Archive for the ‘Training Camp’ Category

Preseason Game 1: Ravens @ Eagles – What to Watch For

August 10, 2011


Smell that?

That’s right, it’s football. Another season ended in heartbreak for our Ravens in 2010, as the team choked away a 21-7 halftime lead at Heinz Field on their way to losing to the Steelers 31-24 in the divisional round of the AFC Playoffs at Heinz Field (fortunately, the season also ended in heartbreak for those shithead Yinzers as well.)

Well, after seven long months, we finally get to watch the purple and black take the field again. While it’s just “practice” for this and the next three weeks, with the Orioles again pushing the limits of suck, we’re more than thrilled to have the other team in town back in action.

This will be the debut of the “new look” Ravens. You all know the names by now – no Todd Heap…no Derrick Mason…no Willis McGahee…and no Kelly “Buddy Lee” Gregg. Instead, Ravens fans will have to get used to watching guys like Ed Dickson, Dennis Pitta, Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss, Ricky Williams, and others fight the good fight against the evil forces of the AFC North.

This first game of the 2011 preseason finds B’More traveling just a short distance up Interstate 95 to take on the NFL’s newest “dream team,” the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles were far and away the “offseason winners,” adding such big-name free agents as Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Vince Young, and others, as well as trading for the likes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. With game 1 of the preseason typically being the second-most useless of the four “scrimmage” games (only number 4 has historically been more lackluster), we aren’t likely to see many of those big names for any significant amount of time, which is actually probably not a bad thing. The Ravens’ mostly unproven group of wideouts running around trying to get open against Asomugha, DRC, and Asante Samuel? Not fun. And likely not exactly what the doctor ordered for a very jittery at the moment Ravens nation.

Still, there is plenty of reason to pay close attention on Thursday night. So what should Ravens fans be on the lookout for?

I thought you’d never ask….

Offensive Line

One of the Ravens’ biggest weaknesses in 2010 was their offensive line play. Their yards-per-attempt when rushing the ball was down near the bottom of the NFL, and Joe Flacco was sacked 40 times, the most in his three-year career. Moving newly resigned Marshal Yanda back to guard from tackle gives the team an instant upgrade, as does adding free agent fullback Vonta Leach. Still, questions remain.

  • Will Michael Oher rebound from his disappointing 2010 campaign and start to become the elite left tackle the Ravens thought they were getting when they chose him in the first round of the 2009 draft? Oher will, first and foremost, need to learn to stop jumping the snap count and killing his team five false start penalty yards at a time.


  • How much tread is left on Matt Birk’s tires? The center will miss this game and most – if not all – of the preseason after having an operation on his injured knee. The Ravens’ lost their go-to backup center when Chris Chester took off for Washington a few weeks back, and they have yet to find an adequate replacement. Filling in Thursday will be rookie Ryan Bartholomew. An undrafted rookie center going up against the AFC North’s nose guards? No thank you.

  • Who will play right tackle? Third round draft pick Jah Reid has been taking most of the snaps with the first team offense in training camp, but Oneil Cousins and Ramon Harewood will also be in the mix. Reid looks like an absolute monster on the field. Let’s hope that translates to being a serviceable right tackle in his rookie season. Look for the coaching staff to try to get Reid as many snaps as possible this preseason, so they can judge whether or not he is at all ready to stare across the line at LaMarr Woodley on September 11. Reid will probably play the majority of the first half, with Cousins taking over thereafter. John Harbaugh, it should be noted, has stated that Cousins “has the edge” currently.

