Twelve Ravens Thoughts following Day 2 of open training camp

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With the Ravens holding their second full-team practice of training camp on Thursday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. The passing game struggled to find its rhythm and remains a work in progress, which isn’t surprising with a new offensive coordinator and new weapons in place. An early red-zone period was particularly rough with all three offensive units struggling to reach the end zone.  

2. Marcus Williams provided the play of the day during a 7-on-7 drill when he stripped a would-be completion away from Mark Andrews on a pass from Lamar Jackson. As John Harbaugh said, “He did it in a way where he didn’t touch Mark at all. That’s pretty darn good.” 

3. Harbaugh also praised the free safety’s communication in the secondary, noting how Williams has taken over the responsibilities previously held by Chuck Clark. Given how versatile Mike Macdonald wants the defensive backs to be on any given play, that transition in communication will be worth monitoring early in the season.  

4. Despite a quiet day for the wide receivers, Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar were both very active with the latter catching a long touchdown from Tyler Huntley. It will be interesting to see how involved the second-year tight ends will be in Todd Monken’s passing game, especially early on. 

5. Odell Beckham Jr. says he has “no real limitations” physically and is focused on learning the playbook to be able to play faster. “It’s about a gradual peak. If you’re ready to play a game in minicamp, when is that slope going to start to turn downwards?” Sounds reasonable enough. 

6. Zay Flowers has impressed, but it was a not-so-great sequence that displayed growing trust from Jackson. Despite the rookie dropping a short pass, Jackson went right back to him on the next play with a deep ball that appeared to be severely overthrown. The speedy Flowers nearly ran it down.

7. Finally healthy after an injury-plagued rookie season, Jalyn Armour-Davis made a couple pass breakups and should have intercepted a Huntley pass over the middle. Given the current depth questions at outside corner, the 2022 fourth-round pick should see plenty of second-team practice reps behind starters Marlon Humphrey and Rock Ya-Sin.

8. Though Damarion Williams figures to be in the mix upon coming off the physically unable to perform list in the near future, Brandon Stephens looks like the early favorite for the nickel spot. Of course, don’t forget Ar’Darius Washington or veteran newcomer Arthur Maulet. 

9. Though undrafted rookie safety Jaquan Amos figures to be a long shot to make the team, he picked off Huntley near the goal line on a pass intended for Kolar. Amos missed some time in the spring with an undisclosed injury, but he made a nice play on the football. 

10. You never want to lose your long snapper, but signing a former Pro Bowl selection in Tyler Ott to replace the injured Nick Moore and having the entire preseason to adjust should leave Baltimore’s kicking operations in fine shape. Harbaugh said Ott has fit “seamlessly” thus far. 

11. With pads and full contact not being introduced until next week, Harbaugh reiterated the current focus being on assignment, alignment, and hand placement for the offensive and defensive linemen. In other words, we shouldn’t overreact to eager youngsters going up against established veterans largely going through the motions right now.

12. While the offense isn’t yet firing on all cylinders, the quicker tempo between plays is obvious, a welcome development after the painful clock management problems that persisted with Greg Roman in charge. You hope to see that continue as the practice intensity ramps up. 

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