After a successful open practice in Annapolis, which drew over 20,000 fans, the Ravens returned to Owings Mills as players once again battled the summer heat – and each other – for their jobs.
Today’s camp did lead to plenty of storylines as the Ravens kicking battle appears to favor one kicker over the other and the team may have had the majority of it’s starting offensive line on the field today.
Let’s get to the details:
At no point throughout training camp has rookie Justin Tucker been outkicked by Billy Cundiff. The majority of training camp practices have ended in what could be considered ties but when one kicker has stood out over the other, it’s always been Tucker.
If Cundiff loses the kicking job, today will be one of the days he wishes he could have back.
During the field goal portion of today’s session, Cundiff led off from 24 yards, a kick on which he pulled the ball left and missed. The next kick, Cundiff moved back to 34 yards and missed again.
Cundiff made his two other attempts during the session from 41 and 44 yards but had to have left the field disappointed. Tucker jogged onto the field and made all five of his attempts.
During team drills, Cundiff was given the chance to kick again and made 45 and 34-yard attempts.
Practice ended with the team cheering on the kickers as they attempted to be the first to hit from 52 yards out. Tucker had his first miss of the day and Cundiff had his third as both balls failed to split the uprights.
As players cheered him on with phrases like “Texas” and “C’mon Tuck” to end their practice, Tucker booted the ball through the goal post with an extra ten to 12 yards to spare.
Final kicking numbers from practice were:
Cundiff: 4/7 (Made: 41, 44, 45, 34 — Missed: 24, 34, 52)
Tucker: 6/7 (Made: 25, 25, 35, 41, 44, 52 — Missed: 52)
LG Bobbie Williams has been battling an ankle injury for quite a while. When he practices it is heavily taped and the Ravens decided to give himthe next two days off as they prepare to evaluate the offensive line on Friday during their second preseason game.
With Williams sitting out of practice, second-round pick Kelechi Osemele moved from right tackle to left guard with the first team offensive line. Osemele’s vacancy on the right side of the line allowed Michael Oher to move to right tackle, which gave the Ravens an excuse to promote Bryant McKinnie to the first team’s left tackle.
Already knowing that Matt Birk and Marshal Yanda have entrenched their positions on the offensive line, aside from Williams, the line featured at practice today has a great shot as being the ideal starting offensive line moving forward.
LaQuan Williams pulled in a few more catches today and was also targeted in the red zone. From what he’s shown so far, he appears to be a legitimate red zone threat on the field this season.
Anquan Boldin andJoe Flacco connected during full team drills for a great downfield pass. From what appeared to be a drive starting at the one-yard line, Boldin got past cornerback Jimmy Smith and caught the ball around the 45 yard line and took off running.
Boldin was finally “tackled” at his own 18-yard line, as the play went for 81 total yards. Even though he’ll be used quite a bit in the slot this season, it was good to see that Boldin still possesses the speed to beat a younger cornerback on a deep route.
Deonte Thompson had an up-and-down practice today. The downside to his practice was some miscommunication with Flacco as Lardarius Webb jumped a pass for the interception.
Thompson redeemed himself as he hauled in a touchdown pass over Jordin Mabin. After the touchdown, Boldin turned to the defense and barked, “Shut it down,” while mocking his teammates.
Sergio Kindle made a good play today as he jumped in the air while Tyrod Taylor rolled out of the pocket. Kindle tipped Taylor’s pass, which deflected into the arms of 291 lb. defensive tackle Bryan Hall.
After getting burned during the first series on the field in Atlanta, Cary Williams had a good practice today as he deflected two different passes from Flacco and appeared to be running alongside his wide receivers all day.
Williams is still recovering from a hip injury and his poor performance from the first preseason game shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
Injuries and Returns
Jah Reid returned to practice for the first time since training camp started. Reid was limited as most players have been during their first day back from an injury.
After saying he was 100% yesterday after the practice at the Naval Academy, Pernell McPhee wasn’t on the field today. This may be a case of the coaches giving him an off day as he is returning from knee surgery.
Jacoby Jones was also a no-show during practice today. While practicing Sunday in Annapolis, Jones pulled up short while in the end zone and gingerly walked near the back wall. He finished practice but was probably held out today as a precaution.
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