Camp Notes

Steve Smith Beats Webb For 70-yd TD

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The Baltimore Ravens held their first full team practice under cloudy skies at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills early on Thursday morning. With the music rocking and rolling, the players, donned in their shorts and helmets spent a portion of the morning going through their normal drills with position coaches before conducting their 11 on 11 drills. The uptempo of the Ravens offense was on display as Joe Flacco and company continue to install new components. Steve Smith Keeps Impressing Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. continued...

CAMP NOTES: Juice on the Loose

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JUICE IS ON THE LOOSE It’s one thing to hear all of forecasts for fullback Kyle Juszczyk’s expanded role in offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offense. But today, his versatility as a move guy was on fully display at training camp. Juszczyk was the primary motion guy in many of the offensive sets. His most intriguing motions were when he flexed out wide from the backfield, and when he flexed back into the backfield from the receiver position. Depending on the defensive alignment the Ravens face, Jusyzczyk’s motion can either create...

CAMP NOTES: Steve Smith Sr. Knows His Role

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If there was ever a football player that was destined to be a Raven, that player would have to be new wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. “I love the personality. It’s not really about how you say it; it’s about what you do, and that’s the part I love about it. I’m not really concerned more about the perception,” Smith Sr. stated at the podium on Wednesday. “It’s more about what’s going on. So, that’s the thing that I love about it – what’s really going on, what are we...

Camp Notes: Suggs Says Last Season Was a Rude Awakening

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Terrell Suggs isn’t happy about the way the Ravens 2013 season played out. “When we all left, we all felt like we all kind of let each other down,” Suggs commented when asked about last season’s disappointment. “It was definitely a rude awakening. It sucks. It sucks. You just have to watch teams compete and teams that you played get the opportunity to win a championship. It sucks, and it’s definitely something we don’t want to feel again.” The Ravens spent much of the offseason after the 2012 season upgrading...

Flacco Confident 2014 Will be Better

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For quarterback Joe Flacco 2013 was a disappointing season to say the very least. In 2013, Flacco set career highs in passing yards (3,912) along with passing attempts (614), but also in interceptions (22) as well, while throwing for just 19 touchdowns. Some will say that his careers highs were a byproduct of an inept running game while others will say it was his offensive line giving him zero protection as he was sacked a career high 48 times. Both are valid points indeed. Joe certainly isn’t without fault as the former...

CAMP NOTES: Mosley Ready to Make an Impact

C.J. Mosley (image credit: Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens)
Less than a year removed from his playing days at Alabama, rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley is happy to be back on the football field in preparation for the regular season. Throughout OTA’s and minicamp, the Ravens first-round draft pick has looked like a rookie who is ready to make an impact for the team in 2014. As training camp opened up on Tuesday for rookies, quarterbacks and veterans returning with injuries, Mosley has seemingly picked up where he left off. While the youngster realizes it’s a learning process, the two-time...

CAMP NOTES: QBs, Rookies & Injured Vets Get Started!

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Quarterbacks, rookies and those veterans returning from injuries took to the field today as the Ravens kicked off their 2014 training camp under sunny skies at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland. Wearing just shorts and pads along with helmets, the players went through their drills much like they did throughout OTAs and minicamp last month. Two returning veterans to hit the practice field today were running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder) and offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf). Pierce, who was limited in offseason activities after having shoulder surgery...

Training Camp Preview: Secondary

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The Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2012, but it wasn’t due to the play of the secondary. Aging faster than desired, Baltimore’s safety duo of Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed didn’t help much as cover guys and Lardarius Webb’s ACL injury made the cornerback depth sparse throughout the now legendary playoff run. After winning in spite of a poor secondary, the Ravens made it clear during the 2013 offseason that they were going to rebuild the unit. That started with the selection of strong safety Matt Elam, who experienced...

Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line

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We could just say “Baltimore’s offensive line can’t get any worse than last year, so it can only go up from here” and call it a day. That assumption is probably true, but how much better the offensive line for the Baltimore Ravens will be in 2014 remains to be seen. Easily the most forgettable collective offensive line performance in franchise history, the 2013 line never gelled, never had one good collective game, and quite frankly was just defunct of talent. The Ravens are returning their two lone quality starters...

Training Camp Preview: Tight Ends

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No offensive positional group will look more different for the Baltimore Ravens this seasons than tight end, where newly re-signed Dennis Pitta is the lone returning player at the position. After an underwhelming 2013 season in which Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark were the two main contributors, the front office overhauled and improve a once ailing group. While still not anything above average, Baltimore’s set of tight ends is much more promising heading into this year than the last. Notable new additions: Owen Daniels and Crockett Gillmore - Once offensive coordinator...

