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Ravens Training Camp: Observations 8/6

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Minicamp Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh described the Ravens second day of joint practice with the Jaguars as productive and competitive. Competitive it was, the teams took turns making plays and there was a minor dust up between Earl Thomas and Leonard Fournette during the goal line session.

One-on-one receiving drills gave the Ravens backs a chance to showcase their skills. Kenneth Dixon displayed soft hands and Gus Edwards beat Myles Jack for a touchdown. Rookie Justice Hill also shook Jack but was unable to secure the pass. However, Hill made up for it during the full team setting when he shot down the sideline after catching a swing pass and later added an elusive run behind Greg Senat.

Baltimore’s defensive lineman also performed well in their individual pass rushing drills. Pernell McPhee defeated Jacksonville’s Andrew Norwell with combination of heavy hands and quickness, Shane Ray’s speed rush bested Jawaan Taylor and Michael Pierce won each of his reps with a powerful rip move.

Willie Henry and Jaylon Ferguson both succeed using their bull rushes, Ferguson’s bull rush was also disruptive in full squad drills but his pass rushing repertoire is limited. UDFA Gerald Willis showed off refined technique, while Zach Sieler struggled to maintain his balance.

Highlights during the 7 vs 7 portion included a long touchdown lob to Seth Roberts, a Hayden Hurst touchdown grab and a stop in the backfield from Tim Williams. James Hurst worked in with the first team offensive line at right guard when stalwart Marshal Yanda rested. Ben Powers was also observed taking a few snaps at center.

The former AFC Central combatants spent a significant portion of practice on special teams. Justin Bethel is as advertised, a specialist capable of getting past two jammers on punt coverage or stopping a gunner himself on punt return duty. Rookie Otaro Alaka is making a case for a roster spot, he flashed on punt coverage, returned a fumble for a touchdown on defense and has settled in as the primary second team weak side linebacker.

Willie Snead IV appeared shaky as the punt returner, muffing his first chance and bobbling another punt. Conversely, Cyrus Jones took one punt back to the house, key blocks from Kenny Young and DeShon Elliott sprung the long return.

In full team action, Lamar Jackson scampered for a long gain on his first drive. Working with the second unit, Jaleel Scott made a terrific catch in traffic on a pass that was well behind him. Later, Miles Boykin appeared to have a step on Jalen Ramsey but could not catch up to a Jackson overthrow.

Jimmy Smith had a tough day in coverage. He allowed a pair of long touchdowns, on both plays Jimmy was on the recieiver’s hip but could not quite tip the pass away. On the bright side, Tony Jefferson made a tackle for loss, Shane Ray blew up another play with quick penetration and Anthony Levine nearly brought down an interception in the end zone.

The play of the day for Baltimore was a beautiful Mark Andrews leaping touchdown reception between defenders in the end zone.

In preparation for Thursday’s preseason opener, the final split squad session was full contract. Safeties Elliott and Bennett Jackson took full advantage by punishing Jaguars receivers after the catch. Cyrus Jones concluded Tuesday’s practice with a tackle for loss on a blitz from the slot.