On Tuesday the Ravens worked through a heat index that approached 100 degrees during the first day of their 3-day mandatory mini-camp.
The practice was crisp and spirited with great energy driven to new levels that can at least in part be attributed to the presence of Terrell Suggs.
Suggs is in great shape – very similar to the physique in which he reported to training camp last summer. His comedic flair hasn’t changed either, targeting a few of the team’s offensive players with good-natured ribbing, most notable of which were Gary Kubiak and Deonte Thompson.
Jimmy Smith picked off a Joe Flacco pass and returned it for a score. After which Suggs got on Kubiak, “encouraging” him to implement tackling drills for the offense.
“Hey Coach Kubiak, you might want to start tackling practice if that keeps up!”
Later on Drayton Florence pick off a pass and Suggs was heard shouting, “Again?”
During 7-on-7’s Suggs laid into Thompson after the speedy receiver dropped a perfectly thrown pass from Joe Flacco on a skinny post, hitting the former Gator dead in stride. That prompted Suggs to scream, “You piece of [expletive]!”
Thompson wasn’t the only player who struggled to maintain possession. During 2:00 drills while facing a third and 10 from the 50-yard line with less than a minute remaining Torrey Smith dropped a deep in-route. Flacco delivered a laser 18 yards downfield that jammed one of Smith’s fingers. Earlier Chykie Brown stripped Smith from behind on a slant from left to right.
During the 2:00 drill Flacco was 2 of 4 for 17 yards. Courtney Upshaw had a nice pressure forcing Flacco to hurry a second down pass to Marlon Brown that fell incomplete and Pernell McPhee registered a sack for an 8-yard loss on a first and 5 play following a defensive penalty.
The second team offense could only muster 5 yards during their 2:00 possession.
OTHER NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
Courtney Upshaw is struggling with his weight again although to his credit he’s working hard and it doesn’t appear to be impacting his level of play…Elvis Dumervil has added some weight that he later claimed was strategic in order to more effectively compete in the AFC North. Trouble is the placement of the weight doesn’t look strategic. We’ll keep an eye on it…Haloti Ngata looked spry and healthy and with the defensive line depth defensive line coach Clarence Brooks will look to keep the big man fresh in the fourth quarter and later in the season.
Justin Tucker is crushing the football. Yesterday during live simulations he connected from 30, 36 (twice), 41, 49 and 50, each time denting the net behind the uprights. He did not miss…Rookie punter Richie Leone hit a couple of bombs during special teams drills. It’s early but at this point I’d equate him to a home run hitter. In other words, there are “strikeouts” along the way too. Again it’s early but Leone may lack the consistency of incumbent Sam Koch.
Another humorous sound bite from Suggs came during the second team 2:00 drill. While off on the sidelines being stretched by a trainer, Suggs gave props to rookie DE Brent Urban.
“[If you] make a few more plays I might start wearing your jersey.”