Cloud cover spared players and fans from scorching temperatures, as the Ravens took to the field for what was their second full team practice of the season. The mood of practice was livelier today as the team joked with each other and even looked to be in midseason form as players argued with stand-in officials, pleading for calls to go their way.
Lardarius Webb was the only major surprise not on the field today as he was excused from practice to deal with a personal issue. Webb is expected to not miss a significant amount of time.
Once again, Bryant McKinnie and Haloti Ngata were not seen on the field. Ngata is still nursing a tweaked hamstring and McKinnie’s days in Baltimore seem to be numbered. After practice, coach Harbaugh said he hasn’t heard from McKinnie and only spoke with his chiropractor. Given the curious nature of this communication it could be that McKinnie is planting the seeds to a possible injury settlement.
One player missing from the Ravens 90-man roster was reserve guard/center Justin Boren. Boren has been rotating with Gino Gradkowski and Matt Birk within center position and no word has been released on his absence as of yet.
Tandon Doss had a solid practice and has bounced back nicely after missing mandatory minicamp with an undisclosed leg injury. Doss connected with Tyrod Taylor for a 66-yard TD pass during a simulated full team drill.
In total, the rest of the receiving corps had a solid day of practice. Of course, passes were dropped or overthrown as receivers try to get their timing down with the quarterbacks – just a natural part of the training camp process.
Both standout tight ends from last season have looked sharp and even drew praise from coach Harbaugh after practice. Dennis Pitta looks to be playing the most with the first team as of late. During today’s practice, Ed Dickson was the recipient of a 30-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco in a simulated two-minute drill; the Ravens left 0:22 second on the clock.
McKinnie’s absence has forced the hand of offensive line coach Andy Moeller. Moeller has no choice but to juggle his personnel grouping as a result of injury and MIA’s. Yesterday, coach Harbaugh stated the Michael Oher would be his starting left tackle and he lined up there today alongside Bobbie Williams who seems to be the left guard for the foreseeable future.
At right tackle, the Ravens rotated in undrafted free agent Jack Cornell and newly signed Cord Howard. Both players are not the answer at right tackle but will act as bodies until the Ravens can get Kelechi Osemele and Jah Reid up to 100% to battle for their chance to win the job.
Osemele participated in practice today for the first time since minicamp; his repetitions were limited but it was good to see him back on the field.
Neither Justin Tucker nor Billy Cundiff has missed a kick at practice so far. Cundiff connected on all four of his attempts (20, 36, 41 and 48 yards). Tucker completed all of his kicks from the same spots and also was given the opportunity to attempt a 57-yard field goal. Tucker cleared the uprights and had a few yards to spare.
It’s very hard to make mention of the defense during practices where the team isn’t in pads but a few notable items can be addressed.:
Sergio Kindle had a great day and had multiple “sacks” during touch drills. It looks as if he is picking up the game a little better this season and as Jameel McClain stated yesterday, it looks like the game is slowing down for him.
Asa Jackson participated in the most unique drill of the day where he would catch a punt from the Jugs machine. After each catch, Jackson would have to hold onto the ball and catch another. When it was all said and done, Jackson had five footballs under his arms and eventually dropped what would have been his sixth attempt.
The Ravens will hold another training camp practice tomorrow at the Under Armour Performance Center at 2:30. Tomorrow’s practice is expected to be the first full padded practice of the season.