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Seven of Nine Ravens Draft Picks Sign Contracts

May 17, 2014

IN THE MONEY: As the second day of the two-day rookie camp began, seven of the Ravens' nine draft picks had signed contracts, bringing the number of principal players on the active roster to 70.

The only ones that have not signed are third-round safety Terrence Brooks and first-round linebacker C.J. Mosley.

According to the PressBox Ravens contract status chart, the Ravens will have quite a few restricted free agents they will need to keep off the market next spring, barring any new long-term deals.

Currently, nine players fit that description, including kicker Justin Tucker, receiver Deonte Thompson and linebacker Josh Bynes.

Other teams can sign restricted free agents via offer sheets that their old club would have seven days to match.

The top Ravens sure to make headlines with 2014 being the final year of their deals include wideout Torrey Smith and tight end Owen Daniels.

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NUMBERS GAME: Many fans have inquired as to the meaning behind some of the numerical terms given to defensive linemen, such as "three-technique" and "five-technique."

Even though the numbers apply to defensive linemen, they actually have more to do with the positions of those playing across from them on the offensive line.

Numbers are assigned to the offensive linemen and the gaps between them, and they are counted off, one by one, the further outside one goes.

For instance, the center is known as zero with the "A" gaps -- the gaps between the center and both guards -- known as one. A defensive lineman playing over those gaps is playing the "one-technique;" nose guards and the bigger run stuffers usually play there.

Both guards count as the No. 2 position, with the "B" gaps -- the spaces between the guards and tackles -- counting as the third spot. Anyone who plays over those gaps is playing the "three-technique."

In the Ravens' scheme, defensive tackles such as Brandon Williams are stationed there, and it's where Haloti Ngata's career began. Ngata is more of a zero-technique nose man today.

A "five-technique" player is basically another way of referring to a defensive end, because he is so far outside, he has the offensive tackle on his inside shoulder. He is often counted on to provide a pocket push from the edge, or to pave the way for a Terrell Suggs-like linebacker coming in behind him.

These terms often come up during the pre-draft season, and their usage has become more and more common during recent years.

Joe Platania is in his 21st season covering professional football.

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