July 24, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw (91) practices during the Baltimore Ravens opening day of training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
Noticeably absent at yesterday's practice at the Baltimore Ravens training camp was rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw missed his second straight day due to what one member of the media told me was a sore shoulder, although he questioned whether this may be more than just a minor injury. We will have to keep an eye on this and see if Courtney makes an appearance at practice later this afternoon.
The offense is looking extremely sharp and there is no question that QB Joe Flacco is in full control of it, barking out not only signals, directions and the snap count, but also not hesitating to talk trash with the defense and even, yes, even Ray Lewis at times.
Flacco threw a bullet to LaQuan Williams on the sideline across the wide side of the field, beating Jimmy Smith, who was right on top of the receiver. However, Joe has such strong arm and put the ball exactly where it needed to be for the completion right before Williams tip-toed the sideline to stay in bounds. Few quarterbacks in the NFL have the arm strength of Flacco to make that under-rated difficult throw (See Lardarius Webb's pick-six vs. the New York Jets' Mark Sanchez last season).
In 11-on-11 passing drills, safety Bernard Pollard came up with an interception of Flacco, drawing hoots from the always talkative defense. Even reserve QB Tyrod Taylor got into the action with a solid performance, driving the 2nd team downfield in the two-minute drill, finally hitting undrafted free agent WR Logan Payne on a crossing pattern and then lofting a perfect long pass into the arms of undrafted rookie free agent WR Dorian Graham to beat Jimmy Smith for a TD pass.