With OTA's officially underway, the Baltimore Ravens held their first open practice session to the media. Below are highlights of what head coach John Harbaugh, tight end Dennis Pitta, and offensive lineman Alex Lewis had to say to the media
Pitta discussed his new contract restructure and joked that the money went to Brandon Williams for his new mega-deal.
"My money I think went to Brandon Williams. He owes me."
The now eight-year tight end also complimented wide receiver Breshad Perriman, saying that nobody is making more plays than him so far in practices. He also mentioned how much he wanted to stay in Baltimore.
"This is an organization that I wanted to be a part of. We've been here eight years and I have some deep roots here."
Pitta was also asked about having a full offseason with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Pitta said:
"Consistency at the offensive coordinator spot certainly helps. We have not had a lot of that over the years. I was one that was a little bit vocal last year in saying that we needed consistency. I am happy that is what we got, and that we can continue to build off of what we did last year. We brought in some new pieces like Greg Roman, who is obviously great in the run game and has introduced some new concepts there. We are continuing to build on what we had last year."
While Baltimore needs to fill in some holes on the offensive side of the football, coaching was probably their biggest problem a year ago. Mornhinweg can't afford any constant errors throughout the first few games of the season with Roman breathing down his neck. No matter the talent, Mornhinweg must maintain a balanced offense if they are going to succeed.
Speaking of coaches, John Harbaugh began by saying the team has had a good week of practice and sent his thoughts and prayers to the people affected by the tragic attack in Manchester. Harbaugh brought up some of the injured Ravens that are currently not practicing like C.J. Mosley, who had offseason shoulder surgery. While he isn't practicing, he is taking part in conditioning. He also said that tight end Maxx Williams had knee surgery in his meniscus, apparently no NFL player has ever had to go through this specific type of surgery. Despite this, Harbaugh expects him to be ready for training camp.
Marshal Yanda is still recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery. In his absence, the team has put John Urshcel as the starting right guard in practices, along with Alex Lewis remaining at left guard, James Hurst at right tackle, and Ryan Jensen at center.
Harbaugh went on to say that Terrell Suggs is not practicing despite not being injured. He has decided to hold him out. He also discussed the team’s fullback situation by having running back Lorenzo Taliaferro and undrafted free agent Ricky Ortiz taking snaps at the position.
Alex Lewis was the last player to step onto the podium for the day. He was asked about new offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris. Lewis commented that D'Alessandris actually coached his father, and that he is installing his new scheme well and communicating with the rest of the offensive line.
While Lewis is still the starting left guard as of now, there is still a chance he could play right tackle. One of the questions given to him was the difficulty and differences between guard and tackle. Lewis stated:
"Yes, tackle is a little bit different; you have a lot more space to work with compared to guard. Guard is right up in your face. It's a lot quicker at guard, and things happen quicker. But at tackle, guys are faster, there's a lot more space to work with, and most of the time you are going to be on an island."
After Rick Wagner's departure, right tackle is still a main cog that needs to be filled along the offensive line. There are still free agents like King Dunlap and Orlando Franklin who could step in and play the position right away, keeping Lewis at left guard. The Ravens have to figure it out soon, because James Hurst as the starting right tackle is a scary thought.