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During the PM practice the team wore their shells and shorts as opposed to full gear. Jamal Lewis did participate in some drills (he was activated from the PUP list) but stayed out of 7 on 7 and full team drills. The offensive line started the afternoon running through punch drills. Keydrick Vincent, Jason Brown and Chris Chester seemed to pack the biggest jolt. Chester and Brown explode through their blocks, Brown with his low center of gravity and Chester with a burst that comes from his athleticism and speed.
The quarterbacks and running backs ran through a few waggles and draw plays. Assistant wide receivers/quarterback coach Jedd Fisch conducted these drills. Interestingly he confirmed what many have noticed, that the Ravens run the draw mostly from a shotgun formation. McNair seemed to handle the ball better when running the draw under center. Fisch tried to get the QB’s and RB’s in synch with timing so that they didn’t prematurely tip the draw.
With a few of the waggles, Drew Olson struggled with the sequencing of the terminology and that could be why he isn’t seeing many reps in practice at this early stage in camp.
Full team and 7 on 7 drills: McNair struggled all day throwing the deep ball. A ball on a sideline streak to Mason was very late and Mason had to play the role of defender. On another pass on a deep post, Devard Darling had Samari Rolle badly beaten but McNair’s pass was again well under thrown and Rolle was able to make up ground and bat it away.
Where McNair seems to excel is on the short and intermediate passes where he hits receivers in stride and affords them an opportunity to pick up yards after the catch. That is where Boller’s lack of accuracy hurts him. McNair hits Mason and Clayton in stride as opposed to Boller who might force them to wait a bit or reach back at times to catch a throw. They might all go down as completions but leading these two receivers gives them a chance to use their excellent change of direction skills to gain valuable yardage.
The same is true of backs circling out of the backfield. Hitting them in stride could be the difference between a 12 yard gain and a 2 yard gain.
Other PM notes: Brian Billick got a bit hot under the collar when DE Bernard Thomas chased down TE Rob Abiamiri after a catch. Thomas hustled down field and when Abiamiri changed direction, Thomas was unable to stop in time without knocking the TE down. Billick screamed, “If a player goes down because of that you’re going too!” Seemed a bit harsh given that a player trying to make the team was simply hustling in the sweltering heat; Jarret Johnson knocked down a couple of passes in coverage. On one he should have picked an ill-advised Boller pass for a score but he couldn’t get a handle on the throw; David Pittman stepped up and made a nice play while knocking down a pass from Brian St. Pierre intended for Brian Bratton.
This morning’s one on one match ups will be posted later tonight (9:28 PM)
Tomorrow morning’s practice is at 8:15 and the afternoon practice is a special teams only session.