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Ravens—Rams joint practice highlights: 8/7/18

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After yesterday’s practiced featured the Rams defense hounding Baltimore’s quarterbacks and the offensive line, the Ravens adjusted and came out firing, but not on the first play as Joe Flacco overthrow Willie Snead IV in the red-zone and into the hands of Aqib Talib for the interception.

Ravens offense vs. Rams defense

The first series was ugly for Ravens fans and thrilling for the opposition, which started with the aforementioned interception. Afterwards, Jordan Lasley caught a five-yard pass, but the following play to score was a pass dropped by Michael Crabtree. The second series for Joe didn’t begin any better, either.

After the red-zone coverage drills came the full 11-on-11 practice, where Baltimore decided to wake up. Joe completed a few passes and Javorius Allen received a few hand-offs. The second-string offense marched onto the field and this was the first big play of practice.

As Lamar Jackson stepped under center, he and Bradley Bozeman recognized something with the defense. Both barked out calls and the Ravens offense shifted and flipped. Ball was snapped and Lamar found Andre Levrone wide open for the 35-yard completion with only the safety to beat.

Janarion Grant climbed the ladder on the next play, catching a pass that was higher than it should have been from Jackson. Grant managed to secure the ball and complete the catch with a Rams cornerback defending the ball in the air.

The Ravens then produced two big runs, one from Lamar and the second being a 20-yard gain by Robert Griffin III before being touched by a defender.

It wasn’t all Ravens though as Ramon Richards swatted a Griffin III deep ball down the sideline to DeVier Posey. After a good move down the field Richards recovered and made the play on the ball, deflecting it off the field.

Mistakes and pre-snap penalties continue to occur with the Ravens offense as they jumped offsides this afternoon once more. I didn’t see anybody run a lap like previous practices, though.

Joe did deliver a pass into the arms of Marcus Peters during drills, meaning both starting Rams cornerbacks intercepted the Ravens starting quarterback. There was also another interception thrown, but from a running back pass, though I couldn’t see from the sidelines what the play was and how it came to be. The Rams were fired up after sniffing out the play.

The biggest play made, more-so than the red-zone touchdowns, came from Jordan Lasley beating Talib for a 20-yard gain.

I don’t feel like Hayden Hurst had as good of a day as others have posted, as two of his catches come without the safety making contact. If this is live action, safety’s wouldn’t let him make a catch without making a tackle. You can see his catches in the Ravens twitter video down below.

Patrick Ricard had a great touchdown catch on the goal-line, but four plays later dropped another pass which would have resulted in a touchdown. He’s a great versatile player both on the defensive line and as fullback, but you have to make the critical catches when your number is called.

Special Teams

This, to many, felt like the drill to create physicality and heighten the competitive intensity. The Rams gunners went up against the Ravens vice, two blockers. It began with Michael Thomas battling against Maurice Canady. Both got their shoves in as Thomas fought for yards and Canady defended well. In the end, I called it even as Michael gained the yards but Canady never gave up and kept him to the side.

The next gunner was Robert Woods, who burnt the vice of Chris Moore and Stanley Jean-Baptiste. His release from the line caught Stanley off-guard and it was all over. The Rams sideline was cheering and the competitive spirit heightened for both squads.

Anthony Averett answered the bell by throwing Fred Brown off the field, literally. Brown was under Averett’s pads for a moment, but the rookie cornerback switched leverage and shoved him to the sideline and off the field. The Ravens sideline and the fans in the bleachers erupted as Averett tossed the gunner.

Rams offense vs. Ravens defense

Baltimore’s defense struggled early on against the high-octane offense of the Rams. Jared Goff constantly carved up the Ravens’ secondary, finding Brandin Cooks on a short touchdown pass. Chris Board was able to break up a pass to Henry Krieger-Coble from Brandon Allen.

Though Cooper Kupp had a few wide-open drops in the beginning portion of practice, he would bounce back with multiple first-down grabs by finding the soft spots within Baltimore’s zone defense. Goff also found Robert Woods on a laser pass past the reach of C.J. Mosley and other defenders. Za’Darius Smith went back and forth with veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth and eventually got the better of him, sacking Goff.

Baltimore’s run defense was up and down as well. Michael Pierce bulldozed his way past John Sullivan, but Kai Nacua would be stiff armed just a few plays later by John Kelly. Todd Gurley would find a large hole up the middle for a big gain as well.

When Baltimore went to man coverage, they were able to generate more pressure on the quarterback. Two-way player Patrick Ricard wreaked havoc in the middle and also saw some time with the first-team defense. The Ravens used exotic blitzes to create issues for Los Angeles’ offensive line up the middle.