For the first time in team history, the Ravens held an open training camp practice at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. The blue stadium seats were filled with plenty of fans in purple today, as the announced attendance for the teams second and final, fully open public practice was 20,335.
Torrey Smith returned to practice after spraining his ankle on Thursday against the Falcons. Smith was in full uniform and ran during some individual exercises but was held out of any contact drills.
Missing from practice was David Reed (ACL), Tandon Doss (hamstring), Ed Dickson (shoulder), Dennis Pitta (hand), Jah Reid (calf), Chykie Brown (hamstring), Asa Jackson (hamstring), Josh Bynes (cracked vertebrae), Darryl Blackstock (groin), Ryan McBean (broken ankle) and of course Terrell Suggs (Achilles).
Even though he wasn’t in uniform, Reid worked on some blocking drills on the sideline while special teams was on the field at the conclusion of practice. Seeing Reid participate in drills like these should be an indicator that he’ll soon begin mixing it up with his teammates on the practice field.
Another Raven hopeful to return to the field soon is Dickson. He was in street clothes as the team practiced today; however, unlike yesterday, he wasn’t wearing a sling.
With the top three wide receivers all but etched in stone, LaQuan Williams continues his best to change that number into four. Out of all the younger talent on wide receiver depth chart not named Torrey Smith, Williams has clearly set himself apart from the rest of the crowd.
During today’s practice, Williams was once again targeted frequently and multiple times in the end zone. The strength of Williams’ hands continues to impress and on Sunday those mitts were like steel traps. Despite the aggressive efforts of defenders trying to dislodge the ball, particularly Danny Gorrer, the second year receiver relentlessly secured it.
The Williams of this year has to be Deonte Thompson, who continues to capitalize on his increased exposure from his performance in Atlanta earlier in the week. Thompson is showing off his speed and has been targeted downfield on numerous occasions.
During practice, Thompson’s most impressive catch came on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor. Thompson utilized his speed to get behind the cornerback Jordan Mabin and haul in the pass. This was the same type of play Taylor and Thompson nearly connected on during the Ravens first preseason game but the pass was batted away at the last second.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this on Friday when the Ravens play the Lions at home for their second preseason game of the season.
Matt Birk resumed practice today, which forced Gino Gradkowski to work with the second team. On the outside, Michael Oher (LT) and Kelechi Osemele (RT) continue to run with the 1’s as Bryant McKinnie is still seeing reps at left tackle with the second unit.
One notable change was the movement of Ramon Harewood in various positions. Jack Cornell replaced Harewood at right tackle with the second team and Harewood was seen playing not only tackle but guard as well. Displaying versatility could be Harewood’s only chance of making the final 53.
Bernard Pierce returned to full contact drills today, which is notable because it’s been rare that all four running backs have been healthy at the same time.
This competition will be judged as the preseason games progress and people make a name for themselves with their play. After the first game, Bobby Rainey made a name for himself in Baltimore while Anthony Allen has yet to find his form from a year ago.
The funniest moment of practice came when the offense wanted a pass interference penalty thrown against the defense but wouldn’t get any help from the referee. While standing on sideline, Vonta Leach grabbed the officials yellow flag, and threw it onto the field.
Ma’ake Kemoeatu has been someone we’ve been saying to keep your eye on since camp started. After practice as coach Harbaugh met with the media, he said, “Kemo is pushing for a starting job.” Kemoeatu received many snaps at nose tackle as Terrence Cody took in some work with the second team.
Don’t read too much into Cody working with the second team, he is someone the Ravens are trying to move around to fill multiple positions on the line and it’s assumed he’s playing with lower tiered lines for increased reps, not from the coaches lack of confidence.
Until Courtney Upshaw is playing at 100%, Albert McClellan will occupy his position. There isn’t much to say about the linebackers that haven’t already been said in previous posts but seeing where Upshaw fits in during the pass rush will be something to keep your eye on.
With some minor weight issues and a shoulder that is still heavily bandaged, Upshaw may find that starting in the NFL may be harder than it appeared as others “under” him have begun to make a name for themselves.
Even though he’s buried on the depth chart, Chavis Williams put together a nice practice today and had two sacks during the final team scrimmage portion.
As they’ve done in many practices, both Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker didn’t do anything to stand apart as they both kicked very well.
Both Cundiff and Tucker made field goals from 30, 41, 48, and 54 yards. At the end of their kicking drill, each kicker attempted a 65-yard field goal. Both fell short. Towards the end of practice, each kicker got to come out as the team simulated game-like situations.
Tucker made his field goal from 43-yards while Cundiff was good from 50.
The Ravens will return to practice at the Under Armour Performance Center at 2:30 on today. This practice is restricted to those with previous tickets from the raffle through the official Ravens website.
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