Ravens observations: Mike Macdonald noncommittal on safety usage plus rookie standouts - Jeff Zrebiec
The three players who participated in Wednesday’s workout after not being on the field last week were Williams, tight end Nick Boyle and outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson. Ferguson, who appears to be getting over a minor injury, mostly just took part in individual drills and ran a lot on his own. Ferguson looks considerably leaner than he did in previous seasons with the Ravens.
The passing game, which really struggled in last week’s open practice, was crisper Wednesday. Operating the starting offense with Jackson opting to stay away from the team facility, Tyler Huntley was able to connect on a few more plays downfield. The offensive highlight was Huntley teaming up with Bateman for a 45-yard touchdown pass. Bateman got behind Kevon Seymour and Williams and Huntley made a strong throw.
Rookie tight end Isaiah Likely also took a step forward this week. The former Coastal Carolina standout was very involved in the passing game, making several plays. On one, he caught an out on Jefferson, who got on an official because he believed that Likely got away with a push-off on the reception.
After drops were an issue in last Wednesday’s practice, Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche II and Tylan Wallace held onto the ball better this time around. Bateman also made an impressive catch going to the turf on a quick slant. He did have one wide-open drop on a short crosser and heard about it from Marcus Peters, who was in a T-shirt on the sideline.
Tight end Nick Boyle was back on the field after not practicing last Wednesday and he is moving significantly better than he was at any point last year. Boyle had a tough time returning from his major knee injury, but he put in a lot of work this offseason and it shows. A newborn baby didn’t stop Boyle from getting his work in.
Second-year outside linebacker Daelin Hayes is off to a strong start. He had a couple would-be sacks with explosiveness and nice bend around the edge. Hayes also sniffed out and broke up a pass intended to be a wide receiver screen. Coming off a rookie season in which he hardly played and considering the lack of depth right now at outside linebacker, Hayes is making a statement that he could be a key role player.
Roman wasn’t about to broadcast the specifics, of course, but he noted that Jackson will see some differences from previous seasons. With the Ravens beefing up their offensive line and tight end groups this offseason, many are anticipating a renewed commitment to a run-first, tight end-centric offense more closely resembling the record-setting 2019 unit.
“I definitely think we kind of went back and changed some things and added some things,” Roman said. “There are definitely some things that are new that we haven’t done. There are also a bunch of things that he’s pretty well adjusted to — probably 80% stuff he knows, 20% stuff that we look forward to working on.”
“We’re not game-planning right now, we’re working on really installing things,” Roman said. “We may never run some of these plays, but [with] the concepts and the principles, we’re seeing really good progress from all those guys in terms of route-running and whatnot — the things you can get done this time of year.”
Marcus Williams Is a Playmaker Excited About His New Playground - Clifton Brown
“I was making an appearance for kids at my old high school,” Williams said. “I get the call from my agent, ‘Baltimore’s coming on strong.’ I’m like, ‘Baltimore?” He’s like, ‘Yeah, this could happen quickly. If they give you this, this, and this, will you take it?’ I’m like, ‘I’m taking it.’ Baltimore is known for defense and they have a good offense. I’ll go there, because I have a chance to win big.’
“When the ball’s in the air, I think it’s mine every time. Sometimes I may hit my own teammate but that’s the cost of doing business. I may take the interception from them, but as long as the other team doesn’t get it, I’m happy about it.”
“He’s got some of the best range I’ve ever seen,” Scalley said. “He can mistime a ball, but just hang there until the ball gets to him. Unbelievable ball skills. We were coming off a year when I think we had three interceptions the entire season. I said, this is bull. We’re not ever recruiting another defensive back who doesn’t have ball skills. His film spoke to me.”
Williams wants to help the Ravens win a Super Bowl, but when asked about individual goals, he became serious. The Ravens invested plenty in him, and he’s determined to deliver. He doesn’t compare himself to Reed, or Weddle, or any safety who has ever patrolled the secondary in Baltimore. He’s his own man on his own mission. And he’s determined to make it memorable.
2022 NFL interior defender rankings and tiers - Ben Linsey
TIER 4: NEARING END OF CAREER, BUT STILL IMPACTFUL
Campbell may be nearing 36 years old, but there’s no downswing in sight. Over the past two seasons in Baltimore, he has graded out in the 85th percentile of all players in PFF pass-rushing grade and the 97th percentile in PFF run-defense grade on a per-snap basis. He’s been one of the more consistent run defenders in the NFL over the past few years, regardless of position.