As the Ravens begin to work on more in-depth plays and move away from individual drills, certain players are starting to stand out as potential practice squad or more frequently used players.
Not many notable things happened today at practice but a few things are highlight worthy:
No Huddle Offense
For the past two practices, the Ravens offense has been working from the no-huddle for a decent portion of practice. With quarterback Joe Flacco’s development under center, he’s able to call out more plays from the line and adjust where necessary.
NFL Network’s SoundFX is a great show because you get to hear what happens down on the field, specifically with the interaction of players. While listening to the audible signals during the no-huddle drill, some of the phrases used are actually quite comical.
Of course I can’t repeat what is said because I’d never be allowed back in the Under Armour Performance Center again. Just take my word on it, its pretty funny.
Today, we witnessed a flaw in Bobby Rainey’s game that unfortunately nothing can change. He’s vertically challenged. On a play that Flacco and Ray Rice run multiple times per game, the Ravens ace signal caller threw the ball a little higher than normal and not only was Rainey unable to pull it down, he made the misfire worse by tipping the ball into the air and into the waiting arms of safety Emmanuel Cook.
The high pass is more a fault of Flacco’s but while a quarterback is running around in the pocket, you can’t always expect a pass to dissect a player’s numbers. Rainey is small and if he’s going to make this team and see playing time on the field, Flacco will have to adjust as he does for Rice and it’ll be up to Rainey to do whatever he can to haul it in.
Newly signed veteran tight end Billy Bajema has been receiving a lot of reps with the first team offense due to the absence of Dennis Pitta (hand) and Ed Dickson (shoulder).
Bajema, who caught a touchdown pass in Thursday’s preseason opener, is primarily known as a blocking tight end, but with the most experience on the team, he’s finding more passes thrown his way to simulate the presence of Pitta or Dickson.
One person who hasn’t been mentioned much but is having a decent camp is UFA tight end Matt “Shredder” Balasavage. Given the fact Davon Drew isn’t eligible for the practice squad and with a proven player like Bajema running with the first team, Balasavage could be a candidate for the practice squad.
The offensive line gets a mention here because it is a hot topic in and around Owings Mills. With Bobbie Williams missing another practice, the same line from yesterday was present again today.
The first team line consisted of:
McKinnie (LT) Osemele (LG) Birk (C) Yanda (RG) Oher (RT)
As Deonte Thompson continues to move up the depth chart, he’s finding himself playing against better caliber players on defense. Thompson has shown some rookie inconsistencies during the past two practices having both high and low moments.
Today, Thompson was on the receiving end of a beautifully thrown ball from Flacco. The pass covered at least 25 yards dropping in just over Thompson’s shoulder.
Later in practice, Thompson took a pass right off the face and then bobbled a pass and ran out of bounds with pressure on him before he was able to make the catch.
LaQuan Williams didn’t shine today the way he has most of camp. Perhaps the light drizzle was a contributor. Several receivers struggled with ball control this afternoon.
Williams did come out of drills for a short period of a time while stretching out what appeared to be a knot in his right hamstring. After being stretched out by trainers Williams was determined not to miss any reps and got up to finish practice.
Look for Albert McClellan to receive extended playing time against the Lions as he continues to make the best of his opportunity of filling in for Courtney Upshaw who is still limited with a shoulder injury.
McClellan and Kruger have been occupying the first team while Sergio Kindle and Chavis Williams running with the 2’s.
Lardarius Webb returned an interception for a touchdown during 11 on 11 drills. Flacco threw a pass to LaQuan Williams who was running a slant pattern when he fell to the ground.
Webb dove low and trapped the ball against his chest, immediately got up and returned the pass 25 yards for a touchdown.
Yes Baltimore, Billy Cundiff can make a 32-yard field goal. For the first time in training camp, Cundiff was forced to attempt a 32-yard field goal and he made it with ease.
The bad news for Cundiff was that he missed his second kick of the afternoon. His kick from 41 yards sailed wide of the goalpost. Cundiff did make field goals from 32, 47, 52, 35, 40 and 51 today.