CAMP NOTES DAY 2

Camp Notes CAMP NOTES DAY 2

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After stretching exercises on Field 1 (nearest the grandstands) Brian Billick had the entire squad head on over to Field 2, broken down by offense and defense.  The offense headed for the blocking sled with the entire line taking on one of the padded iron men.  On McNair’s cadence the linemen exploded into the sled as No. 9 handed to McGahee/Anderson led by Le’Ron McClain. 
 
Billick was especially spry today and encouraged his team saying, “It’s a long morning.  You have to get yourself ready or you’re going to get hurt.”
 
Billick then jumped up on the sled and took a ride as the mass of humanity plunge into it with fury.  As he hopped off he directed the offense to give it one last go and told Steve McNair to try and get his line to jump early.  “Test them on this snap count.”
 
They held serve, after which Billick admitted, “Almost perfect.  Almost perfect.”
 
The team then broke down into unit drills to sharpen the required skill sets demanded by their respective positions.
 
While observing the receivers, Mike Johnson paid particular attention to timing and precision of their slant routes.  This emphasis is a spill over from OTA’s. Mark Clayton was back in action after a mishap with his fingernail that sidelined him for yesterday’s PM practice.
 
Assistant Quarterbacks Coach Jedd Fisch worked with Kyle Boller on ball skills, mirroring the same motions when carrying out play fakes and when handing off.  Fisch encourage Boller to “get a good sell.”
 
Todd Heap is injury free for the first time during training camp in years and it shows.  He is gliding across the field and snaring passes flawlessly.
 
ONE ON ONE BATTLES

 
Receiver
Defender
Advantage
Comments
Mason
McAlister
Mason
Boller
Clayton
Rolle
Rolle
Boller
Darling
Martin
Martin
Boller; Darling beat Martin and Boller delivered a perfectly thrown ball deep down the right sideline that went right through the hands of Darling
Williams
Oglesby
Williams
Boller
Moore
Prude
Moore
Boller
Linson
Pittman
Pittman
Boller; tight coverage; pass overthrown deep down left sideline
Bryant
Maze
Bryant
Boller; coverage was soft; Maze aggressively tried to strip Bryant; Billick praised Bryant for protecting the football
Figurs
Ivy
Figurs
Boller; Mike Johnson praises Figurs for selling the play with his eyes
Willis
Johnson
Willis
Boller; Touchdown on post
Bookman
Gaston
Gaston
Boller; Extremely tight and physical coverage from Gaston; Bookman quits on play; "You never stop!" shouted Brian Billick
Mason
Prude
Mason
McNair
Clayton
Rolle
Clayton
McNair; sliding catch by Mason
Darling
Martin
Darling
McNair; great fight for the ball by both; coaches on both sides praise players for competing
Williams
Oglesby
Williams
McNair
Moore
Landry
Moore       
McNair; Nice adjustment on poorly thrown ball behind Moore
Linson
Pittman
Linson
McNair; tight coverage
Bryant
Blackshire
Bryant
Boller; great diving catch on deep right side line route
Figurs
Winborne
Figurs
Boller
Willis
Maze
Willis
Boller
Bookman
Gaston
Bookman
Boller; TD deep left side line; perfect pass

 

Today Brian Billick had the team mix in a few variations of live contact and simulated contact during most of the 11 on 11 exchanges.  The down and distance was pre-determined for each play.  This allows the team to practice its situational substitution.  Also keep in mind that the coaches have a quick whistle during the simulation to help remove the risk of injury.  As a result, the defense has to respect the run a little less and it closes down some of the passing lanes that might otherwise be available if the running game commanded more respect is such simulations.
 
With that in mind here are a few of the highlights from the simulated contact drills.
 