Wide Receiver/Passing Game

With Joe Flacco scheduled to play a full quarter, we should get at least a few chances to see what, if any, kind of rapport he has been able to develop with his new receiving corps over the past few weeks. At the moment, rookie Torrey Smith seems to have a tenuous hold on the #2 WR position lining up opposite Anquan Boldin, but fellow rookie Tandon Doss has been all the rave of late. Doss is more of an underneath/intermediate receiver along the lines of Boldin or the departed Derrick Mason. With Mason absent from the offense this season, Flacco will have to learn to look for somebody else for his “sure thing” routes. When the Ravens went to Boldin in 2010, he delivered. Unfortunately, he seemed like the forgotten man in the offense much too often. That won’t be the case in 2011 – either from his own team or from opposing defenses. While Boldin will undoubtedly be a focal point of every offensive game plan, the increased attention on him as the only established pass catcher on the team will put all the pressure on the young guys to step up.

It will be very interesting to watch this preseason as Smith, Doss, tight ends Ed Dickson (will not play Thursday) and Dennis Pitta, and receivers further down the depth chart like LaQuan Williams attempt to prove that they can be productive NFL players.

Will the young guys be able to get separation from the Eagles’ very impressive cornerback trio? Will they be able to get off the line against press coverage?

How will Flacco react when his favorite two security blankets from years past – Mason and Todd Heap – are no longer out there for him to throw to? Will we see even MORE check downs to Ray Rice, or will he use that shoulder-cannon that he was blessed with to start putting the ball into his receivers’ chests, even when they appear to be “covered?”

Backup QB

The Ravens appear – at least for the moment – to be serious about this whole “Tyrod Taylor can be our backup” thing.


Ok, Tyrod, let’s see what you can do. The rookie sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech is scheduled to play around 2.5 quarters in Philly, so he should get PLENTY of time to showcase his talents. Granted, it will be against fellow second- and third-stringers, but Taylor will nonetheless have a golden opportunity to start locking down his position as Joe Flacco’s emergency stand-in/clipboard holder.

Personally, my comfort level of having a rookie sixth-rounder as my team’s insurance policy is a solid -14 on a scale of 1-10.

Don’t turn the game off once the starters go out, Ravens fans. While Flacco is one of only four quarterbacks – along with Phillip Rivers and the Manning brothers – to play in every one of his team’s games since 2008, this is the NFL…and injuries are only a matter of time. Should Flacco go down for a series, a quarter, or – perish the thought – a game or more in 2011, Tyrod Taylor could very well be the one leading the team. Starting Thursday, get a good look at him.

Sergio Kindle

Perhaps the guy I am most excited to watch on Thursday is linebacker Sergio Kindle. The Ravens first overall draft pick (second round) in 2010 missed his entire rookie season after falling down a flight of stairs and fracturing his skull. For a while, it was uncertain whether we would EVER see Kindle wear the purple and black, or any NFL colors for that matter. However, the former Texas Longhorn has apparently healed to his doctors’ satisfaction, and has been participating unhampered in training camp workouts. Now, for the first time in his life, Kindle will step foot on an NFL field, and for the first time nearly two calendar years, he will take the field in a competitive environment.

By all accounts, the second-year pass rush specialist has been a man-child in Owings Mills, impressing his coaches, teammates, and media members alike. Should Kindle start to fulfill some of the promise he showed coming out of Texas, the Ravens’ woes as far as finding a compliment to Terrell Suggs on the other side could very well be a thing of the past. Kindle will not be limited in this first preseason game, and new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano says he wants to “get him out there, get him on the edge, and let him go.”

We can’t wait to see that either.

Billy Cundiff

While it isn’t nearly as exciting as anything listed above, I’m actually eager to see what Billy Cundiff looks like this year. He tied the modern record for touchbacks last season, and was a HUGE weapon for the Ravens on special teams. This year, however, the rules have changed on him – instead of kicking off from the 30-yard line, kickoffs will now be spotted at the 35.

So, will Cundiff have no problem putting nearly every single one of his kickoffs into the end zone? Or, will former special teams coach John Harbaugh have other plans in mind, such as Cundiff using that strong leg of his to get more hang time on his kickoffs as opposed to distance, so the coverage team can get downfield and tackle the returner at the 10 or 15 yard line?

