Using Both Sides of the Field Phil Hoffmann/Baltimore Ravens

Camp Notes Using Both Sides of the Field

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There’s an ongoing debate about Lamar Jackson and his ability to throw across his body to the left side of the sidelines.

On a blistering hot day for the fourth training camp session, Jackson did indeed have some inconsistency with his throws.

The second-year quarterback missed his first four attempts throwing to the left side of the field during team drills. Conversely, he was two of three throwing to his right but had an interception to second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson.

Jackson was perfect throwing to tight ends in the middle of the field. Mark Andrews continues to be one of his favorite targets. Hayden Hurst is also catching almost every ball thrown his way and that will be key for the Ravens’ attack. 

Jackson’s accuracy evolved throughout the practice. He completed six of seven passes throwing across his body as the day wore on, including a nice touch to find Willie Snead in the corner of the end zone. His throws were tighter to the right side, but he made several catchable passes to the other side of the field. 

Overall, Jackson had a mixed day, but he is making obvious strides as a passer.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh is pleased with Jackson’s ongoing development.   

“It’s consistency,” Harbaugh said. “Not just with production, but also with fundamentals, techniques, footwork, release. I want to see a good release. Fewer and fewer of the not good releases – we all know what they look like – and more of the solid releases. We’re really seeing that. If you watched the practice today, I don’t recall a ball coming out that didn’t look like it was fundamentally sound.”

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman is also pleased with Jackson’s development. However, he acknowledges there is plenty of work ahead.

“Lamar is doing well,” he said. “One day at a time. His communication has been outstanding. The work he’s put in in the offseason has been outstanding. All the little different things, fundamentally, are moving along the trajectory we want. So, I couldn’t be happier with Lamar. I love working with him, and it’s just very exciting.”

Rookie sixth-round pick Trace McSorley got some extra reps with Robert Griffin III sidelined with a fractured bone in his right hand. McSorley showed quickness, but he still needs to be more polished as a passer. His size (6-feet, 202 pounds) is also a challenge against the Ravens’ stout defense line.

Roman confirmed after practice the team will be looking to add another quarterback for at least training camp. Griffin could be out as long as eight weeks, according to an ESPN report.

“It’s a great opportunity for Trace. Unfortunate, but a great opportunity for him to get more reps and experience,” Roman said. “It’s my understanding that our personnel staff is probably working to bring in another quarterback in the near future. John will be able to address that more tomorrow. That’s just more reps for Trace right now.”

There is early speculation the Ravens might bring in seven-year veteran Josh Johnson, who played with the Washington Redskins last season. The move would certainly make sense because he is a mobile quarterback that also worked with Roman in San Francisco in 2014.

NOTABLE ABSENCES

The Ravens had several key players not able to practice, including right guard Marshal Yanda, cornerback  Tavon Young, and offensive linemen Jermaine Eluemunor and Randin Crecelius. Receiver Marquise Brown (foot) and guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) are also still sidelined with injuries. 

STEPPING UP 

Linebacker Tim Williams, who could be fighting for a roster spot, had one of his better practices and did a solid job running to the ball. He also broke up a pass in the middle of the field … Second-year defensive tackle Zach Sieler had another stout day. He got into the backfield and swatted a pass in the middle of the field that Joe Horn Jr. managed to grab out of the air. … Rookie running back Justice Hill is showing the potential to be the “home run hitter” the Ravens imagined. He continues to show strong burst and is tough to take down once he gets downhill. … The Ravens continue to show new wrinkles on the offense and had Mark Ingram line up as a wide receiver. 

NEEDS SOME WORK

The Ravens’ offensive line is a continued work in progress and is struggling with procedure penalties. The line jumped offside six times throughout the two-hour and 20-minute practice. Roman hopes the line gets better once the players fully embrace the new offense. 

“It’s hard to turn that lemon into lemonade when you jump offsides,” Roman said. “We have to do a much better job. We’ve been very good with that. We’re constantly pushing the envelope with our cadences, mixing them up, trying to keep the defense a little bit more flat-footed. But, we have to do a better job with that than we did today.”

 

Buy Todd’s new book, No Limits, on Mark Amatucci’s storied coaching career at Calvert Hall and Loyola College, at Amazon.

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Todd Karpovich

About Todd Karpovich

Todd Karpovich has been a contributor for ESPN, the Associated Press, SportsXchange, the Baltimore Sun, among other media outlets nationwide. He is the co-author of “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Baltimore Ravens Sideline, Locker Room, and Press Box,” “Skipper Supreme: Buck Showalter and the Baltimore Orioles,” and the author of “Manchester United (Europe's Best Soccer Clubs).” Karpovich lives in Towson with his wife, Jill, daughters, Wyeth and Marta, and a pair of dogs, Sarah and Rory. More from Todd Karpovich
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