On a dreary Friday morning, the Ravens took to the field under cloudy skies for another early practice at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.
The battle for the one or possibly two roster spots at the wide receiver position is heating up between Deonte Thompson, Kamar Aiken and undrafted rookie Jeremy Butler.
Thompson has had a resurgence over the past two days and put on a nice display of speed and solid hands throughout 11-on-11 drills today. Thompson and quarterback Joe Flacco connected on two long touchdowns, one of which Deonte hauled in despite having Asa Jackson draped all over him.
In 2013, Thompson established career highs in receptions (10) and receiving yards (96), including a four-catch day against Buffalo for 50 yards.
More Notes & Observations
Jacoby Jones was extremely active with the first team offense with Steve Smith Sr. sitting out. Jones worked the sidelines a lot on Friday, making several nice catches for gains. During 11-on 11-drills Jones almost broke Jackson’s ankle on a juke move to gain separation.
Aiken is also making his case to earn a roster spot. He turned in his fourth consecutive day of solid practice, showing his ability to come back to the ball as well as catching contested footballs. One one impressive play, Aiken caught a ball in mid-air over cornerback Dominique Franks and held on despite a hard landing. If Aiken excels in special teams he could find himself on the roster at the end of the Summer.
Butler returned to the practice field after missing Thursday with a hamstring issue.
Bernard Pierce, Kyle Juszczyk, and Shaun Chapas all did a great job in blitz pick-up drills. Pierce held off rookie C.J. Mosley while Juice knocked linebacker Albert McClellan off his feet. Ray Rice didn’t participate in those drills.
Flacco and Tyrod Taylor had nice days. Flacco’s footwork is clean and he is getting rid of the football in a timely fashion. He made several nice touchdown throws and his chemistry with both Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels has been fun to watch. Taylor is staying in the pocket a lot longer than in years past and making tough throws, something he has struggled with in his career.
During one field goal drill, veteran punter Sam Koch was good from 60 yards.
Not Practicing on Offense
Smith, Sr. was present for practice on Friday but didn’t participate.
Offensive lineman Eugene Monroe was not on the field and undrafted rookie James Hurst took his spot along the first team offensive line.
Will Rackley once again missed practice due to his concussion.
*Practice will take place on Saturday morning with a start time of 8:30 a.m.
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