Training Camp Day 5: Pads popping is music to the ears

Camp Notes Training Camp Day 5: Pads popping is music to the ears

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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.

Roll Call:

Lardarius Webb
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. 

Offensive Line:

Michael Oher
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.

Kelechi Osemele
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.

Quarterback:

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
the pocket.

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.

Wide Receiver:

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
games.

Linebacker:

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.

Courtney Upshaw
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.

Cornerback:

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
two interceptions.

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.

Safety:

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.

Kicker:

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.

Follow me on Twitter @RavenManiac for all the latest camp
updates.

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Kris Jones

About 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 Goobvision propelled his career and notoriety amongst Ravens fans, even helping him win the 2010 nationwide DIRECTV Ultimate Displaced Fan contest. He’s been featured on shows such as The Jim Rome Show, ProFootballTalk Live, The Sirius XM Blitz with Rich Gannon and Adam Schein, Sirius XM’s MadDog Radio, The Michael Irvin Show, Tony Bruno Show, Two Live Stews and FoxSports.com to name a few (or is that a lot?). He’s caught a touchdown pass from Warren Moon during a flag football game and hates the Pittsburgh Steelers more than anyone else on the face of the earth.
Twitter: RavenManiac 

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