Camp Notes: Quotes from the Team

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After a disappointing performance by the starters in Thursday’s second preseason game, the Ravens players had to know they’d be in store for a few unpleasant practices in the coming days. They got back at it today in Owings Mills, trying to fix some of the myriad of issues that popped up against Atlanta.

Here’s what some members of the squad had to say on a variety of topics:

Aaron Mellette Benefits from John Harbaugh’s  ”Hard Coaching”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, many of the receivers they had relied upon to stand out in the wake of Anquan Boldin’s departure have failed to do so. However, Aaron Mellette has entered training camp without many expectations placed on him, but has been turning heads with his performances during the first two preseason games.

The small-school product from Elon University has been making some big plays, especially considering his tough week at practice.

Last weekend, Mellette felt Harbaugh’s wrath as he was pulled from the field with Harbaugh yelling to offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell on the sidelines, “Get number thirteen off the field, he’s lazy and lackadaisical.”

Mellette may be lazy and lackadaisical but he has very good hands and has been an impact player thus far; both of those qualities have been lacking from two receivers, Jacoby Jones and Tandon Doss, the guys expected to take the reigns behind Torrey Smith on the depth chart.

For the second straight game, Mellette caught a touchdown pass, this time a 40-yarder from backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He also drew a 28-yard pass interference penalty. He hasn’t created much separation, but he’s gained the trust of Taylor knowing that if the ball is placed correctly, he’ll catch it. Now that kind of sounds like Boldin, doesn’t it?

“He’s had a great week of practice and I’d like to take credit for that, but it probably wouldn’t be fair.” Harbaugh said in mid-laugh, speaking of Mellette. “I think he’s done a great job battling through some adversity and responding well to some hard coaching, and that’s the mark of a guy that I think has a lot of character, a lot of confidence.”

The best thing going for Mellette is that he’s shown he can be an impact player when called upon. With the question marks behind Smith, Mellette has shown everything the Ravens wished they were getting from Jones and Doss. Following a short stay in Harbaugh’s dog house, Mellette should see increased playing time during the third preseason game, one in which the starters usually play at least through halftime.

“He’s done really well,” Harbaugh said. “I’m proud of him, very proud of him.”

But will Harbaugh’s words of encouragement be enough to keep Mellette from the practice squad? Could he find finding himself on the Ravens’ 53-man roster if he keeps producing? Well, not so fast. The next step for Mellette is making it onto the field the same time as quarterback Joe Flacco. Only then will you see how high the Ravens value Mellette’s performance thus far during camp.

Juan Castillo is the Man

Juan Castillo, the Ravens “Running Game Coordinator” not only has a unique title, he’s a unique individual. For all intents and purposes, Castillo is the Ravens offensive line coach. Castillo is only labeled the “Running Game Coordinator” because current offensive line coach Andy Moeller is still collecting a paycheck from the franchise, even though Castillo has essentially made him a spectator at this point.

On the practice field, there is a new energy when Castillo is around. While many coaches and coordinators blend in wearing the same clothes as each other, Castillo clearly stands out, running up and down the field and coaching up his players after each and every play. Warmups are different, drills are different and it’s all due to Castillo and his familiarity with the offensive line.

“I would say that Juan is maybe the finest teacher of football in the National Football League,” Harbaugh praised earlier this week. “He teaches the game as well as anybody you’re ever going to see, and those guys – they like to work for him. They want to stay out to get extra reps because they understand that the things that he’s teaching them are going to help them be a better player [and] maybe make it somewhere, if not here.”

After a nightmarish beginning of the 2012 season, everything turned out for the best for Castillo. He went from being fired in Philadelphia as a sacrificial lamb during the tail end of Andy Reid’s tenure as head coach of the Eagles to coaching the defending Super Bowl champs.

Castillo spent sixteen season coaching offense for the Eagles, thirteen of which were as their offensive line coach. It’s a good thing that Harbaugh can just hire coaches and plug him in with a job title wherever he likes. If not, Moeller would have about as much job security with the Ravens as third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie.

Chris Canty Impressed with Ravens Fans at M&T Bank Stadium

After spending his entire career in the NFC East (four years each with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants) defensive end Chris Canty is acclimating himself to the AFC North as a member of the Ravens. In a room, Canty will stand out with his 6-7, 317 pound frame of lean muscle. For as much as Canty stands out, he thinks M&T Bank Stadium does the same in regards to the fan-generated home field advantage.

After playing in his first game at home as a member of the Ravens, Canty praised the fans.

“I was out there last year with the New York Giants and I didn’t fare so well,” he said. “I realized then that this is a tremendous fan base. People in this town really care about their team, and they show it in the stadium.”

