The Ravens’ 2018 schedule marks the start of John Harbaugh’s 11th season with Baltimore.
Harbaugh led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons, but the Ravens have failed to make the postseason in four of the last five. That includes a three-year drought. The Ravens will look to end that against a schedule that features the NFC South and AFC West. The home schedule is friendly, but the road map is especially brutal in 2018.
Kawhi Leonard’s uncertain future will be front and center, but San Antonio will enter the summer with the potential for half its roster becoming free agents.
“I said it before the series started — that the Spurs always make you do the right things,” Kerr said. “You will be exposed if you’re not attentive and boxing out and rotating and taking care of the ball.
“This year, our team struggled going into the playoffs and the Spurs helped us kind of get our game back in terms of forcing us to defend and pay attention to detail.”
The team had long been tied to a quarterback with the top pick as coaches and general managers around the league anticipated the move that turned out to be correct.
Mayfield, who won the 2017 Heisman Trophy, threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season. He led the Sooners to their second straight College Football Playoff appearance and soared up draft boards last season with his improved play in the pocket.
Ward logged 37 tackles, two interceptions and 15 pass deflections for the Buckeyes last season to earn All-American honors. He carried that momentum to the combine, where the 5-11, 183-pound corner clocked a 4.32 40-yard dash time and 39-inch vertical jump to make him one of the top prospects at his position in this year’s draft class.
Cleveland’s quarterback woes go back years, most recently in early March when the team traded DeShone Kizer to the Packers after he started 15 games as a rookie last season. The Browns then sent backup Cody Kessler to the Jaguars three weeks later and later acquired Tyrod Taylor from the Bills for a third-round pick. The team has already tabbed Taylor to open the season under center.
The Browns, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2002, went winless in 2017.