The more you observe OTA’s the more you are reminded that such activities are nothing more than dress rehearsals – the sound checks for a concert called training camp. Cam Cameron put it all into perspective a couple of weeks ago when he cautioned the media, “It’s easy to get excited about [practice performances] when there’s no threat of contact.”
That said the OTA’s are a nice way to keep tabs on the players and observe their individual progress as they ready for the heat and physicality that goes hand-in-hand with Camp Harbaugh at McDaniel College in late July.
Tuesday’s practice was very uneventful for the first 75 minutes as there was little going on other than ½ to ¾-speed play installment with the offense and defense along with some special teams practice under the watchful eye of Jerry Rosburg.
The S/T coordinator’s focus on this Tuesday morning was perimeter blocking on the gunners and the other wide coverage guys. The goal was to provide a seal to give the punt returner some real estate to navigate along the sidelines. Interestingly Donte Stallworth was fielding punts and did so flawlessly.
The tempo really didn’t pick up until Ray Rice took a statue of liberty handoff from Joe Flacco and ran it in from about 7 yards out during red zone drills. Rice dunked the ball over the goal post.
The Ravens offense shortly thereafter reversed field and took it to the opposite 35 yard line where the offense and defense engaged in a full squad face off. Joe Flacco was not particularly sharp on Tuesday and telegraphed where he was going with the football pre-snap on one play. K.J. Gerard received the telegram and nearly had a pick 6 on a pass intended for Mason. Gerard had a very solid outing playing corner and almost had another pick later in practice after another forced Flacco throw.
Derrick Mason, sporting a rather long beard, schooled rookie UDFA Prince Miller. Mason ran an out, up and out while Miller continued downfield to cover the “up.” Mason created so much separation that he was able to catch the out, stop before continuing out of bounds and then run up the sidelines another 20 YAC. Ray Rice playfully went up to Miller after the play and asked if he was ok. Except for his missing jock, Miller seemed fine.
John Beck earned some praise from Cam Cameron after effectively enticing the safeties to bite, staying with a play and then delivering a strike in the right corner of the end zone to a wide open Eron Riley for a 30 yard score.