Due to the torrential rainstorms and possible tornado warnings in the Carroll County area, there was concern for all involved that the afternoon practice might be cancelled by the team. Instead, it surprisingly cleared up enough to hold the session on the lower Bair Stadium Field. However, due to the weather, I felt it best not to take my camera along with me, so no photos from this session.
The offense and defense practiced against each other for most of this session. Joe Flacco's pass attempt to Todd Heap was broken up by Fabian Washington with Ed Reed in the vicinity looking for the interception. Next Reed snuck up to the line of scrimmage to blitz Flacco and would have had a sack in an actual game as he came in unblocked. Flacco hit a short pass to Ray Rice who then put his shoulder down into Fabian Washington for extra yardage.
Troy Smith hit Heap with a pass over the middle. Smith has excellent mechanics, as he holds the ball up high with a solid throwing motion which negates any height issues, although he did have a pass knocked down at the line during a later sequence.
Joe once again throws short to Rice after seeing his wide receivers were covered. Rice, crossing underneath for the reception was trailed by Ray Lewis, although Lewis shouted that he would have had him.
Smith then looked for Heap deep over the middle but his perfectly placed throw was plain dropped by Todd.
Late in the session, Dawan Landry picked off Troy Smith and returned the interception over 50 yards down the sideline for a TD, beating Smith for the last few yards.
The last play before the final horn sounded was a Flacco to Heap 10 yard scoring pass.
Marcus Smith was in shorts and a t-shirt and when I said hello and asked him if he was healthy, he said his fluids were out of balance from the morning session and the coaches and trainers just wanted to play it safe on his first day.
No photos and no interviews this afternoon, as it began to drizzle again and I wanted to get out of there as dry as possible. Due to the earlier storm, the stadium field was barely filled on even one side with fans who decided to return for the PM session. All in all, an electric day out there, as the buzz from the players and fans made it clear that this is indeed the beginning of football season.