Friday, September 30, 2022

Twelve Ravens thoughts following Day 12 of open training camp practice

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Ravens and Orioles beat reporter for WNST BaltimorePositive.com and is a PFWA member. His mind is consumed with useless sports knowledge, pro wrestler promos, and movie quotes, but he struggles to remember where he put his phone. Luke's favorite sports memories include being one of the thousands of kids who waited to get Cal Ripken's autograph after Orioles games in the summer of 1995, attending the Super Bowl XXXV victory parade with his father in the pouring rain, and watching the Terps advance to the Final Four at the Carrier Dome in 2002. Follow him on Twitter @BaltimoreLuke or email him at Luke@wnst.net.

With the Ravens holding their 12th open practice of training camp on Tuesday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The persistent heat appeared to take its toll, especially on the offensive side of the ball as Lamar Jackson and the other quarterbacks may not have completed even 50% of their passes. That’s unusual for a non-padded practice that was often conducted at less than full speed, but it happens.

2. This is also a great time to remember how much context is missing from these practices, which is why I try to avoid going too deep into the weeds of play-by-play and statistics. Coaches and players have different objectives on a daily basis than what we’ll see on fall Sundays.

3. The play of the day was a pretty fade pass from Jackson to Rashod Bateman for a touchdown during an 11-on-11 red-zone period. Jackson showed perfect touch putting the ball right over the head of veteran cornerback Kyle Fuller in coverage.

4. J.K. Dobbins again took part in some positional group drills and did individual work on a side field before going inside 70 minutes into practice. The early eyeball test says he has much work to do to be ready for Week 1, but he still has just over a month to do it.

5. While Marlon Humphrey returned to the field after missing the last couple practices, James Proche was absent. He’s had plenty of reps through the first two weeks of camp, but you wouldn’t expect him to receive a vet day, making his status something to watch going into Thursday’s preseason opener.

6. With key veterans not expected to play and fellow fourth-round pick Jalyn Armour-Davis banged up, Damarion Williams figures to see extensive playing time against Tennessee and had one of his best performances of the summer with multiple pass breakups. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound defensive back has practiced all over the secondary.

7. I didn’t make much of Greg Roman saying Ben Powers was in the lead at left guard to open camp, but there hasn’t been nearly as much rotating as anticipated, especially since the opening week. These preseason games are critical for Tyre Phillips and Ben Cleveland to gain ground.

8. Tony Jefferson acknowledged it’s “pretty humbling” going from a prize free agent in his first stint with Baltimore to joining the practice squad last year, but he put in the work rehabbing his knee and remains firmly in the roster discussion. You won’t find an easier guy to root for.

9. Given the numbers at outside linebacker with the Ravens losing Vince Biegel to an Achilles injury and still waiting on the rehabbing Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo, Steven Means, 31, has seen his roster chances improve. You’d still anticipate another veteran addition at some point though, right?

10. It’s been interesting to see how little 11-on-11 work Mark Andrews has received in recent practices. He wouldn’t be on the field if he were dealing with an injury of consequence, so you wonder if it’s merely an effort to lighten his workload and have Jackson build chemistry with others.

11. Before exiting with an apparent injury, Slade Bolden ran an excellent out-breaking route to catch a touchdown from Jackson during a 7-on-7 red-zone period. Whether the undersized Alabama product is gifted enough to crack the roster or not, I’d expect him to be productive in preseason games if healthy.

12. I groan about preseason games as much as anyone, but rookies and aging role players feel the urgency. “You can’t just assume if things don’t work out here, you’re going to get picked up somewhere else,” Jefferson said. “You just want to put out the best tape you can.”

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