The Ravens wrapped up their final open practice (to the media) of the week on Tuesday as the team continued to prepare for their first preseason game of 2015 against the New Orleans Saints.
In what was more of a walk-through practice, the team donned shorts and helmets while practicing at half speed. The focus was more on actual reps, mechanics and routes than hitting or spectacular catches.
With training camp already in its second week, routes are becoming second nature for rookie wide receiver Darren Waller.
With the caveat that there was zero contact on Tuesday, Waller’s routes appeared crisper while his footwork has improved drastically since rookie minicamp. Using his 6-6, 245-lb frame, the rookie wideout is not only able to high-point the football, but is improving daily on boxing pass defenders out on a consistent basis.
Waller is certainly worth keeping an eye on during Thursday night’s game where he should see plenty of reps.
Special Teams Focused
Coordinator Jerry Rosburg had his unit on the field for plenty of reps before the team was forced to take cover with severe weather in the area.
Kicker Justin Tucker‘s powerful leg was on display as Rosburg and John Harbaugh had the field goal team rushing on and off the field on short notice. With music pumping to simulate crowd noise, Tucker connected on multiple field goals from beyond 50 yards.
With Tucker at their disposal, it will be interesting to see how and if Harbaugh will utilize the new two-point conversion rule.
Tight Ends Vs. Linebackers
During Tuesday’s practice, one-on-one drills between linebackers and tight ends took place, with the tight end group getting the best of Suggs’ corps.
Second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore made several nice catches despite tight coverage by Elvis Dumervil. In addition, rookie Nick Boyle fared extremely well against the veteran Terrell Suggs. Boyle was able to create constant separation and record three receptions. Foiling the third reception, Suggs did manage to swat the ball out of Boyle’s hands for a turnover.
2015 second-round draft pick Maxx Williams was successful against Steven Means and Courtney Upshaw. Both linebackers overran their coverage. The rookie also made a nice catch with Suggs drapped over his shoulder.
Rookie linebacker Za’Darius Smith struggled for much of the one-on-one drills, which is to be expected considering he played defensive end at Kentucky. While a major transition for Smith is underway, don’t expect immediate results in coverage for the fourth-round pick.
Lardarius Webb, Michael Campanaro, DeAndre Carter, Aldrick Robinson, Asa Jackson and Tom Nelson all took reps returning punts. After moving indoors, Jackson muffed a punt but rebounded well. The job- for now – looks as if it’s Campanaro’s to lose.
Safety Kendrick Lewis was back on the field after missing practice on Monday and was responsible for a few pass break ups during the walk-through type practice. Opposite of Lewis, Will Hill looked like he didn’t know how to act with the pace of the practice being so slow. Safe to say, Hill is ready for Thursday night.
Stormy conditions forced the fan lottery winners to abandon practice when lighting was reported in the area. At one point while the fans were exiting, linebacker Terrell Suggs ran over to the PR staff to see where everyone was going. He smiled and waived to a few fans while they were exiting.
Who Practiced And Who Didn’t
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) missed his tenth consecutive practice. John Urschel (head), Robert Myers (head), Christo Bilukidi (unknown), DeAngelo Tyson (strain) and Timmy Jernigan (foot) all missed Tuesday’s practice.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) and safety Kendrick Lewis (leg) were both back at practice.
The Ravens will have a walk-through tomorrow that is closed to the media in preparation for Thursday night’s game.
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