Media access was granted for today’s Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) and here are my thoughts on the day.
Lamar Jackson Absent From OTA’s
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t in attendance for this week’s OTA’s, after tweeting on Tuesday that he “can’t wait to get back.”
My take: Jackson should be present
The Ravens are going through a big change at wide receiver. With wide receiver Marquise Brown gone, Jackson has a new No. 1 wide receiver to work with. The oft-mentioned “chemistry,” needs to be established. This is a prime opportunity to work with Rashod Bateman, and all of the pass-catchers, as they were all in attendance today.
Another important reason for Jackson to be in attendance, to me, is his new center situation. The Ravens drafted rookie center Tyler Linderbaum, who was taking starting reps today and is expected to be the Week 1 starter. Once again, gaining chemistry and rapport with one another is critical. We’ve seen throughout Jackson’s tenure the impacts of poor or mishandled snaps. It’s gone so far as to impact a playoff game.
This felt like an easy way to cool off the drama that’s been festering all offseason about Jackson and the Ravens. Showing up to OTA’s, working with the new center and getting reps with Bateman and the receivers just felt like the easy olive branch. But, Jackson wasn’t in attendance and now myself, and countless others, will be covering it.
Kyle Hamilton Impresses
Many, including myself, were enamored with rookie safety Kyle Hamilton.
Top draft pick Kyle Hamilton stands out. Physically impressive, moves very well. In a 1-on-1 drill, he made two nice plays, breaking quickly on the ball to break up passes intended for rookie TEs Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely.— Bo Smolka (@bsmolka) May 25, 2022
Kyle Hamilton is very quick breaking on balls underneath. He had one where he would have destroyed Slade Bolden. Tony Jefferson had a big reaction on the sideline. Hamilton also was strong in 1-on-1 coverage, including vs. TEs.— Ryan Mink (@ryanmink) May 25, 2022
Absolutely loved what I saw from rookie S Kyle Hamilton. Spent a lot of time watching him specifically. Will write up more but I don’t have a negative thing on my paper from his game today.— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) May 25, 2022
Here is what I wrote down during 11-on-11 drills, when locked onto Hamilton.
“1. Calling to his DBs. Shifts head, constantly reading. Diagnosed play, moved quickly.”
“2. Persistent communication.. Didn’t bite on short route. Read inside receiver. Stayed back for deep flag route.”
“3. Constantly talking, signaling to other DBs. Dropped, read, flew to the ball.”
Red Zone Hamilton
“Read short pass. Flew to ball after CB and WR battled. No TD.”
“14 runs to his right. Read QB eyes. QB quickly threw other side. No TD.”
Hamilton looked methodical. He would offer pre-snap communication with other defensive backs, and once the ball was snapped, he was reading routes, the quarterbacks eyes, and making quick decisions.
The two biggest plays including Hamilton was when he jumped a slant route by wide receiver Slade Bolden. If this was full contact, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Hamilton would’ve laid the wood on Bolden. It wouldn’t have been pretty.
The other play was Hamilton on a blitz. He nearly made it to Huntley before rookie runningback Tyler Badie threw his body at Hamilton, just hardly stopping him from completing the would-be sack.
Rashod Bateman Struggled
It’s early, and it’s without Jackson, but Bateman struggled. Early in practice, he beat a cornerback deep for a would-be touchdown. The ball landed in his hands but Bateman couldn’t reel it in. Later on, he dropped a second pass, this one on a shorter route. He momentarily bounced back, snagging a poorly-placed pass behind his head, but later dropped a third pass. The third one was a fade route in red zone drills, where he beat Humphrey and the ball was in his chest. But as Bateman came down, the ball came out. Bateman voiced his frustration after the play.
- Alabama wide receiver Slade Bolden will be the talk of training camp. He caught multiple passes today and looked sharp.
- Cornerback Kevon Seymour delivered a strong practice. Intercepted a pass and notched one PBU.
- Inside Linebacker Patrick Queen reeled in a one-handed interception after the ball was tipped.
- Rookie running back Tyler Badie hauled in a one-handed catch and turned it upfield for a first down. Also caught a touchdown during red zone drills.
- Wide receiver Duvernay caught a red zone touchdown. Defense started getting overstretched in zone coverage and Duvernay caught a short pass and run five yards for the score.
- Justin Tucker, as soon as he swung the leg on a 40-yard field goal shouted, “Still got it, boys!” Unsurprisingly, he split the uprights.