RAVENS CAMP NOTES: Day 4

Camp Notes RAVENS CAMP NOTES: Day 4

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The players missing in action today included: Jared Gaither (ankle); Haloti Ngata (knee); Demetrius Williams (foot); P.J. Daniels (cramps); Ed Reed (undisclosed); Terrell Suggs (protest) Cory Ross (undisclosed), Samari Rolle (bereavement) and Daniel Wilcox (toe).  David Pittman returned to practice along with TE Lee Vickers, LB Brendon Ayanbadejo and rookie OT David Hale.  
 
Prior to full team activities as they usually do, the units broke down individually and then a few opposing units hooked up for some one on one combat.  The first two units to do so included the offensive and defensive lines.  The combatants are asked by the coaches to win the one on one battle and control that area of the line of scrimmage.  Here’s how the battles played out…
 
One-on-One Drills (OL v. DL)

 
OL
DL
Advantage
Comments
Terry
Cody
Cody
 
Grubbs
L. Williams
Even
 
Brown
Gregg
Gregg
 
Yanda
Bannan
Even
 
Kracalik
Johnson
Johnson
 
Reitz
Jones
Jones
Jones exploded by Reitz; no contest
Wiggins
Solano
Wiggins
Solano is the team’s international practice squad player
Chester
Talavou
Talavou
Weak effort by Chester
Clarke
Gordon
Clarke
Dominant effort by Clarke
Dumford
Jones
Even
 
Terry
Cody
Cody          
 

 
After some brief full team scrimmaging the various units went their separate ways again except for the linebackers, running backs and tight ends.  The linebackers were asked to touch a blocking dummy which was positioned as a quarterback while the RB’s and TE’s were asked to prevent the LB’s from reaching the imaginary quarterback.  The entertaining battles went down as follows…
 
One-on-One Drills (LB v. RB/TE) 

 
LB
RB/TE
Advantage
Comments
Scott
Green
Scott
 
Greisen
Green
Greisen
 
J. McClain
Bergen
Bergen
 
Burgess
Rice
Rice
 
Johnson
Walker
Johnson
 
Gooden
Patrick
Gooden
Gooden ran right through and over Patrick pancaking him on his way to the QB
Jones
Walker
Jones
 
Lewis
McGahee
Even
McGahee taunted Lewis who initially had no intention of participating in the drill.  After the standoff the two trash talked for a bit.
Scott
L. McClain
McClain
 
Greisen
Green
Greisen
 
Ayanbadejo
Heap
Heap          
 
Stills
Rice
Rice
 
Burgess
Patrick
Burgess
 
Jones
Vickers
Jones
Jones blows by Vickers easily
Gooden
L. McClain
Gooden
 
McCune
Green
Green
 
Stills
Bergen
Stills
Stills dominant
Ayanbadejo
Bergen
Ayanbadejo
 
Greisen
McGahee
Greisen
 
 

As Kyle Boller and Troy Smith took turns working with the offensive line and RB’s installing the running plays against a base defense consisting of 9 players, Joe Flacco aired it out with the receivers in one on one drills against the corners and an occasional safety.  Here are the results of those battles…
 

One-on-One Drills

 
Receiver
Defender
Advantage
Comments
FLACCO
 
 
From 30 yard line
Mason
Washington
Mason
TD
Clayton
McAlister
Clayton
TD on ball intentionally thrown behind Clayton
Harper
Ivy
Harper
 
Figurs
Walker
Walker
Ball dropped by Figurs
Reed
Pittman
Reed
 
Smith
Martin
Martin
Ball dropped by Smith
McCants
Washington
McCants
 
Wheelwright
Prude
Wheelwright
 
Carter
Ivy
Ivy
Pass thrown high
Willis
Walker
Willis
TD on pass initially tipped by Walker
Mason
Pittman
Mason          
 
FLACCO
 
 
From 10 yard line
Clayton
Prude
Prude
 
Harper
Washington
Harper       
TD
Figurs
Martin
Figurs
TD on Slant
Reed
Ivy
Reed
TD on Slant
Smith
Walker
Walker
Sloppy route
McCants
Pittman
Pittman
 
Wheelwright
Landry
Wheelwright
TD

 

Although no clear No. 1 has emerged at quarterback Kyle Boller was the first man up to take snaps in live scrimmaging.  His first pass was a 10 yard out to Todd Heap against a zone defense.  The pass sailed over Heap’s head and was nearly a gift wrapped interception for Dawan Landry who was beyond Heap in zone coverage.  Boller recovered during the series and rifled two rockets on intermediate out routes run by Mark Clayton.  Clayton beat Fabian Washington on both plays.
 
Troy Smith took over after one series and opened his set up with a nice swing pass to Ray Rice who continues to impress.  Rice will be a nightmare for linebackers in open space.  Smith followed that pass with another to Rice’s backfield mate Justin Green.  Green made a nice catch on a ball that was up over his head.
 
Joe Flacco came in and ran a couple of plays.  After two incompletions Flacco’s set ended with a sack by Nick Greisen blitzing from his middle linebacker position.
 
