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.
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.
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