Twelve Ravens thoughts after first day of mandatory minicamp


With the Ravens holding the first of two open practices for this week’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The offense had a rocky performance with Lamar Jackson and the other quarterbacks putting too many passes up for grabs and pre-snap penalties being an issue. A few drops aside, the wide receivers performed well against a complete Baltimore secondary, which was promising to see.

2. The play of the day was a Jackson touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins in the corner of the end zone during a 7-on-7 red-zone drill. Never one to go through the motions, Marlon Humphrey was in coverage and expressed a little frustration, which spoke to how impressive the connection was.

3. Tavon Young and Otaro Alaka took part in individual drills for the first time since suffering their respective season-ending knee injuries last season. Noting that Young moved well, John Harbaugh said he “felt so happy for him and for us.” A healthy Young would be big for an already-deep secondary.

4. Of the veterans making their first appearance of the spring in Owings Mills, Derek Wolfe was the only unexpected non-participant after recently dealing with “a pneumonia situation” as Harbaugh described it. The 31-year-old won’t practice this week, but he was a sideline observer through the workout.  

5. Ronnie Stanley has been running and remains “on schedule,” but Harbaugh said the left tackle probably won’t practice at the start of training camp even if cleared. This revamped offensive line will only be better with Stanley playing like his old self, so there’s no need to rush him.

6. Anthony Averett and Khalil Dorsey impressed in the secondary with multiple pass breakups. Averett is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has flashed starter potential while the 5-foot-9 Dorsey remains someone to watch as a long-term option at the nickel, a position lacking depth in recent years.

7. Both entering a contract year, Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams are keeping the focus on the present. The 34-year-old Campbell was noncommittal about continuing his NFL career beyond 202, and Williams, 32, said “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” when asked about a possible third contract with Baltimore.

8. Having watched Breshad Perriman excel in his first spring, I’m reluctant to make much out of what we see from young receivers without the threat of contact. However, the way Rashod Bateman runs such smooth routes and attacks the football by snatching it from the air stands out from others.

9. After the organization recently announced its entire coaching staff was vaccinated, Harbaugh said “pretty well above 50%” of players are vaccinated while reiterating it’s an “individual decision.” With a COVID-19 outbreak all but costing them the second Pittsburgh game last year, the Ravens will hope that number continues to climb.

10. A number of tryout players were present with that list including quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, wide receiver Siaosi Mariner, defensive lineman Anthony Rush, and long snapper Brian Khoury, who was recently waived. That’s nothing out of the ordinary, but we’ll see if there’s any roster movement later this week.

11. A set of joint practices is in the works, but no plans are finalized. Given the timing of when these usually happen, the likely options are the New Orleans Saints coming to Owings Mills ahead of the preseason opener or the Ravens traveling south to practice with the Carolina Panthers.

12. Steve Bisciotti attended Tuesday’s workout, and it’s always fun seeing him interact with a rookie as first-round pick Odafe Oweh shook hands with the owner and general manager Eric DeCosta at one point. Oweh was 5 years old when Bisciotti became principal owner of the franchise in April of 2004.