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OTAs Kick Off with a Notable Absence

Tyler Huntley b&W OTA OTL
original: Shawn Hubbard/Baltimore Ravens
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Let’s not mince words. As the photos below illustrate, we’re starting to see great action at the Castle with OTAs this week:

Looking through these, you might notice that Lamar Jackson isn’t pictured. Given the unfolding contract situations, this is concerning to some Ravens fans. We don’t want our star QB leaving in Free Agency, but in the meantime, we don’t want him missing out on practices, either. Head Coach John Harbaugh had an interesting comment on that:

Harbaugh’s comment does leave some doubt about the team’s stance here. Does the brass wish Jackson was practicing with the larger team? Do they fully understand why he isn’t there? Is Harbaugh simply being short to the media? It’s hard to say.

One signing this morning caught the attention of RSR head honcho Tony Lombardi.

Regardless, Jackson did tweet about his excitement to return:

Stud corner Marlon Humphrey also commented on Jackson’s absence from OTAs, and I think he’s right in his assessment of players skipping out.

Jackson does seem to be working hard at his craft, despite not being in Baltimore at this point. As long as he is focused on helping the team, that’s all I care about.

When it comes to the secondary, Humphrey’s area of expertise, Harbaugh understands that turnovers will be key in the 2022 season after watching more of the legendary 2000 Ravens defense:

Also per Jeff, Kyle Hamilton looks sharp early in OTAs, and he’ll certainly help the secondary create bad scenarios for opposing offenses:

Along with Hamilton, the Ravens signed Kyle Fuller on Tuesday. The former Bronco isn’t necessarily a household name (though having attended Mt. St. Joseph High School, he might be in Baltimore), but he does add a dangerous group of CBs on the Ravens’ defense:

Baltimore’s secondary is primed to be a turnover machine, and Shaffer’s list doesn’t even include Humphrey, whose “Fruit Punch” is a staple. Last season, the Ravens generated the 8th highest turnovers with 26. Adding Fuller, Williams, a number of rookies in the secondary and returning two All-Pro Caliber corners is sure to help that.

All that said, given the plethora of moves in the secondary this offseason, people forget Odafe Oweh’s impressive rookie year. The pass rush is an area of concern for many fans, but Oweh was one of the best EDGE rookies in 2021, and he has the potential to explode in his sophomore season.

He’s dead set on doing that, too:

If the Ravens secondary is going to snag more interceptions this season, a second-year leap for Oweh will be a key reason for it. As we all know, pressure forces opposing quarterbacks to make bad decisions. Hopefully Oweh will put QBs in pressurized situations, allowing Humphrey, Peters, Williams, Hamilton and others to take advantage.

Wrapping up this week’s Out to Lunch, we’ll focus on the most important facet of the NFL, Special Teams. Here’s a first look at Coach Sam Koch, courtesy of Ravens Twitter:

Koch looks right at home.

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