In the preseason, as the Ravens try to evaluate their roster and find guys who can contribute on special teams, it’s also possible that Harbaugh will have Cundiff purposefully put his kickoffs short, just so the young players have a chance to cover the kicks in game situations.

I’m interested to watch a kicker. Sue me.

Ok, that’s about enough to keep an eye on for me.

How about you, Ravens fans? What are you most interested to see on Thursday night? Anything I missed?

Ravens to Hold Free Practice at M&T Bank Stadium

July 27, 2011

As they did last year, the Ravens are holding a free open practice session in downtown Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium.

The practice will take place on Saturday, August 6 at 10 AM. Gates open at 9 AM.

Last year, it was a way to give those fans who – for whatever reason – are unable to get up to Westminster to watch training camp a chance to see the team in a similar atmosphere free of charge. It was a nice gesture, and the first time they had done so.

This year, it doesn’t matter if you live in West Bawlmer’ or Westminster – you weren’t going to get to watch any practices, thanks to the NFL lockout which forced the team’s training camp from the public venue of McDaniel College to the very private venue of the Castle in Owings Mills.

Because of the lack of chances to see the team free of charge during the summer this year compared to seasons past, I expect a much larger crowd at M&T Bank this time around. To be completely honest, last year’s practice was a bit dull to watch. Regardless, it’s a great chance to get out and satisfy our tailgate jones that has laid dormant for the past eight plus months, so we’ll be there.

How about you? Will you be attending the free practice?


Is Ravens' Kicking "Competition" a Farce?

August 18, 2010


As the Baltimore Ravens continue their ongoing quest to replace the legendary-around-these-parts Matt Stover at placekicker, an interesting dynamic has evolved in this year’s fight for the position. Eleventh-year veteran Shayne Graham was signed this spring, and was expected to win the position from seventh-year player Billy Cundiff, who kicked for the Ravens for the final 7 games of the 2009 campaign. Graham enters 2010 as the 4th most accurate kicker in NFL history at 85.2% (since I know you’ll ask, Stover currently sits at 83.7%). He has a reputation for failing in the clutch though, and never was this more evident than during the 2009 playoffs, when he missed two FGs during a 24-14 loss to the New York Jets.

Cundiff was a mediocre 12-for-17 for the Ravens in 2009, including misses from 37 and 51 in the season finale against Oakland, a game the team needed to win to make the postseason, and a miss from 30 in week 11 against the Colts, a game the Ravens lost 17-15.


So, again, Graham seemed to be the obvious of the two less-than-stellar choices for the Ravens going into the 2010 season.

/Channels Lee Corso/


Not so fast, my friend.

I haven’t been up to Westminster for training camp this year. Like many of you I’m sure, however, I listen to plenty of local sports talk radio to keep up with the goings on from McDaniel College. Some interesting reports have been emerging lately, regarding the Cundiff vs. Graham “saga.”

Fox 1370’s Rob Long stated last week, prior to the Carolina game, that Billy Cundiff had far outshone Shayne Graham in camp to that point. He went so far as to say that, should Graham miss a field goal in the first preseason game, then Cundiff would have effectively “lapped” him in the kicking competition.

Graham, of course, DID miss on Thursday night, wide right from 50 yards. Cundiff kicked only extra points.

Both kickers were impressive on kickoffs, notching touchbacks.

If Long is correct then, and Thursday only served to widen the gap between the two kickers, then statements made earlier this week by Glenn Clark of WNST are more than a little confusing.

Billy Cundiff is MUCH closer in the kicking competition than he might appear; but the team has made it clear that Shayne Graham will be their guy.

I think with Katula gone it will be interesting to see how the competition goes. It’s all on Graham to make kicks moving forward as the team has decided that Katula was part of the problem. Multiple folks in the organization have privately handed Graham the job, but they’re maintaining publicly that they’re still competing.

Privately, the job is Graham’s. Publicly, there’s a competition. With Katula now gone, there will be no excuses if Graham misses more kicks. But the organization has been privately working under the assumption that Graham will be the kicker.

