As many of you know, Baltimore Ravens minicamp began on Tuesday, June 11th. This article is showing some of the main headlines during each day of minicamp, according to BaltimoreRavens.com.
- TE Ed Dickson, who said wanted a much larger role in this season's offense, caught the most impressive pass of Day One. It was a one-handed grab with S James Ihedigbo all over him. Dickson then proceeded to get away from the defense and run 50 yards for the touchdown.
- LB Terrell Suggs showed up for his first practice of the off-season being a jokester, as always, but he also showed up ready to play and in shape to do so. Suggs seemed to be much leaner and looked like he was in his 2011 DPOY form.
- Recently acquired LB Daryl Smith isn't slow at all, which is a good sign after having a groin injury that basically ruined his season last year. Smith kept pace with the team in practice and looks like he will be in the running for a starting position.
- FB Kyle Juszczyk delivered a hard-hitting block on Daryl Smith as he was blocking for Rice. The rookie looked good after the release of FB Vonta Leach earlier this week.
- Haloti Ngata, Jameel McClain, Albert McClellan, and Lardarius Webb were all present, but all were limited during practice.
- DE Pernell McPhee looked leaner, which means he was faster. McPhee will look to get after the quarterback more this season, which is a task that he is becoming very capable of performing.
- LB John Simon played great when rushing after the quarterback. The rookie was able to force the quarterback to make quick throws or go down for the sack, two things you want a pass rusher to do to the quarterback.
- Sophomore RB Bernard Pierce played well and followed his blocks. Pierce looked to be able to cut through holes whenever he needed to, along with following his blockers to get a clear path down the field.
- There were two interceptions thrown my QB Joe Flacco, one to S Michael Huff and another to LB Josh Bynes.
- Rookie S Matt Elam got the best of QB Joe Flacco to start off 11-on-11 drills. Elam picked Flacco off, got excited and thought he was down, found out he wasn't so he decided to return it up-field and scored. The defense celebrated with him, as it seems he was very happy about his achievement.
- OT Jah Reid and LB Courtney Upshaw got into a small skirmish after a play, but nobody was hurt. Later, LB Jameel McClain, along with Upshaw, went to have a word with Reid, but nothing further broke out after the initial fight.
- QB Joe Flacco was getting clobbered by the pass rush of LB Terrell Suggs, LB Elvis Dumervil, LB Courtney Upshaw, and DE Pernell McPhee.
- LB Elvis Dumervil is adjusting well, looking to have a dangerous pass rush alongside LB Terrell Suggs.
- DL Chris Canty intercepted QB Tyrod Taylor. Canty attempted to return the ball to the end zone, but fell short of the goal line after being ruled down.
- Sophomore K Justin Tucker looked well, doing his own thing away from the others, drilling the ball down the middle of many field goals he attempted. Maybe his goal of being 100% could be achieved this season.
- Rookie WR Aaron Mellette is looking decent/average. Mellette grabbed a touchdown on the day, but he also dropped an easy pass, something that he needs to work on. (Lee Evans status is unacceptable.)
- Jacoby Jones is still as fast as he was when he ran back that 108-yard kickoff during Super Bowl XLVII. (You guys remember that one? Wow!)
- TE Ed Dickson was held out of practice due to a groin strain and LB Adrian Hamilton went down with a back injury early in practice, forcing him to leave. The back injury does not seem to be serious, according to Coach John Harbaugh. No sign if the groin injury to Dickson is something to worry about or not.
- Running Game Coordinator Juan Castillo is teaching the offensive linemen many things. The O-Line seems to be enjoying his presence, as he is very hands on and passionate about making these guys better.
- Owner Steve Bisciotti came to the last day of minicamp, to check things out. He chatted with LB Elvis Dumervil, along with DL Chris Canty. Both good signs.
- QB Joe Flacco was on his game, as he made some very nice throws. He anticipates receivers' routes, gets receivers the ball, and looks as cool as ever. Looking like it could be another great year for the recently re-signed quarterback.
- The passing game was covered well by the defense, especially by CB Corey Graham. The offense struggled moving the football, but the defense didn't struggle a bit with defending their territory.
- RB Ray Rice and RB Bernard Pierce both looked well, as they also looked like they were a part of two completely different offenses. Rice was slow and patient, but successful, while Pierce was fast, speedy, and successful as well.
- LB Courtney Upshaw is attempting to lose 15 pounds by camp next month, something he was trying to do in minicamp.
- David Reed, a possible starting WR, had a few nice plays. He was able to grab a 40-yard touchdown from QB Joe Flacco, along with grabbing a tough pass down the sideline with a defender playing very tight defense.
- K Justin Tucker went 1-for-2 on 55-yard field goals. He missed one early in the day that was wide right, while drilling the next later in the day.
- Minicamp ended as a field goal was made from K Justin Tucker, and the entire team met in the middle of the field screaming, capping off the final day of minicamp.
The Most Important Thing to Take Away from Minicamp: The defense is looking magnificent. All three days the defense held the offense very well, along with forcing turnovers. The defense was a major question mark coming into minicamp, since 6 starters (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Cary Williams, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard, and Dannell Ellerbe) disappeared during this off-season. The defense is something to be excited about, Ravens fans, and it seems that our new talent is working out well for us.
The Worst Thing to Occur in Minicamp: The injuries to TE Ed Dickson and LB Adrian Hamilton. It seems as if both men will be alright, but you always have to be a little scared when two players get injured in the off-season. Hopefully both men will be able to go by camp next month.
The Best Thing to Occur in Minicamp: The sighting of LB Terrell Suggs. Not only did he show up, but he looked so much lighter and more explosive. Before minicamp, I imagined Elvis Dumervil getting more sacks than Suggs this year, but now I think that Suggs is capable of getting a few more sacks than Dumervil. It looks like Sizzle is ready to ball so hard. (This advertisement was paid for by Ball-so-Hard University.)
Overall, it was a fun and important week for the rookies, veterans, and staff members. It also helped give the fans insight on what might go down later in the season, along with whether or not we will be successful.