News & Notes 6/12: Tony Jefferson Returns to Practice, Joins Forces With Earl Thomas - Clifton Brown
Terrell Bonds Has Nice Day With Two Interceptions
Free agent cornerback Terrell Bonds was probably the outstanding defensive player of Wednesday’s practice with two interceptions. The Ravens are loaded at cornerback, but Bonds clearly isn’t afraid of competition.
Tavon Young Could Be in Mix as Punt Returner
With Cyrus Jones still not cleared for practice due to an undisclosed health issue, several players are getting an opportunity to return punts, including cornerback Tavon Young, wide receivers Willie Snead IV and Joe Horn Jr., and running back Tyler Ervin. First-year Special Teams Coach Chris Horton likes what he is seeing from those getting reps.
“We’ve got a ton of guys, we’re just trying to figure out who’s going to be that main guy,” Horton said. “Early on in Tavon’s career, we had him back there. So we’re put him back there to see how he does in practice. That job’s open for anybody who can go back there and compete and win that job.”
Baltimore Ravens minicamp: Interceptions abound, second-year safety keeps shining and more - Aaron Kasnitiz
Backup quarterback Robert Griffin III also threw two interceptions early in practice. Safety DeShon Elliott sprinted across the field to snag one pick on a deep ball and Griffin also sent a ball into the gut of linebacker Otaro Alaka.
Jackson’s best moment of practice came when the team went through third-down drills. He hit Chirs Moore on a crossing pattern to convert a third-and-12, found Andrews for a completion on the run and connected with Mark Ingram on a swing pass for a big gain. Ingram has displayed his knack for pass catching at several points this spring.
The NFL’s 50 best players entering the 2019 season - Pro Football Focus
18. S EARL THOMAS III, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Thomas led all qualifying safeties in overall grade (91.3) and coverage grade (90.6) before he suffered a season-ending injury (lower leg fracture) in Week 4 of last season. He showed he can still play at an elite level nine years into his NFL career and should only pick up where he left off in Baltimore if he can stay healthy.
Among the 70 NFL safeties with at least 2,000 snaps played in the last five years, Thomas ranks first in overall grade (93.6) and coverage grade (97.2). He’s one of the very few free safeties who have dominated as a standalone centerfielder in the NFL, a rare talent by all measures.
State of the Franchise: Ravens set to thrive with Lamar Jackson - Adam Rank
Head coach: John Harbaugh. Some real talk here. Harbaugh’s one of the best coaches in the game. He was on the hot seat last year because the team had three consecutive non-playoff seasons. But outside of a 5-11 campaign in 2015, the Ravens haven’t had a losing season under his watch. So I never really understood why he was under such scrutiny. If the Ravens had ever let him go, he would have been unemployed for about an hour. It’s like that episode of “How I Met Your Mother” where Ted is waiting years for this girl to be single so he can ask her out. You know a lot of teams were just waiting for the Ravens to do something foolish.
(Bob Saget’s voice): Kids, the Ravens didn’t do anything foolish. The Ravens rallied from a 4-5 start to make the playoffs and signed Harbaugh to a new contract that runs through 2022.
2019 breakout player: Tim Williams, OLB. The Ravens have to replace several veterans on defense, so they’ll be looking for some of their younger players to step up. And it will be a testament to retired GM Ozzie Newsome’s ability to stockpile talent via the draft when Williams rises to the occasion. Williams didn’t see the field a whole lot during his first two seasons, but the former Alabama edge rusher is going to emerge as a key piece in 2019. This isn’t unfamiliar territory for him, having paid his dues with the Crimson Tide before becoming a leading contributor. You watch. He’s going to break out this year.
For 2019 to be a successful season, the Ravens MUST ...
-- Win a playoff game, and maybe even get all the way to the AFC Championship Game. The Ravens need to reignite the rivalry they had with the Patriots a few years back. They had some classic playoff games, and I would like to get back to that.