Interesting, and more than a tad confusing. It sounds as though, from Glenn’s perspective, that there really is no kicking “competition,” per se, as the Ravens have already privately handed Graham the job.

I’d be disappointed if the truth really is that this “competition” was decided before training camp even started, and that Cundiff was kept around only to keep the pressure on Graham. In the end though, it could be a moot point. If Graham finishes out the preseason perfect on his kicks, then I have no problem with the team taking him to Meadowlands Stadium on September 13. Hopefully this is the case.

If Graham continues to miss kicks, while Cundiff at least matches him in practices and preseason games, and yet Graham STILL suits up in purple to start the 2010, Ravens fans could be left not only scratching their heads, but once again pining for the return of #3.

Ugh. Once again, way too much “ink” being used in Baltimore with regards to freakin’ kickers.

Preseason Game 1: Panthers @ Ravens

August 11, 2010

Ravens Cats

For the second consecutive year, we Ravens fans enter the preseason eager to wipe the bitter taste of a postseason loss to a hated rival out of our mouths. Last year, it was the 2008 AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh we were looking to push out of our memories. This year, the 2009 AFC Divisional game in Indianapolis is, unfortunately, our most recent football memory. Thus, it is with wide open arms we welcome in the 2010 NFL season, even if it is just in preseason mode at the moment.

So, besides the elation that comes with watching our purple and black take the field for the first time in nearly seven months, what should we be watching for on Thursday night? Here’s my far-from-exhaustive list:

Wide Receiver

Is there really any question that watching #81 catch passes at M&T Bank Stadium is what has most Ravens fans salivating most at the moment? Anquan Boldin gives the Ravens’ passing attack the kind of legitimacy it hasn’t had since Vinny Testaverde was heaving pigskins to Michael Jackson and Derrick Alexander in the team’s infancy.

Boldin has already been putting on a show at training camp, so expectations certainly haven’t fallen since his arrival in B’More. The naysayers will point out that Boldin’s strong camp has “only been against the Ravens’ weak secondary.” Boldin has had little trouble regardless of his opponents throughout his career, but Thursday will be his first chance to show us Ravens fans what he can do as a member of our squad.

Is he in sync with Joe Flacco yet?

Does his presence open up space for Derrick Mason and Todd Heap?

These questions obviously won’t be answered this week, as Boldin and the rest of the starters are likely to play no more than a quarter, but it’s something to watch as the march to the regular season continues.

Boldin, of course, isn’t the only wide receiver on the roster. Along with old faithful (emphasis on old) Derrick Mason, the Ravens will trot out Mark Clayton and Dante Stallworth, who are fighting for the #3 spot. By all accounts, Stallworth is putting on a show at camp, but Clayton is also thriving from the slot position, which is the more natural for a player of his particular skill set. While they are both likely to make the roster, the competition has them both trying to push their games to the next level, which only benefits the team as a whole.


For the second straight year, the Ravens kicking game is in flux as the preseason opens. However, the two men in the competition this year are much more established NFL performers than their 2009 counterparts were. Nobody is confusing Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham with Graham Gano and Steven Haushka. Graham is expected to win the job by most, but Cundiff is conceding nothing.

Originally, the coaching staff had said that each kicker would get a half in the preseason games, but that has changed. John Harbaugh now plans to rotate the two on each field goal attempt, to try to ensure them equal opportunities as the final decision approaches.

Remember to keep an eye on their kickoffs as well – not just how far they fly, but on how the opponents return games fair against each. The hang-time and directional placement of kickoffs has a lot more to do with kick coverage success than many fans realize.

Offensive Line

The Jared Gaither saga has made the O-line into a drama that was not supposed to be.  I’ll be very interested to see who the team starts at right tackle opposite Michael Oher.  The staff knows that, if needed, Marshal Yanda can more than adequately fill that role, with Chris Chester moving inside to Yanda’s guard spot.  However, I think they may want to give third-year man Oniel Cousins the chance to win the job in Gaither’s absence.  Cousins’ mistakes in the second Pittsburgh game last year were detrimental to the team, but reports have been positive on the 315-pounder so far this summer.

