The Ravens will wrap up their second full week of training camp tonight at the Navy-Marine Corp Stadium in Annapolis for the last open practice of the summer.
Two weeks into training camp, a few story lines have emerged on each side of the football.
The wide receiver corp had a standout week with Steve Smith Sr., Marlon Brown, Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith each having stand-out days throughout the week.
Watching Smith Sr. run routes is a thing of beauty. Each rep is crisper than the previous one, and he’s also made several great catches with his hands and body.
Marlon Brown has taken heat for his “drops” over the first week of practice, but has certainly improved. During 11 on 11 drills, the second-year player appears to have righted the ship and did a nice job of catching the football while being heavily contested.
Jones is showing his understanding of Kubiak’s offense and turned in his best week of practice making several catches along the sidelines for big gains while Torrey Smith’s route running has gotten increasingly better.
Joe Flacco is grasping the new offense rather well. While there were some interceptions made throughout the week, Flacco has made some brilliant throws including perhaps his best throw of camp thus far finding Smith Sr. in stride down the sideline for a touchdown. While Kubiak’s scheme isn’t known for the “deep ball”, Flacco certainly hasn’t lost his knack for it. His footwork is cleaner and he is more decisive and getting rid of the ball quickly.
Terrell Suggs has had a great camp thus far and his explosiveness is back. In shape and focused on football, Suggs has been very disruptive in the Ravens offensive backfield.
Elvis Dumervil created a stir in the Ravens backfield along with Suggs on numerous reps showing his burst at the snap and his ability to get off blocks. He is proving to be a force to be reckoned with rushing the passer and stopping the run.
Pernell McPhee found himself in the backfield on multiple reps where he blasted past running back Justin Forsett and manhandled Jah Reid for a sack on quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley has once again turned in another solid week of practice. The rookie has drawn praise from the defensive superstars including Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata along with head coach John Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Mosley has found himself in the Ravens backfield on occasion, and has also done a nice job in coverage. His first test in live action will come against the 49ers on Thursday night.
The Ravens running game is on the up and up. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are showing their ability to stick their foot in the ground and get up field. Both players are taking reps with the first team offense and are hitting their gaps with ease. The offensive line is doing a solid job of creating gaps for the unit.
The injury bug hit the Ravens defense hard this past week including the loss of rookie defensive end Brent Urban with a torn ACL.
Rookie Timmy Jernigan was also injured on the same play however he returned to practice on Sunday after missing a few days with a back issue.
Cornerback Lardarius Webb missed the entire week of practice due to lingering back spasms. Coach Harbaugh said Webby will miss at least the the first two preseason games.
Terrence Cody still has yet to take a snap in camp as he is recovering from hip issues.
On the offense, rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro missed Sunday’s practice with a rib injury.
As my training camp colleague Dev Panchwagh has pointed out defensive end Chris Canty has been maddening. Seemingly coasting through practice, his inconsistencies and lack of motivation are highly noticeable. Although it’s practice, there have been numerous vets showing more emotion and intensity than Canty. The Ravens offensive line handled him with ease the entire week.
Perhaps the most talked about happenings of the week is the battle for the Ravens third cornerback position. The battle between Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson is still heating up. Asa is however leading the race as Brown suffered some setbacks during the week and drawing ire from John Harbaugh who dismissed the young corner from a portion of practice. Jackson’s increased reps and his coverage ability have him as the odds on favorite for now, however the Ravens could opt for the waiver wire once team cuts are made.