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The conditions were a bit less comfortable during the afternoon practice session which started at 4:00 PM and finished at 5:30 PM. The team wore their shells and shorts and for the first half of the practice they focused on individual drills designed to improve and sharpen the skill sets required most by their respective positions.

As was the case in the morning session, the majority of the team was already limbering up well before the opening horn sounded. Evan Oglesby and Derrick Martin spent time with the pitching machine, both dancing in place in a manner reminiscent of Muhammad Ali as they fielded fastballs from the machine. D-line Coach Clarence Brooks ribbed both players saying that they couldn’t catch. Later on in practice, Oglesby would prove Brooks right.

The afternoon crowd by my estimate was about 1,500 strong and they were energetic despite the heat and humidity. "HEAP" was chanted often prompting Daniel Wilcox to mutter jokingly to teammates that he should change his name to one that might be chanted more readily.

During some passing drills Brian Billick and Rick Neuheisel coached up the receivers while stressing proper spacing to allow the quarterbacks an ample window to lead receivers properly. Comeback routes were run frequently as Coach Mike Johnson encouraged his unit to “run through it” on the comeback.

Other observations…Kyle Boller flat out rips his intermediate throws. Routes that require 15 to 20 yards particularly from the hash marks in were delivered as accurate lasers to their intended targets this afternoon…McNair’s arm seems to have much more life and zip in it than at this time last season. While his arm still can’t match Boller’s pound for pound, the veteran’s passes are tighter and he’s hitting the receivers on intermediate routes and deep routes in stride more regularly…Sam Koch was flat out crushing some punts this afternoon hitting majestic spirals that carried 50, 52 and 60 yards from the line of scrimmage. He also hit a soaring bomb from the opponent’s 40 yard line to gunner Evan Oglesby who sat down at the one foot line and then dropped the punt, watching it bounce into the front left pylon…Camp backup punter Brendan Carney is simply just another leg in camp. His wobbly punts were flat and averaged 44 yards…Punt returners B.J. Sams, Yamon Figurs and Cory Ross all fielded their chances cleanly. After practice Sams and Figurs were seen catching punts from the pitching machine one handed while cradling another football in the opposite hand.

As players walked off the field, Chris McAlister spotted former Raven Bennie Thompson and kidded Thompson that the buzzards circling overhead were there for him…Jonathan Ogden was seen in a t-shirt and shorts exiting the McDaniel College gym after practice…As mentioned this morning the Ravens offense wore white today. I jokingly said to Rick Neuheisel that he bargained for white to keep his unit cooler. He jested, “You got that right!” As he walked away, he explained that since the team opened on the road, the starting QB got to choose which color jersey the offense would wear in camp…Mark Clayton sat out the PM practice. Mike Johnson explained that he tore a finger nail in the morning session and he didn’t want to aggravate it in the PM. He’s expected back tomorrow.

7 on 7 Highlights

McNair comeback to Mason 10 yards
Nice route; accelerated through ball allowing for an opportunity to gain YAC.
Boller to Linson, dropped
Should have been a 25 yard pick up
Smith forced to eat ball and take sack
Billick lays into Yamon Figurs who blew the route: "Can’t make it any simpler!"
Olson crossing route to Bryant dropped
Pass hits Bryant in the chest and in his effort to reel it back in he tips it and enabling Ronnie Prude to intercept
11 on 11 Highlights

McNair post corner to Darling incomplete
Nice closing by Samari Rolle to bat pass away
McGahee run left behind Brown and Yanda
Nicely executed; McGahee showed patience and a burst
McNair to Mason — TD
Deep post goes the distance although under live conditions Ed Reed would have at least laid out Mason and possibly broken up the play
Boller to Linson
Frozen rope of a pass picks up nearly 20
Boller flushed out of pocket
The center of the field opens up like the Red Sea as Boller scampers 63 yards to the delight of the crowd; as he crosses the goal line Boller feigns a McGahee-like dive into paydirt
Smith’s throws deep down left side to Linson
Ill advised pass should have been picked off; dropped by Oglesby
McNair to Williams for 12 yards
Double tight ends and in the I formation with McClain and McGahee; Williams single receiver on right
McNair to McClain
Same personnel grouping as above although this time Williams flanks left
Boller to Wilcox, 15 yards
Seam routes are being emphasized; Wilcox snares this one along the left hash; Boller still showcasing live arm although later in practice he tires and his throws fall off the mark
Boller to Willis, 12 yards
Smith picked off 25 yards downfield by S Bobby Blackshire


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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts "The Fanimal" also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi


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