The Ravens took the field in shorts and shells today, where receivers Steve Smith Sr. and rookie Michael Campanaro put on a show. It was perhaps their best performance of training camp thus far as the team prepares for their second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.
Smith Sr. had a field day with the Ravens’ first string secondary, making catch after catch out of his ridiculously crisp routes all afternoon. The veteran wideout found the soft spots in the defense and made the secondary pay on multiple reps including an impressive over-the-shoulder catch with cornerback Chykie Brown in close pursuit.
Campanaro was a “mini me” version of Smith Sr., as he closely mimicked the former Carolina Panther wideout’s every move against the second and third team defenses. Quick off the snap, performing his routes with speed and precision, the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon caught everything thrown his way – except one, thanks to a C.J. Mosley pass break-up.
More Notes & Observations
With veteran tight end Owen Daniels given the day off, Crockett Gillmore saw extended reps alongside Dennis Pitta, who returned to practice. Gillmore and Pitta were similarly up-and-down, as the duo was targeted frequently and had a few drops. Gillmore also had two offsides penalties on the day but held his own in run blocking.
Wide receivers Kamar Aiken and Jeremy Butler ramped up their competition as both were involved in many reps in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Aiken was on the receiving end of a Tyrod Taylor touchdown pass, while Butler came up with big gains to move the chains on third down.
The chemistry between quarterback Joe Flacco and second-year fullback Kyle Juszczyk is developing nicely as camp wears on. The duo hooked up several times throughout the day, with Juice showing his pass-catching ability in traffic. On a play midway through practice Flacco threw a laser in between Juszczyk and safety Matt Elam and Juice was able to catch the ball with one hand for a nice gain.
Kicker Justin Tucker fared well in game-winning field goal drills early in practice. Tucker was good from distances of 46, 33 and 42 yards, with his only miss coming from 41 yards out. Punter Sam Koch and undrafted punter Richie Leone split reps holding the ball for Tucker.
Along with Pitta, guard Ryan Jensen returned to practice on Wednesday.
Not So Good Play of the Day
Wide receiver Deonte Thompson broke past cornerback Jimmy Smith to get wide open but dropped a perfectly thrown touchdown pass from Flacco, drawing groans from the offensive sidelines.
*The Ravens will hold their final practice open to the media tomorrow which is scheduled to begin at 11:45 a.m. John Harbaugh, Juan Castillo, Don “Wink” Martindale and Daryl Smith are scheduled to speak at the podium following practice.
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