Camp Notes: July 29


It’s Ice Cream Day!

Today was a special day at training camp, as two ice cream trucks pulled onto the field at the conclusion of practice. Later, guard Kelechi Osemele was asked why he didn’t visit the truck, and said that only the defense could visit the truck because they “won” practice today.

Being the first class organization that they are, the Ravens even treated the media and allowed us to visit the truck. For the first time ever, I was allowed to do something at the facility that Joe Flacco wasn’t. Also, for those asking… no, Bryant McKinnie didn’t visit the truck.

photo: Sabina Moran

Kelechi Osemele is Back

After injuring his hamstring on the first day of practice, Osemele rejoined his teammates, participating in individual drills. He was limited during the team portion.

“Today went well, it felt great,” he said. “It was good to be out there with the guys again and get all the mental things going on. The most important part is the mental part of it. Just being sharp and making sure you can still keep up with Joe’s audibles, and things like that. It just felt good to be out there with the guys and getting plays.”

Wide Receiver Roundup

The loss of tight end Dennis Pitta for the season places more of an emphasis on the battle at wide receiver and who wants to step up and win a starting job. While two of the top three spots are decided, with Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss isn’t a clear-cut winner of the third spot.

Doss is a confusing player to watch. It’s surprising to say, but Doss has some of the (if not THE) best hands on the team – at times. However, he also drops a lot of passes as well. Today, Doss did what he has done so many times before – made a phenomenal catch that made you shake your head in amazement, then turned around and left you shaking your head after he dropped a simple pass.

There are other wide receiver battles that will primarily be for a spot further down the 53-man roster. While their pass catching abilities are important, for some guys like seventh-round pick Aaron Mellette, special teams contributions will carry much more weight in the eyes of coaches.

Mellette had a very busy practice today, hauling in many passes, even one over Asa Jackson that ended up going for 50-55 yards. There were plenty of positives for Mellette, who was a favorite target of quarterback Tyrod Taylor, but he did drop one a routine pass as well.

It seems that, of the names at wide receiver most fans aren’t yet familiar with, Mellette is one to keep your eye on as a roster bubble guy.

Michael Oher’s Big Blow

Third-round draft pick Brandon Williams is a very large guy to say the least. Williams is so big, when he’s in his helmet and pads it looks like he doesn’t even have a neck. His strength has been on display on YouTube, where he won Baltimore over with a video of him walking on his hands and another of him bench pressing 500 pounds prior to the combine.

While most typical human beings would find that impressive, right tackle Michael Oher just sees Williams as another opponent, and treated him that way today.

During 11-on-11 drills, Williams rushed towards the Ravens offensive line and Oher lowered a shoulder, knocking him to the ground. It was certainly a rare site to see given that Williams’ strength dominates most of his opponents. Welcome to the NFL, rookie.

Josh Bynes Getting a Lot of Reps

For certain positions, head coach John Harbaugh has been shifting the depth chart to allow players on the verge of cracking a starting job a chance to work with both the first- and second-team lines.

Linebacker Josh Bynes has been rotating with Albert McClellan alongside Daryl Smith as the Ravens top options for inside linebacker. Bynes has seen plenty of reps and is doing well, especially considering that he was on the practice squad at the start of last season.

The order of the Ravens depth chart at ILB will be ironed out during the preseason, but Bynes has been holding his own against the Ravens offense. Coach Harbaugh said that McClellan would only be competing for a job at inside linebacker, not outside, where he has played in the past.

There is certainly competition for playing time, especially once you throw in second-round pick Arthur Brown, who will certainly see plenty of action with the top unit as camp progresses and he earns the trust of coach Harbaugh.

John Simon Very Impressive

We spoke with linebacker John Simon earlier this week, not only about growing up a Steelers fan, but about football as well. It’s a shame that the Ravens are only looking to utilize him at outside linebacker because he is playing very well after his first week of training camp practice.

Simon is explosive, and very quick off the snap. Had it not been for quarterbacks wearing red non-contact jerseys, they would certainly have had grass stains covering their numbers, courtesy of Simon.