None of us really have any idea how the Gaither thing will wind up playing out.  Luckily, the team has a ton of quality depth at both the guard and tackle positions.  It’s definitely worth watching to see how this group plays in the preseason, both in opening up lanes for Ray Rice and in keeping Joe Flacco on his feet.

Inside Linebacker

In another mirror image of 2009, the battle for the right to line up next to Ray Lewis on Sundays is one to watch. Last year, rookie Dannell Ellerbe came out of nowhere to win the starting job by the end of the season. He was expected to start again in 2010, but it has actually been Jameel McClain getting the majority of the snaps with the first team in Westminster. McClain, in his 3rd season out of Syracuse, had 2.5 sacks as a rookie in 2008, but didn’t do much in 2009. He had a great offseason though, and now finds himself with the edge over Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden. Practice is one thing though – McClain will have to show that he can perform in game situations to keep his name atop the list.

McClain may also have an edge, as he is considered the best of the three at getting to the quarterback. Which brings us to our next item…

Pass Defense

I say “pass defense” here and not just “secondary” for a reason (and I thank Rob Long of Fox1370 for driving home this point today). Ravens fans are extremely worried about the team’s secondary, with Domonique Foxworth out for the season already, Lardarius Webb and Fabian Washington both coming off ACL injuries of their own in 2009, and the continually up-in-the-air status of Ed Reed. The team’s starting corners on Thursday are likely to be Cary Williams and Travis Fisher – not two names that exactly inspire confidence.

However, the success (or lack thereof) of the Ravens’ secondary this year will hinge heavily on the other aspect of pass defense, the pass rush.

Quick, name the four starting cornerbacks on last year’s two Super Bowl teams, the Colts and Saints.

Some of you may have done it, but I’m guessing many of you couldn’t. And even if you could, there are no “big name” CBs like Champ Bailey, Darrelle Revis, or Nnamdi Asomugha on those rosters. What the Colts and Saints have in spades that helps their respective secondaries is a consistently strong pass rush, especially from their front four.

The Ravens’ pass rush will be the key in 2010. If they hang those backup-quality DBs out to dry for 5-6 seconds at a time, we are in trouble. As we are if it takes 6- and 7-man blitzes to get pressure.

Haloti Ngata says he has been focusing on getting to the passer this offseason. He will need to greatly improve that part of his game to take the next step as an elite DL in the NFL.

Newly acquired DT Cory Redding posted back-to-back 10-sack seasons in 2006 and 2007, while playing in the football wasteland of Detroit. If having a Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs lining up around him can rekindle performances like that, the Ravens may be in decent shape.

Speaking of Suggs, keep an eye on #55 as well. All reports out of training camp indicate that you’ll like what you see from the lean-and-mean Sizzle. He won’t suddenly be asked to put his hand in the dirt and rush the QB every play like he was at the start of his career, but when he does rush, take note of whether or not the Panthers try to double-team him, and how he does against any one-on-one blocking he faces.

Again, this list is far from exhaustive, but hey, it’s only the preseason. Most of you will check out after the first quarter or so, along with the starters. If you stick around though, the Ravens’ depth will be on full display. Guys like Demetrius Williams and Marcus Smith at the WR position, who haven’t had to fight for roster spots in the past, will be doing just that to try to keep their jobs. Players who would likely be starting on other teams, like a Brandon McKinney or Marc Bulger, will have the chance to beat up on the Panthers’ reserves.

I don’t bother predicting scores of preseason games (not that I could do much worse than I do for regular season and playoff games though), but I do expect the Ravens to win on Thursday. They are an extremely deep team, as Tony Lombardi tells us, everywhere except cornerback.

Ravens trade Beck to Redskins

August 2, 2010

Ever since the addition of veteran QB Marc Bulger in late June, the Baltimore Ravens have had one too many quarterbacks on their hands, thus creating an open QB competition- for 3rd string.

