Day 5 of Baltimore Ravens 2019 training camp featured a physical practice under the hot sun at the Under Armour Performance Center. Practice began with positional drills containing a lot of sled work. The fifth consecutive day of grinding included plenty of 7 on 7 and situational 11 on 11 competition.
Earl Thomas and Pernell McPhee presumably received veteran rest days on Monday, while Marquise Brown and Alex Lewis remained sidelined. Neither Jermaine Eluemunor nor Tavon Young were observed, after practice head coach John Harbaugh described their ailments as minor muscle issues. Additionally, Tyus Bowser was seen stretching during positionals and was apparently absent for the latter portion of practice.
Rookie receiver Miles Boykin provided the play of the day when he beat Marlon Humphrey’s press coverage from the slot and caught a perfectly placed back shoulder throw from Lamar Jackson deep downfield. Boykin also caught an intermediate crossing route in stride that he could have taken to the house and corralled another pass that Jimmy Smith tipped in the back on the end zone, but could not quite stay in bounds.
James Hurst continues to take the first team right tackle reps with Ben Powers at left guard. Powers drove Brandon Williams backwards on one run play. Left tackle Greg Senat fared well in pass protection with the second unit. Overall, the offensive line was somewhat sloppy, including multiple pre-snap penalties, Bradley Bozeman was forced to run a lap around the field after one miscue.
A few of Lamar Jackson’s passes sailed, yet he was relatively accurate on Monday. Behind him, Trace McSorely had some struggles, especially on deeper passes. McSorely did link up with Jordan Lasley for a touchdown, delivered a first down to Sean Modster and escaped the pocket for a long scramble, however the vast majority of his completions were check downs.
The chemistry between Jackson and Mark Andrews is undeniable. Andrews seems poised to lead the Ravens in receptions this season. All of the tight ends, particularly Nick Boyle and even back-ups Cole Herdman and Charles Scarff, were heavily involved in the passing game.
Other notable plays from the receiving corps included a juggling catch from Hayden Hurst and two impressive wins from Willie Snead against Brandon Carr during the hurry-up simulation. Michael Floyd also made several confident receptions, he has exhibited perhaps the most reliable hands in practice thus far.
In McPhee’s absence, outside linebacker Tim Williams worked with the starters. Willie Henry and Chris Wormley were the down lineman when the first team defense went to their dime personnel. Against the second team offensive line, rookie Jaylon Ferguson combined with Shane Ray to collapse the pocket. Developmental pass rusher Mike Onuoha is worth monitoring, he has good bend and power off the edge.
The speed of this defense was evident throughout practice. Numerous linebackers, corners and safeties were flying around making plays. Humphrey picked off an under thrown pass after he forced a turnover by tipping the ball to Patrick Onwuasor. DeShon Elliott forced a fumble following a completion to Andrews. The versatile Carr, who has seen quite a few reps at safety, also punched out a near completion to Andrews.
Chuck Clark knocked down several passes while lining up as a deep safety, rookie Iman Marshall broke up a pass intended for Lasley and Maurice Canady had a pair of PBUs. Furthermore, Anthony Averett stymied Boykin on multiple go-routes, Cyrus Jones locked down Snead in the red zone and Matt Judon stayed stride for stride with Hurst down the sideline on another play.
Pass coverage is a definite strength of this roster. At inside linebacker, both Chris Board and Matthew Thomas were impressive in coverage during 7 on 7s. Kenny Young also broke-up a touchdown pass. And UDFA Otaro Alaka tipped a short pass after stuffing the run on the previous play.
The grueling practice became chippy on two occasions. The first was a brief shoving incident between Onwuasor and Patrick Ricard. On the second, Lasley and safety Bennett Jackson exchanged punches before the situation was quickly de-escalated. The players are certainly looking forward to their first day off on Tuesday.