A challenging practice for the Ravens’ offense with the defense competing well and some chemistry issues rearing up. However, the red zone drills were in their favor. Here are the latest storylines from training camp.
With the pads back on, the intensity for the defense rose and allowed for better competition. For the Ravens’ offense, it made for tougher defense. Early in 11s, Jackson looked wide receiver Rashod Bateman’s way on a deep crosser that beat rookie safety Kyle Hamilton. Jackson’s throw was on target, though a little tough to secure, but hit Bateman in the hands before falling incomplete.
Jackson had noticeable struggles throwing today, with multiple deep shots being thrown as he was finishing his drop and his body’s momentum being backward. It looked strange and uncharacteristic of Jackson’s usual throwing mechanics.
The best connection for Jackson on the day was a completion to Bateman on a short out route. Cornerback Kevon Seymour took a bad angle and would not have made the tackle, leaving Bateman to run free for the 55-yard touchdown.
Red Zone Offense Looked Sharp
Jackson and the offense made up ground in today’s competition in the red zone, where Jackson finished 5-for-7 passing with three touchdowns, and adding one more on the ground.
The first play from the red zone (with all at the five-yard line) was a completion to tight end Mark Andrews against cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Two plays later, Jackson trotted off the right side and made it to the pylon without issue.
Bateman scored on his second target when he slashed inside after faking the fade route against cornerback Robert Jackson. The first target was a fade against cornerback Brandon Stephens that fell incomplete. Bateman was upset with the officials for not calling a facemask, though Stephens argued he didn’t touch Bateman’s facemask.
Jackson also connected with wide receiver Binjimen Victor in a tight-window throw that was arguably his most accurate pass of the day.
Daniel Faalele’s Decision
During organized team activities and mandatory minicamp, rookie offensive tackle Daniel Faalele was noticeably struggling with the heat, humidity and his conditioning. Some were worried Faalele would fail the Ravens’ conditioning test, or miss a few practices to begin camp. But on Day 1, Faalele trotted onto the field with his fellow teammates and has not missed a practice. On Thursday, Faalele played the second-most snaps (63) of any Ravens offensive player against the Tennessee Titans, behind guard Tyre Phillips (67). According to Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, his improvement has to do with sticking with the team after minicamp’s conclusion.
“I really think [Faalele] took a step by staying here after our offseason program and working with our strength and conditioning staff and whatnot here,” Roman said. “[He] really showed some maturity there. I really think that allowed him to come into training camp in much better shape, and ready to compete. So, arrow up for him. [I’m] really excited about him.”
Faalele shared what went into the decision to stay at the team facilities following minicamp.
“It was just important to me to stay around the facility, and get acclimated to the weather, and stay in the program and just keep working with [head strength and conditioning] Coach [Steve] Saunders,” Faalele said. “I just wanted to make that commitment to myself and to my teammates that I’m all in, and I want to be at my best when training camp comes around.”