With the veterans coming back after having the day off yesterday, the Ravens got back on track with a very physical practice. There were many times today where the coaches were really getting to the players to speed it up and were held accountable for their mistakes.
The practice started off with individual drills all throughout the two practice fields. The O-Lineman were in the end zone pushing the blocking sleds, the OLB were working on hand placement on a dummy pad held by one of the other players, D-Lineman were practicing their swim moves on dummys (Ngata killed it) and the DB's were working on their backpedal, change of direction and intercepting the ball. Offense was on the other field and I did not get a chance to get a view of their drills until later in the practice.
Couple notes and pictures after the jump.
- One of the main stories of this mornings practice was Derrick Mason being helped off the field after catching a pass and being his by a CB right before the goal line. Mason laid on the ground for a few minutes and was finally carried off the field by two trainers and into the facility. Later on in practice, it seemed that Mason was back outside on crutches. The injury turns out to be a sprained ankle according to multiple Ravens sources and coach Harbaugh.
- There was another fight at camp today, this time between OL Joe Reitz and Paul Kruger. Some shoving went on after a play and next thing you know it Kruger grabs Reitz by the face mask while Reitz slams Kruger and wrestle on the ground where the two went at it. It was rather entertaining to watch because the team swarmed around the brawl to break it up with a few DB's just coming in and jumping on top of the pile and others pulling the players off one another. Gotta love the battles in the trenches.
- Fabian Washington was back in pads today and looked very good in drills. It does not seem like Washington is limping or taking it easy on his knee as he was participating in every defensive activity and made a couple nice catches on the interception drills.
- Impressed at what I saw from Walt Harris today. For someone his age, Harris looks strong and still has some speed left in him. During change of direction drills, Harris was one of the quickest at making the 180 degree body turn.
- Safety Tom Zbikowski is looking as good as ever during practice today. His athleticism is up there with some of the best on this team and is really starting to look like a full time starter out there. Zbi was extremely vocal today during drills where he was encouraging the younger guys to make plays.
- Above, Terrell Suggs works on pass rushing drills with the rest of the OLB. Suggs had a great practice today where I counted 3-4 times where Suggs caused a sack or early throw in 11 on 11 drills. He lined up all over the place and during one play beat Gaither on the edge and would have had a clean shot on Flacco if he was able to hit the QB. Suggs is looking in great shape out there and you can tell he really worked on his conditioning this offseason.
- There seemed to be quite a bit of singing going on today between the OLB. Many times throughout the early parts of practice you could hear Antwan Barnes singing with Suggs and JJ chiming in on their own. A few dance offs as well from Suggs.
- There was much emphasis on special teams today. All throughout practice you could hear footballs being booted through the uprights from both kickers. There were very few misses today as both Graham and Cundiff were drilling them from different distances all morning. Both kickers made multiple 50+ yard field goals and were automatic during 11 on 11 drills.
- One interesting note about the kicking drills today was how often both kickers were practicing the pooch kick after lining up for a field goal. Shayne Graham looked to be the kicker that was better at this drill, landing a few kicks within the 10 yard line.
- DB's Chris Carr, KJ Gerrard and Lardarius Webb all sat out of practice today with injuries. Webb was on the sidelines going through numerous drills with a trainer which looked to strengthen his leg.
- Newly acquired CB Doug Dutch was out in uniform today and looked alright. Did not get a chance to see him in too many 11 on 11 drills but all the other players were seen talking with Dutch multiple times trying to guide him through the drills.
- 11 on 11 drills were very competitive this morning. On one passing play, Joe Flacco was intercepted by Haruki Nakamura who took off towards the end zone. The defense erupted after this.
- Just because certain players have a status of being a superstar on this team did not stop them from being hit. On a hand off to Ray Rice on the left side during redzone drills, Rice was tackled pretty hard by Ray Lewis to stop Rice from getting the first down. This drive eventually led to a field goal.
- The QB's and WR's looked very sharp today. Demetrius Williams made multiple diving catches throughout practice, two of which were touchdowns. Troy Smith made a few nice passes this morning as well. WR's Anquan Boldin and Donte Stallworth were all over the place, burning any CB in their way. I have yet to see Anquan drop a ball at the practices I have attended so far.
- Terrence Cody had yet another practice where he demanded a double team on every snap. It does not matter which O-Lineman is in there, Cody pushes them back immediately. On a run play to the right with McGahee, he was chased down by none other than Terrence Cody. All Cody had to do was bump into Willis and he went down. Should be interesting to see what happens when he actually tries to hit people.
Good practice today. It went for about 2 1/2 hours today and was full speed the entire time. The team is really starting to come along.