It was another hot day in Owings Mills when the Ravens began their third day of training camp. The Ravens would have their first practice in pads. Big hits can be heard throughout the facility as the tempo of camp was pulled up a notch. Here are a few notes of how Saturday’s practice went:
- Ray Lewis, the only original Raven left in the franchise, has been a constant in every training camp ever conducted. And this training camp may go down as one of his best ever. He’s in phenomenal shape. Ray Lewis has practiced in sweat pants since the start of camp to send one message to his teammates. “This doesn’t affect me,” Lewis told me after practice. Message received.
- The cornerback group took a step back on Friday, but regained its flare on Saturday. Most notably Chykie Brown. Josh Victorian, who I have been high on the past two days, took a step back on Saturday. Cary Williams has picked up the defense very well and it shows in practice. He even drew praise from Coach John Harbaugh after practice. Jimmy Smith continues to impress. His press coverage skills are by far his best attribute. It will be interesting to see how he performs on gameday. Lardarius Webb will compete with him for the starting spot opposite Domonique Foxworth.
- Torrey Smith continues to make a statement in camp. He’s made some exceptional catches in camp. He is blowing past the defense and reeled in a couple of touchdowns. The coaching staff continues to place him with the 1’s during practice and it doesn’t appear that he’s struggling with the opportunity he’s been given. Still, having him start week 1 may be asking a lot from him. I look for the Ravens to bring in a veteran receiver to start opposite Boldin.
- If you asked me which player has made the most impact in camp so far, I would have to say Jah Reid. For someone who hasn’t had a proper offseason, it is amazing what he’s done so far. The offensive line will automatically benefit from Reid’s presence because of what he brings to his side of the line. Not to mention, it pushes Yanda back to his natural guard position.
- Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed practiced for the first time this summer. Suggs appeared happy to be in camp, joking around with the other linebackers. Reed did some light work, but took it easy on his first day back. Earlier in the year, Reed expressed a desire to take it easy in order to fully recover from his injuries.
- Joe Flacco continues to gain a rapport with his receivers, connecting with them for a few touchdowns. Tyrod Taylor is a very dynamic player to watch. Like any rookie QB, he scrambles with the football whenever he feels a play is breaking down. And when he scrambles it’s usually for a big gain. It’s widely assumed that the Ravens will bring in another quarterback to back up Joe Flacco. It will be interesting to see if the Ravens will use up another roster spot for Taylor, who Cameron can use in different packages to throw off opposing defenses.
- The Ravens made a couple of moves over the weekend. The Ravens signed CB Chris Carr and FB Vonta Leach. Long time Raven Todd Heap signed a 2 year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. The Ravens made their first official cut of training camp when they released OT Eric Vanden Heuvel. RB Curtis Steele and DT Lamar Diven were released as well after failing physicals. Players will wear pads for practice on Monday.