NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
No wonder Curtis Painter never won a game as a starter. He probably completed more passes to the guys in the white shirts than he did to the guys wearing purple. The defense wears white. And to think that this guy beat out Kyle Boller – not that he’s all that but I can’t say that Boller ever looked quite as bad as Kurt Cobain did yesterday…Joe Flacco is carrying an air of confidence and swagger that we’ve yet to see and so far his passes, particularly his deeper throws second that emotion.
On the receiving end of those passes are a couple of guys who so far (and granted it’s early) appear to have stepped up their game. Torrey Smith and LaQuan Williams are catching the ball more confidently. Williams had the catch of the day during 7 on 7’s when Flacco delivered a rocket to the former Terps’ left (outside) shoulder about 25 yards down field. Williams was covered well by Jimmy Smith but perfectly delivered ball and acrobatic 180 degree maneuver from Williams was essentially indefensible…Tandon Doss also made a couple of great catches and also secured the ball in tight spaces over the middle. We’ll see how Doss responds when the threat of contact is introduced…Torrey Smith made a nice diving grab along the sidelines securing the ball before bouncing out of bounds.
The right side of the offensive line was porous. Ramon Harewood, quickly becoming the Ravens answer to the O’s Brian Roberts, rolled his ankle and with Kelechi Osemele and Jah Reid sidelined, right tackle duties were handed to Cord Howard who is so new to the team that his jersey doesn’t yet have his name on it.
The best player on either side of the ball yesterday was Lardarius Webb. We’re all aware of his athleticism but his anticipation, positioning and technique yesterday were all plus, leading to a few batted down passes and an apparent pick six v. Flacco. It was called back because an interior lineman had a neutral zone infraction…For someone who claimed to have contemplated retirement, Ed Reed may have been the most enthusiastic player on the field. Despite the heat, his multiple layers of shirts and pants, Reed practiced with the bright-eyed eagerness of a youngster. He defended several passes and nearly came away with a couple of picks…Jimmy Smith is moving very well and is noticeably leaner…Hopefully newcomer Sean Considine is a stalwart on special teams because his cover skills as a safety (at least yesterday) made memories of Haruki Nakamura seem almost Ed Reed-esque…Paul Kruger looks good and seems ready to embrace the opportunity he’s been given. He was a menacing presence…Sergio Kindle looked very good at times but for now the performance needs to be tempered a bit since his oft-opponent was Cord Howard.
The place kicking team practiced a couple of fake kicks featuring holder same Koch. On one such fake Koch hit newcomer OG Tony Wragge down the right side outside the hash marks. Wragge took it the distance and delivered the exclamation point spike in the end zone much to the delight of the crowd…Kickers Billy Cundiff (4-4) and Justin Tucker (5-5) hit on all of their FGA’s, ranging from 32 -45 yards. Fittingly, Cundiff’s first connection was from 32 yards and 6 months out.
Later one-on-one battles, 7 on 7 results and 2:00 offense drills…