Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale stated today’s practice was for the defense than yesterday and he was impressed by the speed in his opening statement at the podium.
“Last night, I think it was a shocker for them getting back in the pads,” Martindale said. “Today, everything was a lot better. We executed a lot better and communicated a lot better.”
I would certainly agree after watching the defensive line crash through on many occasions during this afternoon’s practice. Though they looked like the best position on the field today, my top-rated player of practice is once again a cornerback.
Player of the practice: CB Cyrus Jones
With Tavon Young absent today, Jones received extra reps at slot cornerback, where he demonstrated his speed in getting to the quarterback. Against Lamar Jackson, Jones sped off the edge and forced Jackson to get rid of the ball quickly. The ball was then tipped by Jones and nearly intercepted. A series later against Trace McSorley, Jones once again got after the quarterback and the play was called dead, resulting in a ‘sack.’
Gerald Willis — Many fans roared as Willie Snead IV caught a touchdown pass from Jackson, but it wasn’t a true highlight as DT Gerald Willis crashed through the offensive line and had Jackson dead to rights.
Brandon Williams — Twice, I saw Big Baby swim through the offensive line and welcome the quarterback with open arms. Brandon also had a swatted ball.
Zach Sieler — You’re probably seeing a theme here, but Sieler made a great tackle for loss where Kenneth Dixon hadn’t fully received the handoff before the sophomore defensive tackle already had him wrapped up and taken to the ground. He also swatted a pass at the line in the next series. Unfortunately, Joe Horn Jr. still tracked the swatted ball five yards down the field for the reception.
Mark Andrews — The best offensive play of the day, in my mind, was a red zone touchdown pass from Jackson to Andrews against fellow Sooner alumni, Tony Jefferson. Andrews let loose a little celebration afterward, throwing the ball to the ground and flaring his hands out.
Lamar Jackson — He’s throwing well and the consistency is there. Though his first practice wasn’t good, he’s beginning to get a feel for his targets old and new.
Hayden Hurst — Zero drops and plenty of receptions puts Hurst in the Stock Up category. One fan cheered for Hurst after a good reception for a first down, but flubbed his words, saying, “Drop the Thor, hammer!”
Second team OL — My goodness, the false starts were bad. Even Willie Snead IV and Mark Ingram were yelling at the players.
Story of today was all the pre-snap penalties. Offensive line struggled. After back-to-back penalties at one point, both Willie Snead and Mark Ingram, who weren't in on the play, walked toward the reserve OL to get on them. Lamar Jackson also told them to pick it up.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) July 28, 2019
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman was asked about the penalties and replied, “It’s hard to turn that lemon into lemon-aid.”