimore Ravens have made a concerted effort to add weapons to surround quarterback Lamar Jackson. After adding Marquise Brown last season, the Ravens added another dynamic receiver in former Texas wideout Devin Duvernay.

Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta is fired up about adding Duvernay to the team. He says Duvernay is a player that somewhat reminds him of Steve Smith Sr.

“He’s a tough guy. He reminds me of a few guys that we’ve had here in Baltimore, and I’ll reference guys like Anquan [Boldin], Derrick Mason and of course Steve Smith [Sr.] Those guys all had a competitive spirit about them that made them really stand out,” DeCosta said after selecting Duvernay on Friday. “I don’t think Devin is the biggest guy by any stretch, but he’s very tough, very physical, catches the ball really well, and he’s really tough with the football. So, I like those competitive guys who don’t go down, and he kind of has that style to him. He’s almost like a running back with the football.”

Duvernay consistently made catches across the middle of the field. Duvernay’s stocky 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds frame caused would be, tacklers to bounce off him, as he runs for yards after the catch. He has a violent style of play that definitely elicits comparison to Smith.

The comparison is music to Duvernay’s ears. Smith is a player that Duvernay looked up to before getting to the NFL.

“It means a lot. Those were some great players. I grew up watching Steve Smith Sr. I loved his game. He’s somebody I loved to watch and wanted to play like with that chip on his shoulder. It means a lot to get a comparison like that. I just have to keep working and get better. Maybe I can be like him one day,” Duvernay said.

The chip on Duvernay’s shoulder is now enhanced after falling to the fifth round of the 2020 draft. He felt he was one of the best receivers in the draft.

Duvernay’s number proves it. He led the country with 106 receptions for 1,341 yards and nine touchdowns over 13 games.

Ravens head coach Jon Harbaugh was caught celebrating the Duvernay selection on ESPN’s broadcast of the draft.

It’s already clear that Duvernay fits the Ravens from an on the field perspective. After hearing Harbaugh comment about Duvernay after the draft, it looks like he’ll fit their blue-collar approach to football as well.

“I got him on the call and he was all business,” Harbaugh said Saturday during ESPN’s draft broadcast. “He was like ‘c’mon, man let’s go to work. When can I get my playbook?’ I think he feels like he’s got a lot to prove so we like those kinds of guys here and they’re going to compliment us very well.”

Ravens Nick Boyle makes donation to Maryland Food Bank

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the world around us, people are losing their source of income. A simple trip to the grocery store can be a struggle for people who used to do so without any worries. Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle doesn’t have to worry about not being able to go to the store but that didn’t stop him from thinking about those who are less fortunate. He and his wife Kristina recently made a donation that will provide 75,000 meals for those in need.

“We’ve had a lot of time on our hands and we’ve been watching a lot of the news. You see everything going on today with people in need of food and not being able to work to have money to buy food. I imagine putting myself in that position of needing food and not being able to have it,” Nick said via the Ravens website. “Fortunately, I am not in that position but just thinking about that made me sick to my stomach. I wanted to reach out and help those people. Little kids, families, older people, anyone who needs to have a meal should be able to have a meal without having to worry.”

The Boyles made a donation to the Maryland Food Bank, which has distribution centers throughout the state, one of which is in Baltimore. They have provided meals for the less fortunate in Maryland before the Covid-19 pandemics and have become a primary source for those impacted since the quarantine.

Kristina says their family has previously volunteered at the Transformation Center in the Brooklyn area of Baltimore. They donated to the Maryland Food Bank knowing that it will help those at the Transformation Center and others beyond their reach.

Kristina is a nurse but isn’t working on the front lines because she has been on maternity leave since the birth of their four-month-old son, Broc. However, she has stayed in touch with some of her coworkers. They have told her about the working conditions and the long hours they have to work.

Even though she isn’t at work, Kristina can’t help but think of some of the people she interacted with when she was working. That’s a part of what drove them to make their generous donation.

“I’m actually a pediatric psyche nurse and I was working in a school setting up until maternity leave. I know a lot of the kids there. They depend on schools for a hot meal. It just breaks my heart knowing that with schools being closed they are not getting that hot meal. That’s something I wanted to help out with,” Kristina said.

The Ravens as a whole have always made a conscious effort to connect to the Baltimore area and support the city. This recent good deed is the latest example.

Nick praised his teammates and the Ravens organization for their community outreach efforts. He feels it’s important to help the people who come out to the games and cheer for the Ravens.

“It’s extremely important and we’ve done a really good job of that. There’s more that we can do, but I think the work that we’ve done shows that we truly care about those people on our community. Those are the people that support us, wanting us to do great. For us to support them— it’s huge.”