Today the Ravens traded John Beck down the street to the Washington Redskins. The move not only assures “Mr. Popular” Troy Smith the backup backup quarterback position but it also gives the Ravens some more depth at the cornerback position.

In return for Beck, the Ravens picked up Doug Dutch, a practice squad player for the last seven games of the season for the Redskins. After going un-drafted in 2009 out of Michigan, Dutch tried out for the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives and was CUT!

Speaking of being cut, to make room for Beck, the Redskins released NCAA stat machine Colt Brennan, leaving Beck and Sexy Rexy Grossman to battle for the backup QB job behind Donovan McNabb.

Frankly, this move doesn’t really matter because Beck wasn’t going to get any playing time this season and the Ravens added some depth in the CB department with someone who will also not get any playing time this season.

On a positive note, at least they didn’t sign Frank Walker!

Ravens Lose Foxworth for Season

July 30, 2010

The Ravens’ week of terrible news wasn’t finished yet, it seems. This morning, on the first official day of training camp, ominous news started to trickle out of Westminster via several sources on Twitter….



Gulp. On the day that Fabian Washington is taken off the PUP list, and Lardarius Webb’s status still very much up-in-the-air, there’s no way we’re going to lose ANOTHER corner. Right?


Oh no.

And then, our worst fears were confirmed.


Just like that, the Ravens’ already weak secondary gets that much weaker. This is terrible, terrible news for the team. More to come as I have a chance to digest it, but for now my Ravens-induced drinking binges are getting off to a much earlier start than anticipated this season…

Ravens to Hold Free Practice at M&T Bank Stadium

July 16, 2010

The Ravens announced today that they will hold a free practice at M&T Bank Stadium on August 7, starting at noon. For those of you who can’t make it out to McDaniel college, this is a great chance to get a bit of the training camp experience.

Hell, maybe you can even have your own “training camp tailgate,” getting those grills and livers ready for the upcoming season, as parking lots are slated to open at 9 AM (parking is 5$).

Obviously you won’t be able to get as close as you can at McDaniel (click here for photos and video from our visit last year). On the other hand, there will be plenty of seating, and in real chairs even, not those bleachers they set up at the college.

Click here for more details.

See you there.

Terrell Suggs Could Learn From Brian Roberts' Offseason

February 26, 2010

Roberts Suggs

A lot of talk coming from Sarasota this week is about the health of some of the Orioles brightest stars, including Brian Roberts and Brad Bergesen. It appears that Brian Roberts is learning from another Charm City Superstar, T-Sizzle, about how awesome it is to sit out early-season practices. Like Terrell Suggs, Brian Roberts’ only real use for Spring Training/Training Camp is to knock a little rust off the wheels – both players have no doubt that they will be on the roster come the first game of the season.

Luckily for Roberts, he gets a free vacation out of the deal, while Suggs has to sit in 150 degree weather in Westminster, counting down the days until training camp ends or he dies from heat stroke – whichever comes first.  There are notes Terrell should take from Brian Roberts to improve his life in many ways – both personally and professionally.

During this 2009 season, Mr. Suggs had a very costly run in with his Baby Momma, resulting in a final price tag of $35,000 per month in Child Support. It remains to be seen whether Sizzle’s lady friend was deserving of a little bleach bath over a fight about tickets to a Steelers/Ravens game (hopefully Sizzle reacted when she tried to give Hines Ward’s Side-Piece or some Harrah’s hotel waitress tickets to the game), but the bottom line is that he could have faced suspension and a fine from the league had the charges not been dropped.


