Ravens observations: Chuck Clark shows worth, every DB on field, Devin Duvernay goes long - Jeff Zrebiec
While all the attention has been on Williams and Hamilton, and to a lesser extent reserve safeties Geno Stone and Tony Jefferson, the 27-year-old Clark has had one of the better training camps of his six-year career.
That continued in Tuesday’s practice, with Clark registering at least three pass deflections while often being matched up against All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews. It was his latest business-like performance and came a day after Clark forced two incompletions against Andrews in a one-on-one period. Clark denying a potential completion has become a daily occurrence in camp.
For the second consecutive day, inside linebacker Patrick Queen made a really nice play in pass coverage. He snuffed out a screen pass to fullback Patrick Ricard, forcing Jackson to spike the ball to the ground.
One-on-one pass-rush drills are always fun to watch, and the big winners Tuesday were defensive lineman Justin Madubuike, who got the best of Kevin Zeitler on his first rep, then McKenzie on his second one, and Oweh, who had wins against Morgan Moses and Ben Cleveland. Patrick Mekari and Trystan Colon held their ground against Michael Pierce and Travis Jones, respectively, while center Jimmy Murray tied up Aaron Crawford. Cleveland won his other rep versus Isaiah Mack. Ben Powers kept Calais Campbell at bay. It was a struggle for tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith, who got out-maneuvered by Daelin Hayes and Steven Means.
Practice Report: Devin Duvernay Using Deep Ball As Weapon - Clifton Brown
The highlight of Duvernay’s strong day occurred late in practice, when he got behind the secondary for a 70-yard touchdown connection with Lamar Jackson. Duvernay is one of the team’s fastest players, who’s already a Pro Bowl returner. Now Duvernay is showcasing the potential to become a much bigger part of the offense, which is a role he covets.
The day after his first training camp practice, Marcus Peters participated in some drills then ran sprints on the sideline before ending his day early. After missing the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, Peters continues to ramp up with plenty of time still remaining before the Sept. 11 season opener.
Rookie tackle Daniel Faalele walked off the field and left practice early. Head Coach John Harbaugh was not available to the media, so there was no update on Faalele.
Jackson had one of his strongest throwing days, slinging darts to a variety of receivers. Despite being more muscular, Jackson still has wheels. On one scramble, Jackson made a quick 180-degree spin move to elude defensive tackle Isaiah Mack. Chasing Jackson remains a major task for defensive players.
Outside linebacker Justin Houston batted down a pass and had another consistent day of practice. His work ethic at age 33 with 102 career sacks remains impressive. He was one of the last players off the field.
ILB JOSH ROSS
The Ravens have a long history of keeping undrafted inside linebackers — including Bart Scott, Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe, Albert McClellan, Zach Orr, Patrick Onwuasor and, from the current team, Kristian Welch. Ross, Zakoby McClain and Diego Fagot are hoping to be the latest to join that group.
Fagot, who played at Navy, is the local, sentimental choice, and McClain recorded his second training camp interception on Aug. 14 with a nice catch off a deflected pass, but Ross appears to have the edge based on the defense and special teams reps in practice. Ross played 50 games at Michigan, so he has already had one season under current Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.
CB DAVID VEREEN
Vereen, from Division II Newberry College, might be squeezed out by the numbers game, but he has been around the ball a lot this summer and would figure to be a top practice squad candidate. At 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds, he’s on the small side, but he has shown good coverage skills, as he did with an end-zone breakup of a pass intended for Shemar Bridges on Aug. 15. Vereen, who recorded five interceptions and 35 passes defensed in his career at Newberry, had two tackles in 18 defensive snaps in the preseason opener.
The 6-foot-4, 207-pound rookie out of Division II Fort Valley State finished with four catches for 62 yards, including a leaping 38-yard catch and a 14-yard touchdown grab.
Finally, the Ravens had a receiver who could make acrobatic catches and not fall down when he caught a pass over the middle, or bolt for the sidelines.
But Thursday night was only a glimpse of Bridges’ potential. He is basically still a raw talent.
“He’s a good young prospect that’s really flashing,” said Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. “All of those young guys, they’re working every day on those different tools, and I think he is a very diligent worker. Everyone has room for improvement, but I’m really happy with where he is at and what he’s shown so far.
“But he’s right at the beginning of his journey, so there is a lot of work to be done yet, and a lot of experience to be had. But he’s doing a nice job.”
“It’s like all the young guys; he has got to come out here, and he’s just got to compete,” said special teams coach Chris Horton. “Shemar, he has done a good job, and we’ve got to just find ways to put him in the right position and just let him go play. But he’ll get a chance to showcase his skills [as a gunner]. He’s just got to keep working.”
Previewing all 32 NFL teams for 2022 season - Cody Benjamin
The RAVENS are not running from Lamar Jackson’s tendency to win with his legs; in fact, they’re poised to lean deeper into the run-heavy system built around the electric QB, trading top WR Marquise Brown, investing in the trenches and strengthening their defense for a ball-control attack. So long as Jackson and at least one of their ball-carriers stays upright, they should remain a force on the ground. And the “D,” with vets healthier and new faces like Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton adding range to the secondary, should be improved. Jackson’s trajectory as a passer, however, could (still) ultimately decide their fate.