The penultimate practice of training camp has concluded in Owings Mills, MD. Here are the latest storylines from camp.
Deep Ball to Duvernay
The highlight of today’s practice was Lamar Jackson launching a deep ball to wide receiver Devin Duvernay for a 70-yard touchdown. Duvernay got behind safety Marcus Williams and the ball dropped into Duvernay’s arms in-stride as he strolled in for six.
It’s a positive sign for the Ravens in how both Duvernay and James Proche has stepped up in one another’s absence. When Duvernay missed time due to a thigh bruise, Proche caught a 70-yard touchdown.
Now, Duvernay has returned the favor.
Shadowing Kyle Hamilton
The majority of my afternoon was spent watching rookie safety Kyle Hamilton. Many, including myself, are enamored with the No. 14 overall pick and how the Ravens want to utilize him.
Hamilton was actual during the individual drills. They ran a drill where the defensive back would trail a receiver by a step and toss the ball to where the defender would need to swat it away. Every defensive back would leap and swat it away, with it not being an overly challenging drill, but he was just as active, knocking the simulated pass down.
During team drills, Hamilton was frequently man-on-man with either rookie tight end Isaiah Likely or tight end Tony Poljan. During red zone drills on the 2-yard line, Hamilton stuck with Likely on an inside route where quarterback Tyler Huntley was blatantly looking to Likely for his first read. He cocked back to throw before realizing Hamilton was stride-for-stride with Likely and tucked it, feeling the oncoming pressure.
The next play, Hamilton lined up on the edge and sealed off the would-be rush to the right side against Poljan. Poljan’s job was to protect the rollout and possibly float into the a short curl route if left alone. With Hamilton defending and setting the edge, Likely became the intended target. Safety Geno Stone didn’t get across in time to stop Likely from scoring. Hamilton completed his task, and had he shifted over to defend Likely, Poljan would’ve been embarrassingly open.
During team drills at midfield, Hamilton was often disguised in his initial coverage. Just before the snap I counted multiple snaps he would rotate up as the deep safety with Tony Jefferson rotating down in run support. It would appear the Ravens trust him and there wasn’t a deep completion when he was the deep safety.
The toughest assignment for Hamilton on the day was defending tight end Mark Andrews. Hamilton initially defended Andrews well before backyard football broke out with Jackson scrambling halfway across the right side field. Andrews recognized it and started cutting back and forth in the end zone to get free. It was nearly five seconds of madness extended further by Jackson running back the other way to find Andrews. It was all chaos, as whistles blew, Jackson threw the ball and Andrews made a catch. Officials made it seem like the play was dead. Defensive linemen and edge rushers acted like they ‘sacked’ Jackson while Mark Andrews and nearby receivers put their arms up in celebration of a touchdown. All the while, Hamilton slumped his head down, frustrated with the result.
Bateman’s Up-and-Down Day
Early in practice wide receiver Rashod Bateman hauled in a 40-yard completion from Anthony Brown as he broke free from cornerback David Vereen and got behind Jefferson. Unfortunately, that’s where to positive plays ended.
Cornerback Brandon Stephens swatted away an attempt to Bateman from Huntley. There was a miscommunication between Jackson and Bateman on what appeared to be a timing route. Then, Bateman gained a step on cornerback Marlon Humphrey in the middle of the field, similar to yesterday’s route, but the result was the same as yesterday’s with Bateman unable to secure the ball.