A sweltering practice has ended in Owings Mills, Maryland, as temperatures climbed into triple digits.
Isaiah Likely Continues to Dominate
At the 10-yard line, the Ravens lined up for red zone drills and rookie tight end Isaiah Likely shined. Lamar Jackson found him in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown. The next play: rinse, repeat. Likely ran the same route, made the grab and both referees on the sideline lifted their arms, signaling touchdown. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was impressed.
“Isaiah looked really good in his red zone drills, I agree with you 100-percent,” Harbaugh said. “He had two back-to-back touchdown catches there against tight man coverage and he was gassed. I mean, he was fighting through the heat, he was really winded and he still came up and made the play. That was impressive.”
I can’t help but think the Pittsburgh Steelers leap-frogging the Ravens in the fourth round to take wide receiver Calvin Austin might be a blessing for Baltimore. I keep saying it’s early and not to buy into the hype too much, but I think myself and every other reporter have written about him enough to recognize the true potential that is Likely.
James Proche’s Big Day
Along with Likely, wide receiver James Proche had a pair of touchdowns. The first was a 60-yard completion where Proche turned on the jets and was wide open behind the defense.
Lamar Jackson’s to WR James Proche pic.twitter.com/wHOvnGKSP7— Kyle Phoenix Barber (@KylePBarber) August 4, 2022
The second touchdown came during 11-on-11 in the redzone. Jackson rolled out and threw a dart to Proche, who secured the catch and got both feet in-bounds before tumbling out of bounds. Upon standing up, he high-fived the touchdown-signaling referee and celebrated with wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
David Vereen Competing For a Role
It wasn’t all touchdowns for the Ravens offense today, as cornerback David Vereen showed some flashes. Quarterback Tyler Huntley targeted wide receiver Shemar Bridges during the redzone drills and Vereen broke up the attempt. The next play, quarterback Anthony Brown targeted wide receiver Makai Polk, but the Vereen cut the route and nearly had an interception before Polk forced the ball incomplete. The Ravens are looking for depth at cornerback this season after last years’ misery, and Vereen made enough plays today to keep an eye on.
Rookie safety Kyle Hamilton was back on the field after exiting practice yesterday.
Today, the Ravens suffered multiple injuries, with linebacker Vince Biegel’s being a season-ending torn Achilles, per Harbaugh. Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum exited practice an hour in, with a left foot injury, though Harbaugh said, “he’s going to be fine.”
Conditioning Test Pays Off
Today’s practice was hot enough to give the players a halftime break where they exited the field or hung in the cooling tent for 10 minutes. Players were hot and gassed, as Harbaugh mentioned, but he also said this is why their conditioning test is so important.
“To me, it’s exactly the point, Kyle,” Harbaugh said. “You know the fact that we know that the guys have a baseline level of conditioning, to put them out here on a day like that, we feel secure in doing that.”