The Baltimore Ravens were back on the practice field Monday afternoon in preparation for what should be the most important of the four pre-season games this Thursday evening hosting the Washington Redskins. Tomorrow is the last practice session that the media can attend before the walk-through on Wednesday. The pace of the practice was fast and crisp.
With center Matt Birk still injured and guard Marshal Yanda still not returning to practice the right side of the offensive line has Oniel Cousins at right guard and newcomer Mark LeVoir at right tackle. TE Dennis Pitta is running with the first team and Ed Dickson the second. With no Jarret Johnson at linebacker today, Prescott Burgess was taking his place with the first team defense.
RB Ricky Williams catches a deep pass, out-racing Terrell Suggs on a nice, soft Joe Flacco pass. Today, Flacco is picking apart the secondary so far. Rookie WR Torrey Smith slows down the progress as he drops a Flacco pass right in his hands on a ten-yard curl route.
Safety Bernard Pollard, at 6'1" and 224 pounds, looks huge standing next to the other members of the Ravens secondary. CB Chris Carr was practicing but came out of drills and was seen on the sidelines with a trainer giving him attention.
Note to self: Picking the 53-man final roster will involve a lot of real tough decisions!
Rookie CB Jimmy Smith has all the physical skills, stuffing WR David Reed, but Reed collects himself and gets separation, hauling in a pass down the right sideline. Ed Reed and Tom Zbikowski make up the 1st team safety combination, with the aforementioned Pollard and Haruki Nakamura as the 2nd team.
Not forgetting about the kicking game, placekicker Billy Cundiff hits 26 and44 yard field goals but his 58 yard attempt falls way short in the swirling wind, brought out of the end zone by Lardarius Webb.
FB Vonta Leach is making loud noises with his crushing blocks, drawing "oohhhs" from the players watching drills. In the next series, Sergio Kindle meets Ray Rice at the goal line and had the drill been at full speed, the results would have been interesting to witness.
WR Anquan Boldin catches everything thrown his way and runs out every play to the end zone like a consummate professional. There is no question that Boldin is Flacco's go-to guy, obviously taking the place of the departed Derrick Mason as Joe's favorite and primary target. Surprisingly, Lee Evans seems to be on the same page as if he's been here a lot longer than just over a week.