11 on 11 Highlights
 

 
Play
Comments
McNair to Clayton, 8 yards
 
McNair swing pass to Anderson, 2 yds
Landry closed on the play very nicely
Screen pass, McNair to Mu. Smith, loss of 2 yards
Blown up by inside linebackers
Boller to Sypniewski, 5 yards
 
Boller pass to Williams incomplete
Broken up by Derrick Martin
Musa Smith, 5 yard run
 
McNair pass to Wilcox incomplete
McNair does a nice job of unloading the ball under heavy pressure from Jarret Johnson
McNair to McClain
Same personnel grouping as above although this time Williams flanks left
McNair’s pass to Willis incomplete
 
Musa Smith run, no gain
 
McNair’s pass to Wilcox incomplete
Open in right flat but McNair over shoots his target
 

7 on 7 Highlights

 
Play
Comments
McNair to Clayton incomplete
Deep post; Clayton covered by 3 defenders; forced by McNair; Rolle breaks up pass; should have been intercepted
McNair to Moore incomplete
Alligator arms are dusted off and pulled out of closet by the tall, lean receiver.  Billick scolds, "Go get it!"
Boller to Sypniewski, 20 yards

Sypniewski makes a very nice overhead catch completely extended at that 17 yard mark on the hash marks that the Ravens appear hellbent on exploiting.

Boller throws pass away, incomplete
Certainly not a noteworthy play except for the fact that Devard Darling was knocked into the plastic trash cans that simulate the offensive line by a DB.  Darling’s drag seemed far too shallow.

 
Other Observations…While camp is just 2 days old, Samari Rolle so far has backed up his vow made during OTA’s — to get back to his game.  Rolle has been shadowing his man tightly so far and his teammates are letting him know it…Todd Heap easily beat Jarret Johnson on a crossing route.  JJ after the play appeared a bit gimpy but toughed it out and stayed on the field…Fins to the left, fins to the right? One of the Ravens defensive sub package is called "Shark."  This dime package seeks offensive chum…Mike Anderson looks like the No. 2 back for the moment.  Musa Smith doesn’t appear to be as explosive as he was at this time last year, albeit still early.  Anderson is also filling the upback role on the punt team make the pre-snap call. It remains to be seen if Anderson remains in this role particularly when Justin Green returns…Yamon Figurs hasn’t been very impressive as a receiver and dropped a punt today during special teams practice…Sam Koch was hardly the punter we watched yesterday.  He struggled to find his groove and did his best Dave Zastudil impersonation when he sailed a punt through the end zone when the line of scrimmage was the opponent’s 40.  Under similar circumstances, backup Brendan Carney (who had a better day than Koch) was much better hitting his high punt from the 40 to the one yard line.  Devard Darling could not find and control it as it bounced into the end zone.
 
One of the things that Rick Neuheisel is trying to teach Kyle Boller to do is not predetermine his throws.  So far in camp he’s done a better job with that yet he still has a tendency to fall back into that old habit and the result during 7 0n 7’s is usually a lofty pass out of bounds due to the defenders reading his lock on receivers…The hit of the day goes to Derrick Martin during live drills.  Martin laid out P.J. Daniels along the left sideline after the sophomore back tried to bump his inside tackle run outside.  It brought cheers from the first stringers observing from the sideline…Troy Smith looks very much like a rookie so far and threw two picks today, one by Ronnie Prude and a second by Jamaine Winborne…the running game looks like it is rounding into shape with improved interior line blocking.  It also helps that Willis McGahee and Anderson are seeing and hitting the holes before they close…Haloti Ngata may be an innovator.  Or maybe it’s Rex Ryan.  During 11 on 11 scrimmaging, Ngata was in motion from the left end position and moving towards the right.  At the snap of the ball, Ngata smashed into the 1 hole and completely disrupted the pocket.  Who said man in motion has to be an offensive player? The running start gave Ngata an edge…Dwan Edwards got some additional reps today due to Kelly Gregg’s thigh injury which isn’t believed to be serious.  Edwards was solid in pursuit of the QB chipping in with a few pressures…Jared Gaither has been surprisingly productive and has held his own.  It will be interesting to see how he does on Saturday and during the preseason against competition not wearing purple…Brian Billick stopped practice about 90 minutes into it to strongly encourage his troops to be more efficient in practice transitions…Jon Ogden was an observer today as were Mike Smith and Mike Kracalik; Justin Green was on the sidelines during practice but worked out with Tony Nathan catching passes after the morning session;  Dan Cody also did not participate.
 
There are several heated battles expected in camp this summer.  A little later, we’ll chart those battles and provide this observer’s opinion as to who is winning each battle. 

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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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