CAMP NOTES: AM PRACTICE

Camp Notes CAMP NOTES: AM PRACTICE

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The Ravens opened Summer Camp 2007 this morning under hazy conditions which helped to keep temperatures tolerable.  Two things that were immediately different and noticeable: the practice location and the color of the teams’ jerseys.
 
Due to damp conditions on the upper field, the team practiced on the stadium field where they found the familiar momentum turf like that at M&T Bank Stadium.  The field was a bit crowded and to a certain degree it limited what all units could do during their respective breakouts. 
 
Whether it’s a permanent thing or not, the offense and defense changed jersey colors.  The defense donned the purple previously synonymous with the offense.
 
The practice was scheduled for 8:15 although most of the team warmed up before the clock struck 8.  Their collective approach was workmanlike and efficient and it led to what Brian Billick described as a “crisp” practice.
 
The practice was devoid of drama with everyone in camp and ready to go save for the growing P.U.P. list with its probable new members observing in shorts (Justin Green, Mike Smith and Dan Cody).  Jonathan Ogden was not in attendance.
 
Cody, sporting black shorts and a black t-shirt seemed to be slightly favoring his right knee which was bandaged as he watched the defensive unit work out.
 
Although Brian Billick described the practice as crisp, it was hardly exciting for the few thousand who attended.  The offense ran through a balanced mix of run and pass, most of the later being the controlled short passing game.  Probably the highlight of the day was provided by Prescott Burgess who delivered a jarring hit to Willis McGahee who coughed up the football prior to hitting the turf.
 
It’s a bit difficult to steer the full team drills that aren’t labeled “live.”  One player’s less than full speed is different than the next.  The rookie Burgess’ eagerness to impress certainly had something to do with what the vets would describe as a bit of overzealousness. 
 
Many sets of eyes were planted on Jared Gaither.  The towering tackle looks very agile for a man of his size and given the steep learning curve that he’s just begun to take on, he held up well today.  Terrell Suggs admitted to being impressed and speedy rookie pass rusher Antwan Barnes found the going tough against Gaither as the former Terp’s reach and punch neutralized Barnes during a couple of plays.
 

The one on one drills are often exciting for the fans but even the electricity that normally accompanies such exercises was absent from this morning’s practice.  Here’s a recap:

 
Receiver
Defender
Advantage
Comments
Mason
Martin
Mason
McNair
Moore
Oglesby
Moore
McNair
Clayton
Reed
Clayton
McNair
Bryant
Pittman
Pittman
McNair; very tight coverage
Williams
Prude
Williams
McNair
Linson
Ivy
Ivy
Boller
Darling
Maze
Maze
Boller; low throw but catchable
Figurs
Gaston
Figurs
Boller
Mason
Martin
Mason
McNair; Martin recovers strips ball from Mason
Willis
Pittman
Willis
McNair; Pittman bites on out; TD Willis
Clayton
Reed
Clayton
McNair
Bookman
Gaston
Bookman
Boller
Williams
Prude
Williams
McNair; Prude tight coverage
Moore
Oglesby
Oglesby
McNair; Incomplete out of bounds
Darling
Maze
Maze       
Boller; Tight coverage; Billick instructs Darling after play
Bryant
Ivy
Ivy
Boller; interception in end zone
Mason
Martin
Mason
Boller; tight coverage from Martin
Linson
Pittman
Linson
Boller; excellent diving catch
Clayton
Reed
Clayton
McNair; Clayton slips…see notes below

 
7 on 7 Highlights

 
Play
Comments
McNair pass to Heap, 8 yards
 
McNair to Musa Smith, 5 yards
 
McNair to Heap, 5 yards
Heap sells longer route and curls
McNair to McClain, 5 yards
 
Boller to M. Smith, 5 yards
 
Boller to Ballantyne, 20 yards
Good hands in traffic to catch a rocket along the left hash
Boller to Freeman, 12 yards
 
Smith to Ballantyne, 20 yards
Along right sideline in a congested area
Smith incomplete to Freeman
 
Olson to McClain, 5 yards
 
McNair to Heap, 5 yards
 
McNair to McGahee, 5 yards
 
Boller incomplete to Bryant
Laser from Boller should have been caught; broken up by Martin
 

11 on 11 Highlights

Play
Comments
Roll right, McNair to Heap, 12 yards
 
Run right, Anderson
Length of run difficult to determine given the quick whistle throughout practice; Foerster pleased by movement up front by his unit
M. Smith run, middle
 
McNair dirts ball, incomplete
 
McNair quick toss left to Clayton, 7 yards
 
Anderson run right
Pryce limps off; walks on his own moments later
McNair to Heap, 5 yards
 
McGahee run
 
 

Other observations: UDFA Edgar Jones from Southeast Missouri made a very nice play shedding a block by TE Marcus Freeman to tackle RB Cory Ross in the backfield for a four yard loss…B.J. Sams played the nickel on the third team defensive unit…While Gaither looked good at times, he as expected looked lost on some plays particularly those run away from him…Mike Anderson ran more often with the first unit today than McGahee…Cadence continues to be emphasized; expect the Ravens to use it more as an offensive weapon…Chris Foerster was on his offensive line unit to hustle to the line of scrimmage.  “Let’s go, get set!  Let’s make the call."
 
During one of the one on one sessions Mark Clayton was up against Ed Reed.  Clayton slipped on his break to the sideline and that influenced Reed to give up on the play.  Clayton regained his footing and then took off up the sideline to haul in a TD pass from McNair.  Reed objected believing the play was dead and Billick jabbed at his Pro Bowl safety saying, “[We had] nine man protection, 1 man route.”…That play from Clayton really is the residual affect of WR Coach Mike Johnson’s repeated pleas to not quit on plays and to keep working.  Earlier in practice Johnson assumed the role of CB simulating press coverage and it was up to the receiver and QB to determine where to deliver the ball based on Johnson’s positioning.  This appears to be an influence of Rick Neuheisel who has been stressing such reads…Neuheisel has also emphasized hitting the soft spots along the hash marks when facing a Cover 2…Clayton continues to show suddenness and quickness in and out of breaks to create separation.  He is the antithesis of Clarence Moore who looks slow and awkward in and out of his breaks…For some footage of today’s practice check out the following link to youtube courtesy of Miles Goodman: CAMP FOOTAGE
 
Check back this evening for the PM practice notes and observations.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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