Ravens undrafted rookie receiver Tim White has turned some heads with highlight-reel catches throughout training camp.
White will also get an opportunity to make his mark on special teams, which could be a huge factor with making the final 53-man roster.
“We’re giving him a full opportunity to challenge for the returner job, and we’ve told him our mantra, ‘The more you can do,’” Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg said. “So, if you can cover kicks, and cover punts even, that would be an extra bonus, then he’d be … If he was a returner, he’d be irreplaceable, because he can do more things than just be the returner.
“All of our guys understand that at every position – even the offensive linemen that are trying to be active on Sunday. If you have more than one thing you can do, and help our team on Sunday, then you’re more likely to be playing. Tim is in the same boat. He’s trying to be our returner, but he’s trying to be much more than that.”
White, who is 5-foot-10, 181-pounds, had 113 catches for 1,346 yards (11.9 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns in two years at Arizona State. As a senior, he led the team with 713 receiving yards and had a pair of touchdowns one year after setting the program record for yardage as a returner. White also ran track for the Sun Devils and flashed that quickness in practice.
Baltimore has one of its deepest core of receivers in years. But so far, White is doing enough to set himself apart from the rest of the pack.
“As a young guy, you have to flash and show some playmaking ability,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The thing I am impressed with is him in the classroom – all of those guys. They have been able to really dive into the playbook and take what they want them to do from a schematic standpoint and take it to the field.”
— The Ravens are optimistic quarterback Joe Flacco could be back on the field, possibly as early as next week. A second opinion on his back injury reportedly did not reveal any major issues. He is also able to do more work each day.
That is good news for the offense, which has looked out of sync for most of camp. Ryan Mallett has looked better this week, but he struggled with interceptions and incompletions over the opening days of camp.
“It makes a difference, certainly, not seeing Joe out there,” offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg. “There is no doubt about that.”
Baltimore has a plan for how they will approach practice when Flacco is able to get back on the practice field. Mornhinweg admitted the team needs him on the field to get the first-team offense moving in the right direction.
“It must have been yesterday we had a little, a little bit longer than a brief discussion, about those types of things,” Mornhinweg said. “Right now, personally, I want to be kept abreast of where we’re at. The important thing is [that] there will come a time where we have a plan for him, and we’re not quite there yet, and it may come pretty quick. So, we’ll see. Maybe I’m hoping and wishing, but I hope that comes pretty quickly.”
— Marlon Humphrey, the team’s first-round pick in the NFL Draft, has missed some practice time this week for undisclosed reasons. However, the Ravens are determined to find a way to get him on the field.
While Humphrey has shown the speed and ability to start opposite of Jimmy Smith, the Ravens could opt to use him in the slot, especially with injuries to Tavon Young and Maurice Canady. This would mean Brandon Carr would likely earn the spot as an outside corner. The key for Baltimore is to have their top playmakers on the field.
“We want to get everybody reps in there,” defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “It is not just Marlon. There is probably not a corner that at some point in time will not get reps in there, so we can look and find out, ‘Will that be a good spot for him, or will that not be a good spot for him?’ ”