CAMP NOTES: Doss Struggles, Sleeper WR Emerges

Doss Struggles

The crowd seemed a little lighter than last year’s turnout of 20,300, yet the enthusiasm seemed greater as fans of the defending World Champion Baltimore Ravens welcomed their favorite team to Jack Stephens Field at the Naval Academy.

Big ovations were extended to head coach John Harbaugh and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco as they entered the field, narrated by the WBAL broadcast team of Keith Mills, Stan White and Qadry Ismail.

One of the more noticeable differences during camp is the fast pace of the offense. They are in and out of the huddle more quickly and with greater purpose. During two-minute offensive drills the rapid-fire pacing amounts to gassers for the receivers. The approach is a bit reminiscent of former Carolina Tar heels head basketball coach Dean Smith creating so much pressure during practice that the games seem like a coffee break, relatively speaking.

Along those lines, this camp we’ve seen the introduction of “The Blitz”. Dean Pees and his defense will bring blitzers from all directions, the intent of which is to force Joe Flacco and his entire offensive unit to make quick decisions. This is an indication that new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell may be more receptive to working with Pees as part of an effort to improve the team. It may also indicate that there’s more round table discussion in coaching staff meetings where self-scouting leads to growth and better results.

A few of the standout plays during “The Blitz”:

  • The Ravens defense tipped their hand a bit too early and Flacco checked to a different play. The result was a slant from right to left with Deonte Thompson on the receiving end of the perfectly delivered bullet. Thompson found ample real estate to navigate and exhibited his top end speed on his way to a touchdown.
  • Flacco and Torrey Smith are on the same page. Confronted by a free nickel back blitz from the right slot (defensive left), Flacco had Smith with one-on-one down the right sideline covered by Chykie Brown (who is playing very well). Despite the tight coverage, the pitch and catch tandem connected on a back shoulder throw, proof that when executed properly that throw is nearly indefensible.
  • Once again the defense tipped their hand too early and Flacco audibled to a bubble screen to the right with Jacoby Jones the target. The blocking from Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss was spot on paving the way to a very successful result.


Ed Dickson left practice very inconspicuously with a tweaked hamstring and that left Visanthe Shiancoe to take the reps with the 1’s. The Ravens are likely to exercise caution with Dickson, particularly on the heels of losing Dennis Pitta and the departure of Anquan Boldin via a salary cap motivated trade…Harbaugh, Caldwell and wide receivers coach Jim Hostler are waiting for someone to emerge from the pack that includes Doss, Thompson, Tommy Streeter, LaQuan Williams and Aaron Mellette. Yesterday Thompson and Mellette were the best of the group. Thompson was adept at navigating the middle of the field, perhaps as part of an effort to round out his game and not just be looked upon as an outside speed guy. Mellette successfully secured the ball each time he was targeted, including a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor during 2-minute drills.

Streeter is a different story. He’s too one-dimensional and very reminiscent of former Ravens receiver Clarence Moore. Streeter provides nothing in terms of contributions on special teams and at this point, he’s a long shot to make the final 53…Doss didn’t have a very good practice either. During 2-minute drills Flacco rifled a shot to Doss on a deep in-route that initially looked like a completion. However the third-year receiver went T-Rex on his quarterback and dropped the pass, influenced by the oncoming threat of contact provided by Corey Graham. A plus note for Doss – he was seen tossing a pass effortlessly during warm-ups 45 yards downfield. Perhaps there’s a gadget play in the making.

Marlon Brown, a UDFA from Georgia, had a productive afternoon. He moves well for his size (6’5”, 217) and caught everything thrown his way. He’s someone to watch during preseason games and at this point, he’s had a better camp than the 2012 6th-round pick Streeter.

On defense, a few notables…LB Nigel Carr has improved his agility and isn’t as stiff in the hips as he was last year and that should help him in pass coverage where he was very subpar during last year’s training camp…Bryan Hall is trying to transition from a stocky undersized defensive lineman to an inside linebacker. Coverage skills are extremely important for backers in today’s NFL and Hall has a long way to go. If he makes the team, special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg will influence it.

UDFA CB Moe Lee looked sharp, particularly during one-on-one drills against the receivers. Without pressure on the quarterback these drills are heavily slanted in favor of the offensive players who are free to go anywhere on the field – essentially a Cover 0 defense. Lee had two passes defensed while matched up against Brown and Smith. Lee has size as well (6’1”, 191)…Speaking of size, Marc Anthony brings it too (5’11”, 196) and competed effectively yesterday. The suspension of Asa Jackson gives the 7th-round pick from Cal a better shot to survive final cut downs… Jacoby Jones faked Jimmy Smith out of his jock on a post corner during one-on-ones. Smith still appears to be very vulnerable to double moves…Albert McClellan and Daryl Smith registered sacks during scrimmaging…Chris Canty batted a ball delivered by Flacco on third down. Get used to that from the 6’7” D-Lineman….Lardarius Webb intercepted Joe Flacco during 7 on 7’s.