Brian Roberts, on the other hand, is married to this hot trophy wife whom I’d happily pay $35,000 per month to hang out with:

All Mr. Roberts had to do this offseason was hang out with Mrs. Roberts. I’m sure they got pretty bored since her job is to look hot and he just has to go to the batting cages once in a while. I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of boning went on in the offseason and it just might happen that Brian threw out his back- Wouldn’t you!?!?!?!?!? The Orioles Obama of Baseball Operations, Andy McPhail has been quoted saying :

“As long as the symptoms keep improving, which they have with Brian, there really isn’t anything for us to be alarmed about. We have a lot of time. We have six weeks. The position players aren’t the same as pitchers in terms of getting ready, so there really isn’t any concern amongst our group.”

To me, this quote means, “if we keep Mrs. Brian Roberts away from camp at Sarasota, his back will heal properly.” I don’t know about you but six weeks seems like a lot of punishment for doing a good job in the boom boom room. B-Rob’s back may heal but what will happen with him mentally? He may go crazy enough that he’ll give the Mrs. a nice bleach bath if she rejects him for the “headache” excuse.

All we can do here in Bird Land is hope that B-Rob can enjoy some sunflower seeds and Gatorade  from the bench and just let his back heal naturally; a.k.a. no boning! Hopefully he is a nice feller to his lady (unlike Sizzle) and treats her with respect. It may lead to more back injuries but at least Mrs. Roberts will be a good egg to her husband and Brian won’t run the risk of suspension, fines and jail time. So if you’re reading Sizzle (which would be pretty freaking awesome) take a few notes from Brian Roberts on how to treat a lady nice and just reap the rewards my friend.

Ravens Training Camp, Sunday 8/9/09

August 10, 2009

Goob and I made it out to training camp yesterday.  For me, it was the first time since 2005.  Aside from the annoyance of the Ravens holding the majority of the practice on the far field, as opposed to the one right in front of all the nice tents they have set up (seriously, wtf?), it was a good time.  Here are a couple pics and vids of the goings-on that we witnessed:

 DE Paul Kruger and LB William Van De Steeg, holding down the “white dudes with afros” portion of the practice.  Seriously, these two could definitely trade jerseys and I doubt anybody would be able to tell.

 The DBs coming over for a drill.


Mr. REEEEEEEEEED.  Note the lack of Red (no contact) jersey.  A good sign, although I hear he has it back on today.

 Speaking of Mr. Reed – we saw one defensive touchdown during 11-on-11 drills, and to the surprise of exactly nobody, it was Fast Eddie doing the honors.  A botched snap between Matt Birk and Joe Flacco ended up on the ground, and #20 scooped and scored.  You can see Flacco giving chase in the photo.  He actually almost caught Ed, who was in about 1.5th gear at that point, but much like a dog chasing a car, I’m not sure that Joe had any idea what he would have done had he caught up.  Can you just imagine that headline in today’s paper? “Flacco and Reed Injured as QB Tackles S.”  Guh.  I’m glad he didn’t catch up.


Here’s Steve Hauschka booting what was about a 45-50 yard FG.  His competition, Graham Gano, didn’t practice on Sunday, and spent all afternoon rolling some sort of bar over his right quad, as if trying to knead out a cramp.


On this one, Flacco completed a nice sideline pass to…somebody.  I couldn’t see.  Let’s go with Demetrius Williams.


Finally, we see Troy Smith commit a Red Zone turnover.  If you listen, you can hear me saying to Troy during the video, “stop staring over here.”  He was locked in on the spot WR Marcus Smith was running to, which happened to be directly in front of me, so I could see that he never even attempted to look the defense off.  Of course, they noticed too, and K.J. Gerard made the pick.

Some other notes:

  • The defense beat up on the offense for the most part, just as we’re used to seeing in Westminister.  The first-team offense struggled mightily.
  • Some of the walking wounded were back on the field, including L.J. Smith, Ben Grubbs, Michael Oher, and Oneil Cousins.
  • Still no sign of T-Sizzle.
  • Coach Harbaugh has a blast with special teams practice.  He had everybody under the sun, including kids and what looked like some United States Marines, running down with the kickoff coverage teams.

That’s likely the last training camp report you’ll get from me this year, but Luke Jones over at WNST does a great job every day from McDaniel College.


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