The Ravens worked out in shells today so there was very little hitting taking place. Per usual the team broke out into unit drills. Some observations from those…Paul Kruger took some special instruction from Greg Mattison who was schooling Kruger on the art of leverage. Most observers believe that Kruger needs to improve in that area when engaging blockers… Dwan Edwards looked lean and now possesses more muscle tone…The skill position players practiced holding their pre-snap positions as quarterbacks Flacco, Smith and Beck alternated with irregular cadences.
LJ Smith looked very strong and was sure-handed throughout the practice. He made a nice fingertip catch of a John Beck fastball. On the very next play rookie RB Cedric Peerman made a spectacular one-handed snare of a wildly thrown ball from Troy Smith. Peerman clearly works like a man on a mission. FB Jason Cook had a Beck pass bounce off his facemask. Free agent RB Matt Lawrence looks like a natural receiver out of the backfield.
Demetrius Williams had no noticeable after effects stemming from his ankle/Achilles’ injury. He is clearly stronger in his upper torso…Mark Clayton and Demetrius Williams both took shots at an interesting stop and go route triggered by a Flacco pump fake. Clayton looped in from the sideline simulating a curl in but continued looping around after the pump fake and up field. Williams and Flacco connected while the Flacco-Clayton pass fell incomplete. Williams says that he is 100% and at his best physically in a long time.
Clayton was featured on a couple of passes in the red zone where he lined up fairly tight to the right side of the line and then ran a skinny post to the right upright. Flacco and Smith both lofted touch passes to Clayton trying to work the soft spot between the linebacker’s drop and the safety on that side. The play shows promise but needs work. A receiver taller than Clayton may be more effective in that role. Time will tell.
The field goal unit ventured out on to the field for what amounted to 5 FGA’s all from 29 yards out. Graham Gano took the first four shots with Chris Carr, Troy Smith, John Beck and Mark Clayton alternating as holders. Gano was 2 of 4 in those attempts. Steve Hauschka connected on his only attempt.
The defensive backfield looked sharp despite limited chances to make a statement. Newly acquired free agent Chris Carr broke well on the ball and broke up a couple of passes. Frank Walker stripped Williams after a head high catch of a pass from Smith…Fabian Washington broke up a pass intended for Troy Smith who lined up as the wide out to the right. Derrick Martin worked out at safety today.
OTHER NOTABLES AND QUOTABLES: The crowd was rather light for this practice and that can probably be credited to the absence of the high profile veterans who do not have to report until Wednesday. Those vets won’t practice in front of the public until Friday morning…For those wondering why DJ Hackett was not invited back you should know that his workout last Friday was defined by one insider as “Bad.”…The Ravens have discussed acquiring two players plagued by off-the-field issues, Michael Vick and Matt Jones according to John Harbaugh. Neither appears to fit the team’s plans…Tavares Gooden said he is playing at 238 pounds and feels lean and fast…Willis McGahee was a spectator for nearly the entire workout. His is officially on the PUP list but Coach Harbaugh said that he expects the 2008 Pro Bowler (2007 season) to be back at practice before the week is out…Others on the PUP List include: Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda, Yamon Figurs, Adam Terry, Joe Reitz, Lamar Divens, Kelly Talavou, Davon Drew and Samari Rolle.
First year defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said, "My no. 1 priority is, ‘Do what I have to do to make sure this defense plays up to its ability.”
PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM (“PUP”) LIST RULES: Once players are designated as such, they are prohibited from practicing with the team. They can, however, rehabilitate and participate in team meetings. If a player begins training camp on the PUP list, they can be moved to the active roster at any time, even after one practice. A player is not allowed to be placed on the PUP list if they start training camp on the active roster.
A player who begins the regular season on the PUP list must sit out his team’s first six games. After that point, a team has three weeks to start having the player practice; once the player begins practicing, the team has another three weeks to put the player on the active roster. If the player is not activated by that time, or if he does not begin practicing within that three week window, he must remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.