I expected a good practice with the Los Angeles Rams joining the Baltimore Ravens here in Owings Mills, Maryland, but today produced a fun, exciting and enjoyable practice for both squads and their fans.
Rams offense vs. Ravens defense
The biggest play of the day wasn’t something that actually occurred, but what could have if they were playing with live ammunition. On back-to-back plays, Ravens safety Eric Weddle had two different Rams receivers in his cross-hairs as they were came down from catching higher passes. He didn’t lay the hit, but as they came down it was obvious both times the receiver was going to take a big shot. Eric spoke a lot about timing at the post-practice presser and I’m confident he’s dialed in pretty close.
The battle between long-time competitors Andrew Whitworth and Terrell Suggs was exciting to observe. Whitworth’s technique and footwork shined as Suggs swam and sped around the edge to no avail. Rams fans, I assure you it is celebrated here that Andrew no longer plays with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Both CB Anthony Averett and CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste broke up passes on intermediate crossing routes.
Maurice Canady also produced a pass deflection, but he was targeted multiple times in drills and allowed a few passes from Sean Mannion to both WR Michael Thomas and Josh Reynolds. But on the last play of 11s, Canady was beat off the line on a deep-route; Mannion saw it and threw the ball. Maurice not only recovered, he out-ran Thomas to the ball. If not for an overthrown pass by Mannion, Canady intercepts the ball.
This is the first time in four practices where CB Tavon Young did not produce an interception. Sad to see his streak die, but three-straight practices was a big feat.
It wasn’t all Ravens highlights as Jared Goff found Cooper Kupp on multiple plays. Goff found him for increments of 8-, 10-, 18- yards. The starting quarterback also completed a great pass down the middle for 30-yards to Kupp, but an offsides penalty by the O-line nullified the big-time throw.
Both Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown scored rushing touchdowns during red-zone drills. Gurley found a gap up the middle while Brown went untouched for the five-yard carry after a counter run. Sean McVay’s playbook is exciting to watch in person, folks. Gurley was shut down on two attempts though, with Patrick Onwuasor even picking up Gurley at the four-yard line. Fans were rocking when they saw who ‘Peanut’ stopped.
Coverage drills featured some great route set-ups with the Rams offense, forcing the Ravens defense to make decisions and react quickly.
Both Michael Pierce and Chris Wormley deflected passes at the line. This is big for Wormley as he is on the roster bubble.
The speed from Brandin Cooks was demonstrated on a 13-yard reception from Goff. His ability to cut while maintaining top-end speed is impressive.
Ravens offense vs. Rams defense
Things went back and forth during the entire day, but Baltimore owned the first part of the joint practice. During 7-on-7 drills, Robert Griffin III threw a touchdown pass to TE Vince Mayle. Joe Flacco would follow it up with a touchdown thrown to WR John Brown. Josh Woodrum threw a touchdown pass of his own to rookie wide receiver Jaleel Scott, who hauled it in with his body.
Flacco would then open up full-team drills with a 15-yard play action strike to Brown. The two would be in sync later on as well, connecting for a 30-yard play action toss and another grab from Brown on rollout pass from Flacco. Lamar Jackson would get sacked on his first play against the Rams, but would throw a 20-yard pass to TE Mark Andrews on the next play.
Baltimore’s running backs all practiced well for the most part, though Gus Edwards had a few mishaps. Edwards was stripped twice and was stopped in his tracks after making a poor read in the running game. Mark Thompson made some catches out of the backfield in the flat and leaking out over the middle. Javorius Allen split out wide, running screens and slants for big gains.
The tight ends took a few shots during practice. Hayden Hurst held onto a pass after receiving a blow from Isaiah Johnson, though Hurst stayed on his feet. Andrews received a hit from Nate Holley and got up a little slowly. He would stay in for the rest of practice.
Camp split up into team drills around an hour and a half in. The Rams defensive line put heavy pressure on Matt Skura, specifically when he played center. Ndamukong Suh had a field day, pushing Skura past the “quarterback” and chucking him aside. Skura has recently had trouble snapping as well with a few snaps sailing high or falling too low.
On the other hand, Alex Lewis was able to handle Suh, Michael Brockers and Chunky Clements. Clements would later shake the duo of Bradley Bozeman and Jermaine Eluemunor. The two offensive linemen had trouble with the speed rush throughout the day. Nico Siragusa looked sturdy at center, making solid snaps and stepping powerfully towards the defensive line. He didn’t have much trouble against the second-team defensive line.
The biggest key of the day was the collapsed pocket. All four quarterbacks dealt with the pocket breaking down, especially the second- and third- teams. It was especially evident in Griffin and Jackson’s two-minute drills, where neither could muster a first down. The right side of the line had some issues, with the Rams getting their hands up to tip passes.