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Ravens coach John Harbaugh shares insights on team's roster as he awaits return to field

Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Football

Harbaugh praised Madubuike's explosiveness and Washington's brute power, saying the additions will allow Brandon Williams to focus on playing nose guard.

In the secondary, Harbaugh said veteran Jimmy Smith could see time at safety after the Ravens re-signed him to a one-year deal in the offseason. Incumbent starting safety Chuck Clark will likely call the defensive signals again, though Harbaugh would prefer to see that role go to a linebacker eventually.

"He's bold, he's brilliant and he's brief," Harbaugh said of Clark.

On offense, Harbaugh doesn't necessarily expect the Ravens to throw more this year, even though he does expect Lamar Jackson to continue improving as an all-around quarterback. "I wouldn't say we're going to become a more conventional offense," he said. "That's the last thing we want to do."

That means Ravens wide receivers will again be asked to block more and accept fewer targets than their peers on other teams.

Harbaugh predicted second-year wide receiver Miles Boykin wil thrive under those circumstances. "I think it takes a unique type of player to want to play in this system. ... But to me, those are the guys who do well as receivers," he said. "They're going to catch tough, contested passes in critical situations with defensive players hanging all over them. I think that's the kind of guy Miles can be."

 

He said Boykin bought a JUGS machine for home use and has worked hard at the team's facility to rehabilitate a minor injury. "He's just a big, fast talented guy who's not just that, but he's a good person," Harbaugh said.

Meanwhile, he called the team's crowded offensive backfield -- with Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill joined by second-round pick J.K. Dobbins -- "a good problem to have."

"Is that really a problem?" he said. "To have four guys that are capable of breaking off big runs and making guys miss? I think that's going to be a plus, and there's certainly going to be competition."

Some observers wondered if Hill might be the odd man out after the Ravens drafted Dobbins, but Harbaugh offered strong praise for the second-year running back.

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