On Monday evening, the Ravens took to the field at M&T Bank Stadium for their first of three open practices of training camp.
Over 28,000 Ravens fans got their first look at the 90 players hoping to make the final cut prior to the season kicking off in September. In an even practice between the offense and defense several players stood out including another solid day for Pernell McPhee.
The 6-3, 280 pound McPhee once again found himself in the Ravens offensive backfield on multiple occasions. Quick off the snap, McPhee stuffed running back Justin Forsett and added two sacks of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The Ravens defensive line which consists of a nice blend of youth and experience has been off to a fast start thus far this training camp.
Cornerback Asa Jackson again took reps with the first team defense filling in for Lardarius Webb who missed his third consecutive practice on Monday with back spasms. Jackson was up and down during his reps but seems to be progressing with more experience. Defensive end Chris Canty missed practice due to a family issue and Kapron Lewis-Moore filled in at defensive end with the starting defense.
Other Camp Notes & Observations
The scare of the day came when second-year safety Matt Elam picked off quarterback Joe Flacco during 7 on 7 drills and nearly ran into owner Steve Bisciotti’s golf cart which was crossing the field.
Linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil both forced quarterback hurries during the 11 on 11 drills. Rookie first-round draft pick C.J. Mosley went untouched up the middle during the same 11 on 11 drill and sacked quarterback Joe Flacco.
After having solid practices thus far, undrafted rookie cornerback Tramaine Jacobs had his worst outing of training camp. In special team drills, wide receiver Marlon Brown flashed past Jacobs to down the ball on the one-yard line prompting cheers from the crowd. On another play veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. beat Jacobs for a touchdown.
Cornerback Chykie Brown returned to practice after missing practice on Sunday with a hamstring injury. Brown hasn’t fared well over the past few days and Monday night was no exception when he gave up a touchdown to Jacoby Jones. Brown will need to stack some positive days of practice in order to catch up to Asa Jackson who has clearly moved ahead of the former Longhorn in this often discussed battle for the nickel corner job.
During special team drills Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs both lined up to return punts. Ngata did rather well while the ball bounced off Suggs drawing laughs from the crowd.
Ray Lewis Returns
Retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis returned to M&T Bank Stadium and was greeted with loud cheers from everyone including the players. After visiting with Steve Bisciotti, Lewis was interviewed on the field and asked about his statue that will join Johnny Unitas’ at the entrance to the stadium.
“For me to share that with him, that’s awesome,” Lewis stated. Lewis, a man known for his many words and motivational speaking admitted the statue idea had him for a loss of word.
“Most of the time, I’m never lost for words, but that’s a very humbling thing.”
*The players will have an off day tomorrow before returning to practice on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
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