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Caldwell relishes chances to run Ravens offense

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Caldwell relishes chances to run Ravens offense

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Don't expect Jim Caldwell to incorporate the triple-option or a variety of trick plays in his first NFL game as an offensive coordinator.

Caldwell grabbed the reins of the Baltimore Ravens' offense on Monday after head coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron. Caldwell was in his first year as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach, a job he will retain moving forward.

For his first assignment as an offensive coordinator, the 57-year-old Caldwell will be asked to oversee and direct an attack that must outdo Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, whom Caldwell coached in Indianapolis.

``It may seem like a bit of a novelty, but it isn't.,'' Caldwell said Thursday. ``We both have a job to do.''

Caldwell takes over a unit that has is ranked 18th in total yardage and has been inconsistent throughout the season. With only three weeks to go, he intends to tweak the offense rather than overhaul it.

``Obviously there's not going to be a system change of any sort,'' he said. ``I'll add a few wrinkles here and there. For the most part, I think the guys are comfortable with what we do. I've got to find what best suits our personnel and utilize that. Do the things that we do best.''

Cameron was criticized for not using running back Ray Rice enough, and others questioned whether quarterback Joe Flacco showed improvement from a year ago. Caldwell wouldn't tip his hand on how he intends to utilize either player, but it appears as if he can't wait to put his stamp on a unit with plenty of weapons.

``The reason why I coach is that I have a great passion for the game,'' he said. ``I love a challenge. There is nothing about professional football that's easy. So it's going to require everything you have and just a little bit more. That's what makes me excited about what we're doing.''

His only wish was that this opportunity came under different circumstances.

``The situation is tough. I hate to see a colleague lose his job,'' Caldwell said. ``I've been fired a few times as well. That's the tough part of it. But nevertheless I certainly am excited about having the opportunity to work with some outstanding men in a great organization with outstanding people surrounding me. Let's see what we can do.''

Flacco, like many players on the team, was stunned to see Cameron dismissed - especially at a time when the Ravens needed only one more win to clinch a fifth consecutive playoff berth. But Baltimore (9-4) has lost two in a row, and with a defense depleted by injury, it was time for the offense to take charge and make things happen.

``I think as an offense, we have to look at ourselves and see what we can do to be better,'' Flacco said. ``Obviously, we weren't good enough.''

With Caldwell at the helm, things won't be much different - although he intends to work in the booth rather than on the sideline, as Cameron did.

``Anytime you've been coaching quarterbacks, the offense runs through you,'' Caldwell said. ``That's what I've always been excited about.''

Quite a change for a guy who was a four-year starter at defensive back for Iowa from 1973-76 and began his coaching career working with the defense.

``I went to the offensive side of the ball to get a good sense of balance and things of that nature,'' Caldwell said. ``I wanted to really know offensive football. So the great majority of the latter part of my career has been on offense. There's not anything that you should not know if you're coaching the quarterbacks because you're involved in every situation.''

Now, though, he will be responsible for calling the plays. Whether he maintains the job after this season remains to be seen.

``You know what? I don't look any further than the next day,'' he said. ``Nothing's promised to you. In the Bible it tells you that. What I do is do my job. We'll worry about the other things down the road.''

Caldwell was head coach at Indianapolis from 2009-11. He was fired after the team went 2-14 in 2011, but still harbors hopes of getting another chance.

``I think if you're in this business that should always be your goal. Right?'' he said. ``I don't think I'll ever lose that particular desire until the point in time when they run me out of this business.''

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Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

In January of 2017, former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr took the podium at the team's training facility alongside head coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to announce he would be retiring from football at the age of 24.

Why? Orr suffered a shoulder injury during their week 16 game against longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which shed light into a condition he's had since birth.

He had a routine MRI, but the Ravens training staff suggested a full body CAT scan as well. The CAT scan reveled Orr had a congenital back/spine condition where one of the upper vertebra isn't totally formed causing there to be an opening. Less than 1 percent of people are born with such a condition and he wasn't aware of it until he suffered this injury.

Doctors told Orr he was at risk of paralysis or even death if he played with such a condition. He also would have never been able to pass an NFL physical, ultimately forcing him to retire.

During his press conference, Orr said this,

"If there's some miracle way where I can play the game, I promise I'd be the first one to grab my cleats again, start back training and try to find a way to get back out there," Orr said.

Well, fast forward to today and it seems that miracle may have happened.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo told Good Morning Football that after getting a second opinion from doctors, and receiving positive news, Orr is considering a return to the NFL.

"I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue. So I'm going to leave it alone. But I just kept hearing that from multiple people and some were telling me to just go check out and seek out some more opinions and things like that and come to find out my condition, it is rare – .01 percent of the people have what I have – but there's no actual evidence or facts that I'm at a higher risk than any other player. And it's actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems."

The doctors' real concerns would be if someone with Orr's spinal condition played with a herniated disk. He did suffer from herniated disks last season, but that injury has since diminished. 

MORE RAVENS: 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

If Orr does decide to get back into the NFL, getting signed could be pretty easy. 

When he announced his retirement, he never filed for retirement papers and the Ravens never placed him on their reserve/retired list because they never thought he would play again.

Because of this, Orr is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with a team right away. 

Orr had his best season in 2016, where he lead the Ravens in tackles with 133. It's been reported that eight teams have reached out to the linebacker since his announcement and that he will be meeting with the Lions on Thursday. 

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Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

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Ravens 2017 Preseason Schedule: Opponents, Dates, Times, TV Channel, How to Watch

The 2017 NFL preseason will be here in no time. Once the preseason gets here, it is just a matter of time (a month) before the regular season is set to begin. 

Back in April the NFL announced the preseason schedule for all 32 teams.

The Baltimore Ravens four preseason games will span across four weeks starting on August 10, running to August 31. 

Opening up the exhibition schedule, the Ravens will host their beltway rivals, the Washington Redskins on August 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on WBAL-TV, as well as the other three preseason games. 

RAVENS 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1 Ravens vs. Redskins:

Opponent: Washington Redskins
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Thursday, August 10, 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 2: Ravens at Dolphins

Opponent: Miami Dolphins
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Florida
When: Thursday, August 17, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 3: Ravens vs. Bills

Opponent: Buffalo Bills
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
When: Sunday, August 26, 7:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: WBAL-TV

Week 4: Ravens at Saints

When: Thursday, August 31, 8:00 p.m. ET
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TV Channel: WBAL-TV