The Ravens have won over Baltimore football fans and remain one of the NFL’s top teams in terms of attendance. For their preseason home opener, a paid attendance of 70,527 packed in the stadium for a glimpse of the team assembled to make a repeat run as World Champions.

“To have that energy supporting us when we’re out there on the field is awesome,” Canty concluded.

Canty’s efforts in training camp and during the preseason have assured him to be on the field plenty as fans drown out opposing offenses’ signals. Given the way he’s looked so far in game situations, Canty will provide fans with plenty to cheer about this upcoming season.

Next Practice

The Ravens will hold their final semi-public practice tomorrow at Stevenson University. Access to the event is only granted through their lottery system but there should be roughly 5,000 fans in attendance. Practice is a 5:00 p.m.

For more Ravens news and information, follow me on Twitter @RavenManiac.

This entry was posted in Blog View, Camp Notes, Featured by Kris Jones. Bookmark the permalink.

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

15 Raves on “Camp Notes: Quotes from the Team

  1. James on said:

    Man can we get a little more meat here. Like what’s the status of Deonte, or what does ozzie and eric think of Tandon Doss. I like Aaron but I don’t think he will do very well against starting cb’s in this league, at least not now. I suspect this team is about another two years away from seriously competing.

  2. Kris Jones on said:

    James,

    My car battery died today so I couldn’t get to camp. As for Deonte, Harbs won’t disclose his status. He wasn’t on the field today. As for Ozzie or Eric’s thoughts, they don’t speak to anyone except major national media. Even then, he won’t tell them if he stinks, at least on the record.

    We’ll be back without camp observations tomorrow as my car will now start.

  3. Jim R. on said:

    How will we know what Aaron can do against the better defenses if we only give him time against second and third string players. Come on Harbaugh give him a shot with Joe and the first team to see what he has.

    • EdgarAllanPro on said:

      Philadelphia under Andy Reid was never a great running team. Sure a lot of that has to fall on Reid’s play calling, but it surprised me to see him names ‘run game coordinator’ over any other title.

      • charlie on said:

        amen-our run game specialist never had a prominent running game when he was at the eagles-his ONLY offensive line job in the nfl.

    • Tucker: M&T Sec 527 on said:

      Can’t spin gold from a turd (e.g A.Q. Shipley, Jah Reid). IMO, Drinky Moeller is lucky to stilll get that paycheck. Castillo’s line is gonna look better fast with: a.Yanda @ full speed; b.whoever @ center ( my vote currently is Gino – year 2 w/ the team and yet to stink it up as bad as Shipley vs. Atlanta) between Yanda and Osemele; and. c. Vontae lead blocking . The happy news from the OL so far may be Wagner. Mellette has got as good a chance as any WR at this point, but his TDs were with ( and vs.)the “twos.”
      So far liking Canty’s play and veteran leadership/comments. He’ll fill some of the post-Ray & post-Ed quiet

  4. spy on said:

    No mention of how poorly the coaching staff over valued their receivers , this single item will keep them from the playoffs this year , how could they possibly think someone would step up when the fans knew there was no one of quality there,,,,,,,,,,,,You could mention this along with they hoped no one would get injured on the receiving side of the ball,,,,,,it’s OK to be critical sometimes, especially when it hurts the team so much……….

  5. charlie on said:

    not to diminish the love fest you guys (media) are having with juan castillio, but that was one of the worst performances by our running offense that i can remember.

    • Anonymous on said:

      Charlie, FYI Peirce was not in the GAME so yes it was a lack luster 1st team run game. Once the backups hit the field the run game was rock solid. Juan has set up a very deep running game with very solid backs. When we release a back someone will be grabbing them up right away. Also calling RSR the “media” is really not correct. The knowledge and views shared here are more from educated fans and is one of the reasons so many people come here. Then when you add the fact that they allow very open comments to be added under the stories it really adds to the info.

      • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

        We do have the benefit of media access, a privilege we don’t take lightly. But I hear you, we aren’t mainstream media.

        • charlie on said:

          i love the ravens, i am not ready to jump off any cliff-i’m just calling it as i see it. i, also, understand that we are playing early preseason games but i’ve had a problem with the majority of our running plays coming off of zone blocking schemes. we have a monster line-that will certainly be better/meaner when yanda comes back-and we have the best fb in the game but i think cam moved us from a smash mouth man on man line to more of a finesse type. i really like pierce, he’s a monster, but he’s NOT rr. rice is one of the best backs in the league and there should be some room for him to run, no matter WHO we play or when. there will be no team standing in line for either of the 3 rb’s currently backing up the big 2 if they are cut.

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