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Week 2 OTAs Recap: Everything You Need To Know

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Find out everything you need to know about this week's practices.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The second week of voluntary OTAs (Organized Team Activities) ended Wednesday, and while the Beatdown didn't receive credentials to be there this week (unlike the first week), we can still bring you all of the OTA news.

Pitta Hits the Field

The Ravens released this video yesterday of Dennis Pitta working out for the first time. While it was mostly just individual routes and blocking with Maxx Williams, it was certainly refreshing to see Pitta looking healthy and running. Ravens insider Jamison Hensley said Pitta "looked much more fluid in running his routes off to the side, and he even caught some passes from Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub." Pitta also did a "goal post dunk" after catching a pass.

In other TE news, Nick Boyle also performed well. Ryan Mink said: "Boyle gets open on intermediate routes and even hauled in a deep out route for a 25-yard gain. He catches the ball with confidence."

In his first OTA action, Maxx Williams "moved noticeably better [than Boyle] yet he was seldom targeted and was rather stealth during this particular practice session." These were the observations of Tony Lombardi, of Russell Street Report.

Daryl Smith's Presence Very Welcome

This story is from last week, but it carries over. Veteran LB Daryl Smith has impressed both coaches and players for his presence at the OTAs. His attendance has encouraged younger players, and he seems to be a role model, DT Brandon Williams said: "It means a lot seeing a guy of that stature who has been in the league that long coming out here and putting the work in just like us, "You can play with a guy like that. You can believe in a guy like that."

Coach Harbaugh said "Daryl being out there as a veteran leader on defense [is valuable]," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "[He is] getting guys lined up, just running the show and showing the young linebackers how to run the show. … It’s a big plus for us."

Smith also showed that he can still be a defensive force, even as he ages, as Harbaugh praised Smith's play: "I think he led the defense in production points per play yesterday in practice, too, so he can still play."

The Ravens are definitely lucky to have a great veteran presence.

Scramble for Starting Safety Slot

One of the fiercest and tightly contested battles of training camp is for the safety job, between Will Hill and Matt Elam. The coaches are giving them each a fair chance, as both are getting first-team snaps. The winner will play alongside new addition Kendrick Lewis. Per Ravens writers Sarah Ellison and Ryan Mink, "Elam has returned leaner and quicker (he lost about 5 pounds), and stood out in yesterday’s session open to the media. Per Ryan Mink, Elam made a leaping interception against Schaub, and later jumped to knock away a potential touchdown pass to tight end Crockett Gillmore." This is encouraging news for Ravens fans, many who have given up on Elam. Us here at the Beatdown still believe in him, as our blog editor Matthew Stevens wrote this great piece on him. Best of luck to both Elam and Hill, both are capable of earning the spot.

Jamison Hensley also reported this promising news about prospect Terrence Brooks.

Tucker is Great as Usual

Ryan Mink reported that Tucker nailed a field goal that "appeared to be from beyond 60 yards in wet conditions." It's nice to see Tucker continuing to improve his already great game.

What's Going on at WR?

Well, quite a lot. The battle rages on between the 11 WRs on the roster, competing for what we think will be 5-7 spots. Let's look at who had a good week, and who didn't.

  • Kamar Aiken: My man Kamar had a great week. Ryan Mink of the Baltimore Ravens reported that "Aiken caught everything his way, including a long bomb over the top, a tough tiptoeing sideline catch, a lunging fingertips grab over the middle and a jump ball in the end zone." Tony Lombardi of Russell Street Report said that "he does appear to effectively fight through press coverage and comes back towards the ball. This helps him to create separation and give his quarterback an inviting target." Lombardi said he was " beginning to look a poor man’s Anquan Boldin."
  • Jeremy Butler: His name isn't brought up often, but Mink said "Butler excelled running every kind of route and showed reliable hands. He’s quicker than his 6-foot-2, 218 pounds would suggest." Is a unexpected roster spot in Butler's future?
  • Breshad Perriman: Delivered in his first OTA action. Mink reported that "He adjusted well to haul in a pass down the seam and split two defenders. Perriman consistently explodes off the line of scrimmage, even when pressed." And Lombardi had even higher praise for Perriman, saying "you would never know the guy has been labeled a player with bad hands."
  • Darren Waller: Showed off his size, Mink said "he went up the ladder" to grab a pass. Lombardi reported that he "caught a go route down the left sideline for a score after hauling in an outstanding throw from Schaub."
  • DeAndre Carter: Had a mediocre practice, both Mink and Lombardi reported good catches from him, however, there were drops.
  • Michael Campanaro and Aldrick Robinson: both had bad weeks, going down with a quad injury, and MCL sprain, respectively. They will be out until training camp.
Injured Linemen Return to the Field

Kapron-Lewis Moore and Brent Urban both hit the field for the first time in a long time, after both suffering season ending injuries last year. KLM, a sixth-round selection in the 2013 draft sat out his first year because of a torn ACL in his senior year of college. However, after tearing it up in camp last year, he tore his Achilles tendon in a non-contact situation. Thankfully, KLM seems to have made a full recovery, and he's had a good role model in Terell Suggs, who suffered the same injury in 2012. Suggs has been giving KLM tips about recovering. Coach Harbaugh said "Kap looks like he’s really close to 100 percent.". And KLM is motivated to make a difference, "I’ve been blessed that the Ravens actually kept me these last two years. I appreciate them for sticking with me, and that’s another motivating thing for me. It’s time to show them why they drafted me."

As for Urban, he was a fourth-round pick last year, who tore his ACL in training camp. Urban has made a full recovery, as Harbaugh said ""Brent looks like he’s 100 percent.". Urban is no stranger to this injury, he tore his ACL in his other knee five years ago, he said ""You get in little ruts where you may not feel great, but I kind of know what to expect in the process," he said. "I’ve been through it before and I won’t get down in certain parts. I’ll be able to push through things." Urban also impressed the coaches last year, and he's obviously feeling great, as he was 'sent to the doghouse' for getting a little too close to Joe Flacco on plays this week. Harbaugh also said in addition that Urban has "practiced really well."

So here's to great, injury-free seasons for these promising linemen.


Kendrick Lewis Turns Heads

While new-signee Kendrick Lewis has done his best to avoid the limelight, his play hasn't gone unnoticed. Coach Harbaugh has nothing but praise for the seventh-year veteran out of Houston. "[He’s a] very smart player," Harbaugh said. "He just gets the game and communicates really well back there. He’s looked very good." "He doesn’t say much in terms of walking around the building. He just puts his nose to the grindstone and goes to work. I see him in the weight room. I see him in the meeting room.  I see him on the field just working like crazy." Lewis looks to be that mainstay and consistency at safety the Ravens have needed so bad these past few seasons. Lewis is very focused on communicating well, saying "You have to be vocal," and "Being vocal is part of my game. It’s the part of the game that I’ve brought here with me." Lewis is also very happy with his teammates in the secondary, saying "We have a very, very bright secondary", "I believe that the sky is the limit for the secondary. We have a bunch of talent in the secondary. We have a bunch of guys that can run, cover and hit. It will be fun to be part of it." I for one, am looking forward to this year's secondary, on paper it looks pretty solid, the question is, can that transfer to the field?

And that wraps up this week's OTA news, thankfully, most of it was good and encouraging news. The future is bright for the '15-16 Ravens. The final week of OTAs will be next week, June 8th-11th. I'm unsure if we'll be there, but we'll do our best reporting we can, there or not.