With one week of Ravens training camp in the books, it’s time to review who shined and who didn’t.
Missing in Action
OLB Terrell Suggs, OLB Elvis Dumervil, WR Breshad Perriman, RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB Trent Richardson and WR Steve Smith Sr. all have remained on the physically unable to perform list for the first week of camp.
TE Crockett Gillmore, DT Timmy Jernigan (unknown), RB Kenneth Dixon (tweak), WR Chris Moore (walking boot), CB Maurice Canady (unknown) and CB Will Davis (unknown) have all missed practices throughout camp.
Tight end Dennis Pitta is likely to miss time after suffering a sprained thumb during Monday night’s practice in an altercation with rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa.
Studs of the Week
All eyes were on Joe Cool as he took to the field wearing a brace as camp opened. Questions about his health and mobility were quickly answered. The veteran quarterback appeared without restriction in his movements, and his footwork was solid. His arm is strong, and his throws have been accurate. On several days, the franchise quarterback had long touchdown passes to receivers Kamar Aiken and Chris Moore. His intermediate passing game shined with perfectly thrown passes to free agent pick-ups Mike Wallace and tight end Benjamin Watson. While Flacco admits he has a lot to improve upon, the coaching staff, his teammates and fans should breathe at least a slight sigh of relief with his progress thus far.
Kamar Aiken picked up where he left off after stepping up due to injuries in the Ravens receiving corps in 2015. Aiken’s rapport with Flacco has been the best thus far in camp. Aiken continued to flash his prowess, fighting for passes and attacking the football on deep and intermediate routes. His route-running has improved, as has his catch radius. The wideout appears to have found his niche in the Ravens offense. He has given cornerback Jimmy Smith fits throughout the week. Aiken has scored multiple touchdowns in each of the first five practices.
Rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa is truly living up to the hype of being a “high motor” type player. Running with the first team defense at both inside and outside linebacker, K.C. has consistently attacked the ball carrier and quarterback. The rookie is in solid shape and has drawn the praise of several teammates and coaches. Correa plays with an intensity that beckoned his placement on this list of studs.
Let’s just hope he keeps his emotions in check and stops fighting with some of the offense, including Joe Flacco.
It appeared to be tough sledding to make the roster for wide receiver Michael Campanaro as he entered into training camp; however, the River Hill High School standout has shined. Healthy and in great shape, Campanaro has thrusted his way back on the radar. His routes are crisper than ever, and his ability to gain separation has been fun to watch. The fact that he was given a rest day by John Harbaugh shows how much progress he has made and how the organization feels about the local product.
Duds of the Week
Jimmy Smith captures the dishonor of training camp dud of the week. While it’s true the veteran cornerback may still be recovering from offseason surgery, he appears slow and even disinterested in practice at times. Several of the team’s wide receivers have had little trouble against him. He has often appeared to struggle with the defensive play call. While it’s only been a week, Jimmy has a long way to go to get back to his 2013-early 2014 form.
Thankfully Joe Flacco is back and shining because the Ravens backup quarterback, Ryan Mallett has been anything but good throughout the first week of camp. His mechanics appear severely off-kilter, causing erratic throws on a consistent basis. He’s thrown scattered interceptions, and has even lost a few reps to third-string quarterback Jerrod Johnson. I would have expected better from Mallett knowing he could be called upon at any time given the severity of Flacco’s previous injury.
Safety Matt Elam has spent most of his time opposite Kendrick Lewis on the second team defense throughout much of practice. The former first-round pick appears slow and continues to look lost in coverage even against a struggling Ryan Mallett. In his fourth year, the former Florida Gator still has an issue in locating the football and understanding Dean Pees’ schemes. Elam will be hard-pressed to make the final roster if he continues to struggle against inferior competition.
Play of the Week
During red zone drills, quarterback Joe Flacco threw his best pass of camp thus far, finding Kamar Aiken in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Flacco’s placed the ball where only Aiken, who was covered by Jimmy Smith, could grab it.
During 11-on-11 drills quarterback Joe Flacco dropped back to pass and executed a perfectly thrown deep pass to rookie wide receiver Chris Moore for a touchdown. Flacco gave his famous hands over his head touchdown signal following the play.
Quote of the Week
“We’re going to find out. The answer to that question is: I have a lot of promises to keep and many miles before I can sleep. I question every day. I get up, and I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love getting out here and being confrontational. I love talking [expletive]. That’s just a part of being Sizzle. I think once I get back to being him, I think all of your questions will be answered.” Terrell Suggs on how how many more sacks he has in him as a 33-year old linebacker returning from injury.
“How’s what feel? My hair? … Oh, you mean my hip. Yeah, it feels good.” Tight end Dennis Pitta’s response when asked, “how’s it feel?”
The Ravens will enjoy an off day on Tuesday before starting week two of practice which is slated to begin around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.
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