There is some sentiment the Ravens need to make up for some lost time at this week’s mandatory minicamp.
The team was forced to cancel two of its 10 OTAs because contact among players during pass coverage drills violated league rules last week.
However, the Ravens are trying to put the distraction behind them and are leaning on some positive signs that have already emerged.
“They have their reasons for what they do, and that’s their reason,” coach John Harbaugh said about the league penalty. “I’m just trying to coach the football team and get us ready to go.”
Quarterback Joe Flacco appears to be fully healthy and has been impressive so far this offseason. Flacco is in solid shape and dismissed any notion that he resented the team using a first-round draft pick to select Lamar Jackson.
While Flacco is clearly the starter, Harbaugh has been upfront about the potential of Jackson and is confident the rookie will make an impact this season. The playmaker from Louisville could bring some much-needed excitement to an offense that has been short on weapons over the past couple of seasons.
“You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, Lamar’s going to be on the team. I fully expect him to be active on game day. So, gosh, I’d sure like him out there helping us. And he can play quarterback, so [when] we put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? And that’s what we try to figure out.”
Robert Griffin III is also making a strong case to be part of the final 53-man roster as a third quarterback.
Flacco is still getting acclimated to an overhauled group of wide receivers, including free agents Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead. However, those three veterans appear to be picking up the offense fairly quickly and have been solid hauling down passes.
Flacco also is working with pair of rookie tight ends, Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, both of whom are staying adjusting to the speed of the NFL. Those two could have benefitted from those cancelled practices with the extra reps.
The real proof of the passing attack’s progress won’t come until the regular season. Still, the Ravens appear to be on the right track. The unit might move forward without the struggling Breshad Perriman, who had another crticial dropped pass Tuesday.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs did not participate in the previous OTAs. However, Harbaugh told the media last month that Suggs was also in great shape. That proved to be the case Tuesday when he reported to Owings Mills, looking leaner and having added more muscle.
The Ravens will have two more practices this week before they break for about five weeks. They will begin training camp a week earlier (July 19) than previous years because they are playing in the Hall of Fame game.
That should ease some of the angst of losing the two voluntary practices.