Justin Tucker was busy on this clear, comfortable but slightly breezy evening. Tucker was good from 35, 40, 46 & 50 yards out during a rather rapid-fire 7-kick sequence. He missed from 58 (wide left), 65 (yard short) and 68 (just under crossbar, hit the post). Later during 2-minute scrimmaging Tucker connected from 49 and hit the crossbar from 63 yards out.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

15 Raves on “CAMP NOTES: Doss Struggles, Sleeper WR Emerges

  1. royj on said:

    Good to hear on Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown… Ravens need someone or a few guys to really step up. These guys have a golden opportunity.

  2. jws on said:

    With all the reports I get from camp nothing much has changed with some of these veterans. Doss who is counted on, still looks shaky as a starter with many dropped passes. Ed Dickson always seem to find ways to get injured and miss games. Cody may make the team as last DT. His cap number is low so he would not create cap space if cut but needs a great preseason to get playing time in the regular season.. Rookie DT Williams will make the team but how much he plays is unsure for now. Byness and D.Smith will be the starting inside linebackers unless McClain is completely healthy and ready.. It is doubtful and unknown to the end of August what McClain’s status will be this year. Jimmy Smith still has issues on many pass plays and is what scouts said before the draft is true today, he would is a first reaction guy that is easily fooled on many pass routes. is a very up and down player and was a bad draft pick by Ozzie in round one (26 teams passed on him many needing a DB then). Look for some surprise wide receivers making the team. This is “Last chance” year for some young veterans like Cody, HallL. LalQquan Williams (WR),Tyrod Talor. RBS Berry,Bobby Rainey, G Jack Cornell and maybe Dickson and Doss.

    • Big C on said:

      Guys get hurt, his hamstring grabbed on him… no big deal. Pitta broke his hand and missed all of the preseason last year. Vets don’t need a whole lot of practice like that. Doss is a flake, it’s between Williams, Thompson and Mellette. Streeter is wack, he’s not going to make the team. I know I’ve been saying a while, and it’s always going to be apparent. Jimmy Smith may not be a starting corner in this league… but he can play corner VERY effectively in the red zone and for some reason, he plays well in the playoffs. I think his future is at safety in an Antrel Rolle type of fit. Come down, cover a guy, handle the hook/curl… maybe a deep 1/3 every once in a while… Cody is finished… no way he makes the team without guys getting hurt, period…

  3. Josh on said:


    Nice analysis. I know you can’t observe anything, but did you notice any positive plays from Furstenburg? I think he has the best shot of any UDFA of making the final roster.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      I haven’t seen anything that has made me think positive or negative about Furstenberg yet. I’ll be out there today and tomorrow as well. I’ll let you know if I see anything worthy of note.

      • BoldinRaver on said:

        Tony, I’m curious about Rasaad Carter. Heard he has huge hands and catches well in traffic. His name popped up a few times earlier, but then not much. He seems like a guy who makes his catches, whereas Doss … Please let us know how the UFAs are looking.

  4. Cerebral on said:

    The receiving is what I expected. Doss still lacks moxy in critical catch situations with a big hit coming. It looks like Thompson is beginning to emerge. I predict that he will split ST/WR with Jacoby. Oh by the way, it maybe a bit early to predict this, but Graham may be our best CB. I would like to know where Jurcysk is in his development. Did anyone see a Leach/Jurcysk backfield on 3rd and short? Also, is there any serious competition for Reid/Harewood’s spots on the OL?

    • Big C on said:

      I hope they have competiton. Apparently Ramon Harewood has the knees of a 76 year old man. And Jah Reid is one of the most garbage linemen we’ve ever had here. That’s saying a lot considering Oniel Cousins AND Bennie Anderson played here… two of the worst of the worst. You want to know how to label a bust? Here’s how. Watch a guy play and say…if he was an undrafted FA, would he still be here. If the answer is NO like with Reid, Doss… Then you have a bust on your hands…

    • Mike Rice on said:

      Last season against Raiders he went across the middle an snathed the pass got popped and then met by two more defenders never caughing up the ball and dragging bodies for extra yardage. He did the same thing against Antoine Cason in the charers game. In both cases he got walloped , held the catch and needed 3 defenders to bring him dpwn. He ain’t scared of the hit. He’s aware of overzealous team mate. Especially with key players going down around him.

  5. Ravenwoman on said:

    I haven’t been to camp this year, but what I am hearing is that Tandon Doss really hasn’t overcome his tendency for dropping passes in traffic situations. Being a good practice player doesn’t always translate into reliable game time player. I think to get over this fear of being hit, our players should play double coverage and when Flacco passes one to him, our DBs should hit him hard, really hard, so that he can overcome his fear of being hit. Otherwise, he will not be a dependable game day player when we really need a reliable short yardage possession receiver.

  6. will on said:

    Headline says Doss Struggles! That’s your headline and only write one sentence in regards to him dropping one pass. Seriously?

    • spy on said:

      It’s Doss man,,,,,,,,he always struggles , it’s the same old thing with him , get used to it as long as he is here,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,if Flacco didn’t like him , he would be gone……………

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