Willis McGahee was back in action today and had a decent outing albeit not standout.  So far this camp the standout on offense at the skill positions has been McGahee’s backup Ray Rice.  Rice again today exhibited crafty inside running skills plus the ability to bounce outside and scoot around the end to make something of nothing.  It’s hard to gauge exactly how many yards he might run for at times because the coaches often whistle plays dead stopping the action at a certain spot on the field.  Under normal game conditions the feeling here is that Rice would be even more impressive, particularly on short swing passes that put him in one on one situations with linebackers – a decided edge for Rice every time. 
 
The joint team sessions included some live scrimmaging in short yardage and goal line situations.  With the ball set around the 40 facing third and short, here’s how the action unfolded:
 
Short Yardage Offense

 
Play
Comments
3rd & 1
McClain run right of center, no gain
3rd & 1
McClain run left of center, 9 yards
3rd & 1
McGahee run, no gain
3rd & 2
Boller pass to Clayton, 2 yards, 1st down
3rd & 1
Smith pass to Walker, 14 yards upended by Landry
3rd & 1
Smith quick pitch left to Rice, run of 10 yards
3rd & 1
Smith pass to Harper on slant, 29 yards TD
3rd & 1
Flacco run right, 3 yards
3rd & 1
Green run, loss of 1 (Solano on stop)
3rd & 1
Flacco play action, pass to Reed deep right sideline, perfectly thrown ball dropped by Reed, possible TD
 

After the TD pass to Harper, Derrick Mason directed a ton of smack talk towards Ray Lewis, the second time during the day that Ray was the target of an offense trying to generate some offensive swagger.
 
The team then took the ball down to the 3 yard line and in to practice situational goal line plays.  This is how it played out…
 
Goal Line Offense

 
Play
Comments
1-G-3
McGahee run, no gain
2-G-3
Waggle right, Boller pass to Heap incomplete
3-G-1
McGahee 1 yard run, TD
4-G-1
Rice run, no gain
1-G-3
Smith naked bootleg 3 yd run, TD
1-G-3
Play action Flacco pass to Vickers TD
2-G-2
Rice 2 yard run TD
3-G-1
Rice 1 yard dive, TD
 

 
OTHER OBSERVATIONS
 
Joe Flacco was the recipient of some veteran schooling when Chris McAlister jumped a route and nearly picked the rookie QB’s pass for a pick six.  Flacco moved very well outside of the pocket.  On one play he recognized that the outside linebacker (UDFA Jameel McClain) was sucked in too far from the right.  Flacco showcased surprisingly good speed scampering down field for at least a 20 yard pick up…Troy Smith did get burned for the second consecutive day for a pick six when Corey Ivy intercepted him and pranced towards the end zone while mockingly emulating the Deion Sanders high-step dance into the end zone. Smith looked sharp when he pump faked a pass in the flat to a RB only to pull it down and then find Justin Harper along the right sideline. His pass to Harper for the 29 yard TD v. first team defense in short yardage drills was a perfect…After a solid start during the morning session, Mark Clayton let a perfectly thrown pass from Smith go right through his hands negating a would-be 20 yard pick up…Jason Brown was involved in a skirmish early during practice.  Order was quickly restored…The offensive line looks solid in the middle but questions remain at tackle.  With Jared Gaither sidelined with what has been said to be a high ankle sprain, needed repetitions will be missing.  If Terry assumes the LT position as he did today, someone will need to step up on the right side.  Perhaps a veteran free agent with some starts under his belt?
 
Haruki Nakamura continued his solid play.  He’s had several interceptions over the past few days.  On one pass play when he was called on to delay blitz, he executed it perfectly blowing by Willis McGahee to get the sack on Smith…Tom Zbikowski continued his rally that started during yesterday’s practices.  He nearly picked off a deep sideline pass by Boller intended for Mark Clayton.  Clayton did a nice job of playing defender, stripping the ball from Zbikowski…Antwan Barnes had a couple of sacks and continues to show why he’ll be a force as a pass rusher.  Perhaps more importantly, Barnes had coverage on Heap who was running to the right sideline.  The pass was thrown high, Heap initially had control but Barnes was able to strip the ball from the sure-handed TE before he could tuck it away…Dan Cody went down holding his right knee during goal line drills.  He initially wanted to stay in and play but was advised not to.  He returned and looked strong sacking Kyle Boller once.  Throughout the day Cody was a handful for his frequent combatant this morning, Adam Terry.
 
Marshall Yanda caught an earful from special teams coach Jerry Rosburg during kick return practice.  The two were later seen talking it through after practice…Also during kick returns, John Harbaugh placed one of the neon special teams caps atop his baseball cap and ran the field with the kickoff team a couple of times.  Rex Ryan did the same on one kick off but gave himself a 5 yard head start lining up at the 35…Kicker Matt Stover was 4 of 7 today hitting from 20, 31, 40 and 45 yards while slightly pushing his 3 misses to the right from 45, 47 and 52…A fan shouted to Kyle Boller from the grandstand, “Stop looking at the receiver.”  It’s tough to complete a pass without looking at the receiver. Are they tailgating before practice at McDaniel?…Rise & Conquer were in attendance today at practice – pretty impressive birds.  Apparently they’ve assumed the roster spots of Edgar and Allen who have been cut from the “roster.”  Poe has changed his number from 103 to 0.

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