Practice Report: 10 Observations From Final OTA - Clifton Brown
It’s obvious from his physique that veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith has been working hard this offseason. Younger cornerbacks took most of the practice reps, but it’s always good for the Ravens to see Smith looking fit and healthy. Despite Baltimore’s cornerback depth, Smith’s experience and versatility are still important to the secondary.
Lamar Jackson had a crisp day throwing the ball, and watching him whistle passes to Andrews was another reminder of the sixth-sense chemistry that exists between them. However, Jackson had an accurate day throwing regardless of his intended target, and this was probably the offense’s best day during the three OTA practices that have been open to the media.
Second-year linebacker Patrick Queen was around the football a lot, which is par for the course. Queen is another young player taking advantage of offseason reps with his teammates that he didn’t get last year to due the pandemic.
Ravens OTA observations: Mark Andrews shines and then deflects contract talk, offense sharp in red zone - Jeff Zrebiec
Rookie fifth-round pick Ben Mason had a rough start to practice Tuesday, dropping two uncontested passes. The Ravens have a Pro Bowl fullback in Ricard, so Mason is listed on the roster as a tight end. He caught three balls in four seasons at Michigan, so that’s an area he’ll have to work on.
Veteran nose tackle Justin Ellis twice deflected McSorley passes. On the first one, rookie outside linebacker Daelin Hayes corralled the deflection and rumbled into the end zone. A few plays later, Hayes beat Ben Powers, prompting Powers to grab the fifth-round pick around the waist.
On back-to-back plays, two of the main competitors for the No. 3 tight end job had an opportunity in the end zone. Wolf failed to come up with a nice deep throw from McSorley, the ball deflecting off his outstretched hand in the back of the end zone. Josh Oliver then went low to haul in a Huntley pass in traffic. Oliver has showed really good hands during the OTAs and he certainly looks the part as an athlete.
“I love Baltimore. I love being here, I love playing here,” Andrews said after Tuesday’s OTA practice, where he had a strong day. “I want to be here for the rest of my life; this is home for me. That’s where I’m at. I want to be the best player for this team.”
Andrews said he’s concentrating on building chemistry within the Ravens’ upgraded offense, not his contract.
“You can’t worry about too much about the outside noise and what happens with that,” he said. “I’m just going to let my play speak for itself.”
“I feel like I’m getting in and out of breaks really well. I feel light and feel fast,” Andrews said. “I’m excited to see what I can do.”
“Mark looks really good, he’s practiced really well,” Harbaugh said. “I told him today that I really feel like he’s running routes the best that I’ve seen him run routes since he’s been here – very crisp, very sharp and explosive and all of it.”
19. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Patrick Queen made a lot of plays in his rookie season, but he was also destroyed in all facets of the game regularly, and the overall net result of both extremes was a mere 29.7 PFF grade. The number of big plays he made is encouraging for a second-year leap, however, and while L.J. Fort isn’t an exciting name, he played well when forced into action last season, giving the team some real contingency in case Malik Harrison doesn’t emerge in 2021.
2. JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Harbaugh is the second-most tenured coach in the NFL, and he will forever have a place in lists like these after getting a team quarterbacked by Joe Flacco across the finish line in 2012. What is most impressive about Harbaugh is how much he’s adapted to the needs of the NFL circa 2021.
Whether it’s by building defenses from back to front, adapting his team to suit the needs of a once-in-a-generation talent at the quarterback position or listening to the math on fourth-down decision-making (he went for it 64% of the time when he should have in 2020, among the league’s highest rates), Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the league currently and has a Hall of Fame case to make.