It has been a roller-coaster type of week for Ravens rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette.
On Thursday, Mellette caught his first career NFL touchdown — the only pass thrown his way.
The following practice, coach John Harbaugh tore him a new one.
“Get number 13 off the field,” Harbaugh yelled to the sidelines, criticizing Mellette on a field in front of fans watching practice on a small hill near the sidelines. “He’s lackadaisical and lazy, get number 13 off the field.”
Mellette was just one of a handful of players on Saturday to feel the wrath of Harbaugh. However, it appears Mellette has put that behind him, stealing the show during the Ravens open practice at M&T Bank Stadium, finishing his best day of training camp to date.
“Anything good or bad as far coaching, you take it and you learn from it and you move on to the next day,” said the 7th round pick from Elon University. “We had a talk about the situation and what happened. I’m not going to go into details about it but me and him talked about it.”
“There was nothing on bad terms at all, we talked it out and we’re on the same page.”
Since no wide receiver has stepped up to fill any of the roles behind Torrey Smith, Harbaugh has his wideouts in the crosshairs. Lazy and lackadaisical aside, Mellette has great hands and he put them on display in front of over 25,000 fans who came to watch practice at the stadium.
“That’s what they brought me here to do, to catch passes and make plays,” Mellette said. ” If I couldn’t catch, I’d be playing defense. No hate on the defensive backs, they expect me to catch the ball and that’s what I’m going to do when the QB comes my way.”
The friendly competition amongst teammates is something that Mellette has been embracing. Cracking jokes on defensive backs was fitting for the unproven player, especially given that he was being harassed the whole time by cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith during his interview. It appears that he and his new teammates are really embracing competition between each other and gelling off the field.
“I’m learning a lot, different corners have different abilities,” said Mellette. “Jimmy [Smith], he’s different from Ladarius Webb and Chykie [Brown]. I’m talking to those guys and getting different tips on how to beat different corners.”
So far, beating corners has been one of Mellette’s specialties as he continues to build his audition tape for the coaching staff. Mellette possesses a great combination of size, speed and hands, but it’s a matter of putting everything together on film, not just in the game but in practice. Harbaugh likely meant to call out Mellette to make him better and put him on notice because he expects more.
On Thursday against the Atlanta Falcons, the rangy receiver will get another chance to reward the team’s faith in him and steer clear of the dog house.
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