Day Off

After five straight days of practice as a team, the Ravens will take the day off on Tuesday. As wide receiver Jacoby Jones walked  from the field to sign autographs for children, he jokingly said, “Man, my legs feel like Jello.” Jones is likely to have plenty of other teammates echo his sentiments, and the day off will be much appreciated.

For more Ravens news and training camp updates, follow me on Twitter @RavenManiac.

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About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

13 Raves on “Camp Notes: July 29

  1. BoldinRaver on said:

    … Sizzle is no casual observer, just sayin’. Go Josh!

  2. RepeatSB on said:

    I think T.Doss get more focus and might be facing more pressure than any other WR on the Roster since everyone expects him to step up in WR Battle. Hope he overcomes that. If he succeeds, he might have a very good career down the road.

    Also, this gives opportunity to others like Deonte and Reed in the receiver group to showcase their talent while under the radar(less pressure compared to Doss) and move up the ladder.

  3. ken on said:

    Anquan Boldin will be hardest to replace, the Ravens dont have a receiver any where his ability. The loss of Pitta will make the receiving corps even weaker.

  4. RJ on said:

    Amazing how you can have ONE JOB and not drop simple passes, and yet not one of these fairly useless practice squad players can step up to the massive opportunity they have been given twice now!

    Day by day, the decision to drop Q like a bad habit has stung to the point where I’m numb, and the fact that we HIRED DAVID “BUTTERFINGERS” REED FOR $2 MIL is just too much of a debacle to get my head around. Let’s face it: if we didn’t get INCREDIBLY lucky with the Dumervil pickup, this off-season would have been a complete disaster. I have no idea what Ozzie and Harb’s were thinking when they low-balled Q after getting us a Super Bowl trophy, but it’s the DUMBEST move we have ever made! Who the hell is the $120 mil man Flacco gonna throw to now?

    • Mill on said:

      Well, I guess the Ravens should just pack it in and send the guys home. It’s the first week of training camp man. These players haven’t done anything that resembles real football all offseason. Of course guys are going to make mistakes and it is not going to be pretty at times. That is why they call it practice. Atleast wait until they play a preseason game before you label ALL of them worthless trash.

    • Brian Tray on said:

      I agree with your comments regarding Reed. The decision to let Boldin go was carefully thought out and based on two factors. 1. They really needed to bolster the defense. For Boldin’s money they got Huff, Canty and Spears. Adding in Dumervil and Smith was the icing on the cake. On paper we have one of the best defenses in the league. 2. We have 3 young receivers (Doss, Thompsom and Williams) and they believe at least one or two can step up and catch the ball. Caldwell will have the correct schemes in place for them to get open and Flacco will put it on the money. They know a little more than we do and I suspect they know Doss can replace Boldin. I trust and hope they are right. With Streeter and Mellette now competing as well it seems likely we won’t miss Boldin. I believe Flacco made Boldin, not the other way around. In SF with Kapernik, Boldin will have a mediocre year.

      • g money on said:

        RJ, come on man. Trust me, Ozzie knew what he was doing when he let Anquan go. I sure am glad you aren’t our GM.

      • Lab on said:

        “We have 3 young receivers” None of them has proven anything, they all show unconsistency, trust me, you realise very quickly when you have a real talent at this position which isn’t the case for any of these guys, they can be average/ okay receivers at best. So we find ourselves where we were a couple of years ago (though It’s caldwell now and not Cam), our receiver core isn’t promising, and we can’t only rely on Torrey Smith like the Lions can rely on Megatron, Torrey needs good complements around him.

    • Tucker: M&T Sec 527 on said:

      Had I been coach, David Reed would not have gotten back on the team plane after his fumble clinic in Seattle a couple seasons back. That being said, give him as many reps as the rest of young WRs: somebody is going to have to wear big boy pants from that group

  5. Sdot on said:

    RJ many people said the same thing when Ozzie released Heap and Mason …we all thought it was the end of the ravens. But then looked what happened…we became way more explosive on offense. We all love Boldin and wish he was still here but if it means infusing our defense with Studs and clears room for more explosive receivers then I think it’s well worth it. Besides Ozzie is the best in the game at this and I think we will all be radiantly surprised. Everyone has Rust to knock off, I can’t wait to see Deonte and Doss in preseason. They will be the TRUTH!

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