Training Camp Preview: Running Backs

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One of the position groups with the most uncertainty heading into the Baltimore Ravens 2014 training camp is the offensive backfield, where Baltimore’s expected top three ball carriers all had some form of issue in the offseason. Arrests headlined the offseasons of running backs Ray Rice and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro, with a suspension for Rice looming as the season approaches. 2013 backup ball carrier Bernard Pierce is returning from offseason shoulder surgery – not an ideal issue for a running back (pass protection, ability to take defenders straight on) –...

Training Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

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As training camp quickly approaches, the Ravens have two story lines to follow at the most important position – quarterback – which is two more than they usually have had in recent years heading into a new season. Rookie sixth-round draft pick Keith Wenning will battle it out with fourth-year player Tyrod Taylor – who is entering the final season of his contract – for the backup quarterback job. The duel for backup quarterback may not be the most heated of training camp competitions in Baltimore, but it’s still important,...

The Good, Bad & Ugly: A Look Back on the Ravens Preseason

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Heading into training camp and right on through the preseason the Ravens looked to answer questions about their roster so that they could field the best 53 to defend their Super Bowl title. The most glaring questions were:  1. Given all of the roster turnover how will the Ravens develop chemistry? 2. Considering the injuries and retirement, who would play the inside linebacker positions? 3. How would the Ravens account for the departure of Anquan Boldin? Time will tell if they’ve adequately addressed these questions. The coaches and front office...

RAVENS REPORT CARD: Receivers step up in 24-21 loss

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Preseason games are the frontiers of opportunity for NFL hopefuls yet so painful to absorb for viewers. Thankfully the cheap hors d’oeuvres are now out of the way and it’s time to feast on the main course. But before we do, let’s close the lid on the nasty leftovers with this week’s Report Card. QUARTERBACK: C- Caleb Hanie’s QB Rating (61.1) suggests something worse but he should be given credit for standing tall in the pocket while under pressure most of the evening. Last night was his last game as...

RAVENS ROSTER: The Final Projection

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By tomorrow at 4PM the Ravens have to pair their roster down from 75 to the league mandated 53. To put that into perspective, 29.3% of the roster eligible to take the field last night will be gone in less than 48 hours. Jobs will be lost. Dreams will be derailed. BUT… New opportunities may also surface. Players on the 53-man roster tomorrow at 4PM can’t necessarily feel comfortable. Some hopefuls shed from other rosters may be attractive to the Ravens. A receiver, tight end or offensive lineman could suddenly...

Ravens Will be Better in 2013

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Tonight is the final dress rehearsal – the preseason curtain call. In one week the Ravens will officially begin their defense of the title as the reigning Super Bowl Champions. I’m asked often what I expect from this season’s team. And it’s interesting how the question is presented or phrased. It’s almost as if the questioner winces a bit anticipating a not so pleasant answer. They then look surprised when I respond… The Ravens will be better in 2013! Yes I do realize that they are the champs but being...

CUTDOWN DAY: The Aftermath, Phase I

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After assessing the weekend’s roster moves to get down to the league mandated 75 limit by 4PM tomorrow (a couple cuts are still pending), the most surprising moves were the parting of ways with Messrs. Cornell, Harewood, Berry and Lee. Cornell was highly regarded last season but never earned the right to even play with the twos this summer. Harewood reported in the best shape of his short career and even started at times in 2012. It’s not as though they did anything to stick with the team but the...

Ravens 53-Man Roster Projection 4.0

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Cut down day looms. By Tuesday, August 27 at 4PM, NFL rosters need to be trimmed from 90 to 75. This isn’t the cut down day that players dread. That one arrives on August 31 when 22 more players must be let go in order to get down to the league mandated 53-man roster. Some of you may remember “The Turk” – the team intern made popular when the Baltimore Ravens were featured in the very first season of HBO’s Hard Knocks. The Turk will tell you that most of...

Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown Continue Seesaw Battle

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In what has been a lackluster training camp for the wide receiver position (after Torrey Smith), two bright spots have been a couple rookies. Aaron Mellette and Marlon Brown are two players that have at least given the wide receiver position a pulse this preseason. With so many struggling above them on the depth chart, both have not only shown up during practice, they’ve also put together some impressive game film. Having watched this battle closely throughout the preseason, it appears that each player has one-upped the other at various...

Despite New Faces Ravens Offense Will Look Familiar

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To know where you’re going, you first need to understand where you have been. Listening to many fans, you get the sense that that nothing short of another dose of the “magic beans” that QB Joe Flacco seemingly took before last season’s playoff performance will be good enough. However, the fact is that the majority of pieces most responsible for the team’s strong offensive performance at the end of last season remain in place. When Jim Caldwell took over as offensive coordinator he modernized the offense on the fly. He also...