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Rosburg in Control

Ravens Training Camp 2017
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If you ever wonder how the Ravens have one of the league’s best special teams year after year, watch coordinator Jerry Rosburg run a practice.

The veteran coach is myopic in his ability to analyze every player on kicking drills. Sometimes, he offers praise, while others times he animatedly corrects a mistake that better not be made again.

“You didn’t listen to a word I said,” Rosburg told linebacker Kamalei Correa during one drill Sunday.

“Way to go, Alvin,” he said, heaping praise on rookie linebacker Alvin Jones for following directions.

Ravens LB Kamalei Correa hits the blocking dummy.
Cecil Whig Photo by Sean Grogan

Second-year player Tim White was the most impressive returning kicks. In fact, White has been one of the top players in camp over the first week with several deft receptions downfield. He also has the speed to break away from defenders.

However, some of the rookies struggled during kickoff drills. Running back Gus Edwards and receivers Janarion Grant and Jordan Lasley each had drops in the end zone.

Lasley later redeemed himself in drills with several impressive catches.

The starting role at kick returner remains wide open.

“Somebody is going to win the job,” Rosburg said. “Today wasn’t a real good demonstration of ball skills that I saw back there.  It’s going to be a competition during preseason. And I’ve always said this, that the depth chart will determine itself based on how the players play. And we’ll see who does well in preseason, and practices are really important. But we’ve got some guys that we want to give chances in games against opponents.

“Another thing that I think is really going to be valuable for us is we get to practice against two other teams outside of a preseason game. We get practice sessions, and practicing against someone else is different than practicing against yourselves. So, that’s another way that we can evaluate our roster.”

The Ravens have a deep roster and a players’ ability to play special teams will go a long way in their making the team. Rosburg is confident they understand the challenge in front of them. One player looking to take advantage of that opportunity is receiver Breshad Perriman, who has underachieved since being drafted in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“There’s only 46 active players, so when Breshad is up on Sunday, he’s going to help us in other ways,” Rosburg said. “That’s the way we look at it. So, we’re training him, and we all know how his career started out and the rough road he had to travel. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to practice in special teams, because we’ve been trying to get him up to speed with the other aspects of the game.

“But now that he’s healthy and ready to go, that’s our task. We’re trying to get him to engage special teams [and] have more skills, so he can do more things for us on Sunday.”

After special teams drills, the Ravens focused on moving the chains on offense. It was the first time the team practiced in full pads and there were some solid hits.

Rookie safety DeShon Elliott had an especially hard hard hit on tight end Nick Keizer during 11-on-11 drills. Elliott appeared to draw the ire of Coach John Harbaugh, who immediately pulled Elliott aside for a quick discussion.

John Brown, who was signed as a free agent in the offseason, showed his value with a one-handed reception across the middle. Brown also had several catches down field. Fellow veterans Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree were also solid and appear to be developing a solid rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco, who had an uneven day with some underthrown passes.

Chris Moore has also been impressive and caught a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone near the end of practice.

 

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