NFL training camp winners/losers: Seven rookies creating a buzz - Gregg Rosenthal
On the upswing
Baltimore Ravens practice entertainment value: After spending last Thursday at Ravens practice, I propose a game for any fan showing up to Owings Mills in the next few weeks: Count how many formations the Ravens show in a given practice. Better yet: Try to find consecutive plays where they line up in the same formation at all. The dizzying variety in Greg Roman’s running game -- and the passing-game options that emerge from it -- has new Ravens lead back Mark Ingram fired up.
”The numerous looks, different entries out of the looks, it’s an amazing thing to see as a running back, from my perspective, just how many different runs you can get to and make them look different out of the formations, or how you enter and have the footwork with the quarterback and running back. It’s special,” Ingram said last week. “The different looks he can give you -- you think something’s coming, but something totally different is coming.”
Seven rookies worthy of early noise
1) Miles Boykin, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens: It may be early to compare Boykin to Michael Thomas, but the third-round pick out of Notre Dame is making waves early in Ravens camp. With Marquise Brown still injured and a motley crew of cast-offs and youngsters competing for snaps, Boykin has every chance to be a Week 1 starter. Boykin physically profiles as a No. 1 type of receiver, and he appears to be adapting to the pro game quickly.
Usually anchored as an outside cornerback, Carr has been playing in the slot and even some at safety so far at Ravens training camp. It remains to be seen how much he would actually do that in the regular season, but it’s an interesting development.
“It’s a new challenge. At this point of my career, man, I’m just ready for whatever,” Carr said. “I’ve played a long time. I feel like this is an opportunity for me to go out there and show my versatility, fill in wherever I’m needed, help out as much as I’m needed.”
“We’re deep across the board. It’s tough to get on the field, so you have to find any way that you can to go out there, get your name called and make a play,” Carr said.
Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale said a benefit of moving Carr around is that it better enables him (or other players) to match up against offensive players. Since offenses move their wide receivers around so much, a defender who wants to “shadow” must be able to do the same.
Pagano’s Plans for the Bears D, Lamar Jackson on the Run, Mike Tomlin’s Deal and More From Camps - Albert Breer
Fascinating hearing Ravens coach John Harbaugh agree with the notion that his offense will be different from anything we’ve seen in the NFL—and that Lamar Jackson will likely again run the ball more than any quarterback who came before him. (Jackson had a 147 rushing attempts as a rookie, most ever for a QB, despite not starting until Week 11; Cam Newton’s career high for a season is 139.) “The game was probably revolutionized with Bill Walsh and Joe Montana,” Harbaugh said. “What’s the next era going to be? We’re about to find out.” Remember, Baltimore OC Greg Roman brought an innovative Pistol set to the NFL game to try to get the most out of Colin Kaepernick at the beginning of this decade. And it sure looks like he’s intended on finish the decade with a bang, too.