New additions to practice today at the Under Armour
Performance center included pads and multiple loudspeakers. As sweat dripped
off players and game conditions were simulated, songs such as Seven Nation Army, Thunder Struck and Teenage Wasteland echoed off the
“Castle” walls and filled the muggy air.
The Ravens hosted their first fully padded practice, subsequent
iterations of which will begin to create separation between players in some of
the more grueling position battles. Running backs and both offensive and
defensive lines will be put to the test more thoroughly as contact makes all
the difference in these positions.
Notable positions and players are listed below.
returned to practice today after handling a personal matter, while Bryant McKinnie and Haloti Ngata still have yet to be seen
on the practice field.
continues to take reps with first team offensive line at left tackle and has
looked fine with his transition as of late. For the majority of practice, Oher
was matched up with Courtney Upshaw
and didn’t let the rookie get to the quarterback.
is still being eased back into practice and has received limited reps. Once
fully healthy, he will most likely see snaps at right tackle during practice.
Currently, Jack Cornell has been
running with the first team.
If anyone is to question how good Joe Flacco has looked so far, just look at the drastic difference
between his skill set and the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster. Tyrod Taylor has been captaining the
second team squad and has been showing off his quickness scrambling outside of
Though Taylor can make some things happen, the Ravens have
been all in on Flacco and will be at a disadvantage if the former Hokie was
forced to start a game. He is interception prone and will also scramble instead
of dumping the ball off if all receivers are covered. While some Ravens fans
get frustrated with Flacco “checking down” too much, getting the ball in Ray
Rice’s hands is never a bad choice, and Taylor seems like he would be more
inclined to try to do things himself.
Anquan Boldin has
been the primary target for Flacco in the end zone pulling down multiple
touchdowns during team drills. Boldin has looked good so far and could be used
in the slot more this season depending on the progression of Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith.
Jones has had a great few days of practices but did show a
glimpse of “old Jacoby” today when he was hit in the chest with a pass, only to
let the ball pop up in the air to be returned for a touchdown by linebacker Albert McClellan.
After practice, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said he
felt Tandon Doss had his best
practice yesterday as a Raven. Doss has been targeted multiple times during
live drills and should have plenty of chances to stand out during preseason
If the Ravens are going to put pressure on the quarterback
this season, a lot is going to rest on the shoulders of Paul Kruger. Kruger’s development and quickness out on the field
makes you want to kick yourself knowing that he won’t be on the other side of
Terrell Suggs for the foreseeable future.
has been playing well but it’s unfair to put the pressure on him to completely
replace Suggs. Upshaw will be good, very good possibly in a few years but he
still has a far way to go to make a tremendous impact on this defense.
While Corey Graham probably won’t see much time at
cornerback this season, he has been playing well during practice. Graham intercepted
multiple passes during minicamp and followed that good showing up today with
During a full team red zone drill, Graham jumped in front of
a Flacco pass intended for Doss. Had it been a real game, Graham would have
returned the pass for a touchdown.
Graham also intercepted a pass in the end zone from Taylor
intended for Jones.
Ed Reed looks to
be in good shape and the addition of Bernard
Pollard has been huge for the confidence in the Ravens secondary. The
development of rookie Christian Thompson
appears to be going well. Thompson has been quiet in camp but seems to be
adapting to the NFL quite nicely.
Thompson is listed at 6-0 211lbs and could add a little
muscle to his frame.
Yet again, both Ravens kickers were perfect on their field
goal attempts in practice. Both Justin
Tucker and Billy Cundiff
connected on kicks from 30, 41, 51 and 55-yards.
In regards to leg strength, Tucker seems to have the upper
hand. During all attempts, Tucker has cleared the uprights with more distance
left to spare. This may not be a major factor in the competition, but when it
comes to kickoffs, extra distance could favor Tucker over Cundiff.
The Ravens will be back out on the practice field on Monday
after an off day tomorrow.
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