The Ravens had day 2 of their 3-day mandatory minicamp on Wednesday.
Master of Ceremonies
Terrell Suggs remains a pleasure to watch on the field and the comedic lightning rod of practice. Within moments of the horn sounding to start practice, his voice boomed out to complain about the difficulty of the calisthenics as a 35-year old.
Gone is the scoreboard which records a scoring of practice between offense and defense, but that didn’t stop Suggs from rooting loudly for the 2nd-team defense during the 2-minute drill after his first unit had stopped the offense on an interception by Tony Jefferson.
He creeped up behind Justin Tucker prior to a field goal attempt and shouted “You’re squirting all over me” just as the ball was snapped. Tucker was unfazed and connected on the kick, but the media laughed as a group.
He’s still clearly enjoying camp and in remarkable shape. It’s difficult to see him giving up the game soon.
Both the 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills looked drastically different from 2 weeks ago when there was some limited contact in coverage. Since the loss of 2 OTAs, the defensive backs seem to be doing everything possible to avoid hand play.
OL Coaching Clinic
As usual, it was a pleasure to watch positional drills with the offensive line coached by Joe D’Alessandris. He sets up mini reps with 2 or 3 linemen and up to 4 OL simulating defenders with blocking pads. It gives the players a chance to see the play from both sides as well as observers.
Coaching is direct and technical relating to steps, foot/arm position, and hand play. Like a Hollywood director, coach D often finishes a rep, says “perfect, let’s do it again”, then gives some individual coaching. RT Orlando Brown asked what he did wrong after a rep where he contacted the man in front of him then released to level 2. D’Alessandris responded “You slapped at him. Don’t slap at him.”
He demonstrated how to seal the left edge to Ronnie Stanley using one of the simulated defender’s pads, “push (as he pushed with his left arm), pull (as he pulled the other side of the pad with his right arm). You’ll torque his ass to the inside.”
First Team: Stanley, Eluemunor, Skura, Hurst, Brown
Second team: Senat, Shakir, Bozeman, Siragusa, Donnal
Senat and Donnal are also practicing with the 3rd team, which means players like Hurst, Lewis, and Eluemunor are not getting reps on the outside. It seems like less is more at tackle, while there is still much to sort out with the interior OL positions.
Joe Flacco delivered the ball with velocity and accuracy. In particular, he seems to be building a connection with Chris Moore who had more playing time with the first unit due to the absence of John Brown.
Robert Griffin took many of the 2nd-team reps and showed off his legs on 2 separate read-option plays. The first was a keeper burst up the middle. On the other, he handed the ball off to RB De’Lance Turner. The defense is limited in terms of how it can demonstrate containment without tackling, but the running backs often finish every run by carrying the ball 50 or more yards. In this case, Turner continued to run, but so did Griffin, sprinting past him up the left sideline as if to both simulate a blocking convoy and challenge the RB to a race.
Lamar Jackson looks a little behind both Flacco and Griffin as a passer. His longer passes were not tight spirals and Jaleel Scott was unable to collect one in the end zone. He did complete a nice deep throw between the hashes to Jordan Lasley.
• Tyus Bowser hauled in a spectacular diving interception by the right sideline off a tipped pass.
• Patrick Ricard generated good pressure against Greg Senat.
• Matthew Judon had a pressure that forced Joe Flacco to throw away a pass.
• Za’Darius Smith batted a pass near the line of scrimmage which went right back to Griffin who took off for a run.
• Chuck Clark has looked versatile in terms of positioning. He’s played both deep and his 2017 dime role and I guess he’ll be first up at FS if anything happens to Eric Weddle.
• Brandon Carr had an interception down the right sideline.
• Willie Henry was twice flagged for offsides.
• Michael Crabtree made a gorgeous 1-handed grab of a high-velocity pass from Flacco but was ruled out of bounds.
• Chris Moore stood out among the skill position players with several medium-length grabs in traffic.
• Backup kicker Kaare Vedvik made 2 of 3 FG attempts from 55 yards during the Bonzai FG drill.
The scary moment of practice came when Tony Jefferson collided with Hayden Hurst during the 2-minute drill. Both players got up slowly, but Jefferson immediately intercepted the next pass to stop the drive.
Both CB Jimmy Smith and LB Albert McClellan returned to practice but participated only in positional drills. If Smith can return for week 1 rather than starting camp and the regular season on PUP, that could have a domino effect on the jobs of other corners.