The Ravens will be holding Organized Team Activities for the
next three weeks. The team will practice Tuesday through Thursday with each
Wednesday practice open to the media.
These light practices are run in gym shorts and helmets
without any other pads. Minimal contact is made and it’s mostly watching
players run through light drills as they prepare to battle for their jobs in
OTA’s are voluntary for veteran players and many notable
Ravens were not in attendance –Ray Lewis,Haloti Ngata, Matt Birk, Ray Rice (contract)
and Terrell Suggs (injury) were not
One rookie of note not in attendance was fifth-round pick Asa Jackson who was still finishing up
school at Cal Poly.
Former Ravens owner Art
Modell was brought out to the field in a golf cart to get his first look at
some key pieces to the 2012 team. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was also in attendance and spent most of practice
talking with Ozzie Newsome on the sidelines.
The unit , led by Lardarius
Webb and his newly acquired deep pockets, looked sharp. Webb’s counterpart
Cary Williams was present for the workouts but traded his helmet in for a white
Nike Ravens hat as he watched practice from the sidelines to prevent injury.
Players with interceptions during practice were Corey Graham (Flacco), Chykie Brown (Flacco), and Jimmy Smith, who picked off Curtis
Painter during a 7 on 7 drill.
For the most of the practice, second-round pick Kelechi Osemele lined up at left guard.
During Tuesday’s practice, Jah Reid
said he was lining up at the left guard spot but he spent most of Wednesday’s
session outside of the projected starting offensive line.
Matt Birk’s absence also opened the door for fourth-round
pick Gino Gradkowski and Justin
Boren to rotate in at center. Getting extensive work with the first team will
be crucial for Gradkowski as he begins to adapt to the level of competition in
the NFL versus what he saw at Delaware.
Despite going into his ninth season, Anquan Boldin was in attendance and he felt that his presence was
important to the development of younger receivers.
Recently acquired receiver Jacoby Jones made his first appearance in front of the media in a
Ravens uniform. It’s not fair to judge anything just based off a walkthrough
practice but the biggest knock on Jones was his hands. Jones did drop at least
one pass in practice, which was a wide-open 10-yard slant from Joe Flacco.
looked raw during the rookie mini-camp but he was also ill with a stomach
virus. During the practice his route running still looked as if it needed to be
improved and for him to be more than just a red-zone threat in the NFL, he
knows what he needs to work on. Luckily, he has Anquan Boldin to lean on and
Torrey Smith to help give him advice on adapting to the league.
watched practice from the sidelines as he is still recovering from a torn ACL
late in the season.
All eyes have been on Courtney
Upshaw, with fans and media alike wondering where he will line up. During
this practice, he and Paul Kruger
alternated positions on the strong and weak side.
I was unable to meet up with Kruger but according to Jeff
Zrebiec from The Baltimore Sun, Kruger has said on two occasions that he will
likely replace the weak side position vacated by Terrell Suggs.