With the Ravens practicing in full pads for likely the final time before the preseason opener against Philadelphia, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. Wednesday was the summer’s most physical practice with Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen leading the way with multiple big hits. Mike Macdonald’s defense seemed to be delivering a message, especially with many starters not playing in Saturday’s preseason opener. The edge with which they played was really fun to watch.
2. The starting units usually face each other, but this practice brought a change of pace with each starting group mostly going against combinations of second- and third-team players. For what it’s worth, the starting offense wasn’t exactly schooling the defensive backups to the degree you’d like.
3. The starters did face off to start 11-on-11 work with Lamar Jackson throwing a deep ball to Odell Beckham Jr. as Jalyn Armour-Davis was flagged for pass interference. However, the defense followed that hiccup with a goal-line stand, stuffing two run plays and forcing incompletions to Mark Andrews and Beckham.
4. Activated from the physically unable to perform list, Rashod Bateman moved well during individual drills with the receivers before shifting to a side field for agility work with fellow recent returnee Patrick Ricard. Baltimore would be smart to take it slow with Bateman to make sure that foot is right.
5. Reporters have a very limited glimpse into life in the locker room and what players are really like, but I was happy to see Broderick Washington sign a much-deserved extension. After an unflattering start to his career on and off the field, he’s done nothing but improve and mature.
6. It’s fair to wonder how Washington’s re-signing impacts the future of Justin Madubuike, who should command much more with his pass-rushing upside. Much will depend on how Madubuike plays this year, of course, but Baltimore isn’t going to be able to keep everyone with lucrative deals already on the books.
7. Though the offense could have used the physicality of Gus Edwards during Wednesday’s practice, the 238-pound running back left the field with a trainer less than 45 minutes into the session and didn’t return. It’s unclear why. Wide receiver Makai Polk also exited practice early.
8. John Harbaugh and outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith both appeared to be encouraging David Ojabo to be more physical playing in space at one point during Wednesday’s practice, and the second-year edge defender responded accordingly. I’m really looking forward to watching Ojabo in the preseason.
9. Jordan Stout said he didn’t punt with enough confidence as a rookie, admitting he would let a poor kick weigh on him and affect subsequent chances. The Ravens remain high on Stout’s talent, but they need better from a punter on which they used a fourth-round pick.
10. Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses didn’t practice with the early assumption being that both received a veteran day off. Moses watched from the sideline in workout clothes while Stanley has easily practiced more this summer than he had the previous couple preseasons combined.
11. Dontay Demus is competing for a spot on the practice squad at best, but the former Maryland receiver made a pretty touchdown catch over fellow rookie Corey Mayfield on a fade ball thrown by Josh Johnson during a 7-on-7 drill. He figures to get plenty of preseason snaps.
12. Veteran followers of training camp know not to make much of the preseason depth chart put together by the Ravens’ public relations staff, but this one is probably as accurate as it gets. You’ll notice Ben Cleveland not even being in the conversation at left guard.