With the Ravens holding their eighth full-team practice of training camp on Thursday afternoon, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. The Ravens conducted what amounted to little more than a brisk walk-through for 2 1/2 hours on Thursday. It wasn’t the most exciting practice to watch, but the physical break came in the midst of a six-day stretch of practices before a rest this Sunday.
2. With Rock Ya-Sin expected to miss some practice time, Mike Macdonald acknowledged there being a competition at outside cornerback opposite Marlon Humphrey. “There are going to be more reps to be had for sure. We’ll see how long it lasts.” This defense could really use another veteran option there.
3. David Ojabo suited up to practice, but he didn’t appear to do much of anything, leaving the field with a trainer before the walk-through was over. John Harbaugh said Ojabo was OK on Tuesday, but he didn’t look like someone ready to really practice two days later.
4. Asked to assess where the offense is without J.K. Dobbins and Rashod Bateman, Todd Monken said, “Right now, it’s not hard to project because we’re not really good right now; we have a long ways to go.” If nothing else, he doesn’t want his group to be complacent.
5. You rarely see Baltimore going fully live in practices, which has been reality for several years. The defense practices technique and angles to the football, but Mike Macdonald acknowledged, “Tackling is a lost art and the rules really make it challenging to do it, so you have to be creative.”
6. With Devin Duvernay scheduled to make $4.3 million in the final year of his rookie contract and now lower on the depth chart at wide receiver, it’s worth paying attention to the return game this preseason. Chris Horton said it’s “Duvernay’s role,” but they’ll always evaluate others too.
7. Monken certainly doesn’t want to stifle the chemistry and improvisation between Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews, but that needs to be disciplined. “We’ve got to continue to improve all of our quarterbacks’ ability to check the ball down to get it to outlets.” He wants the ball coming out quickly.
8. You hope Trenton Simpson isn’t out long — he was dealing with some sort of leg issue on Wednesday — since he began flashing his athleticism and physicality with the pads coming on. Before that, he appeared to be thinking too much rather than playing fast, which is typical of rookies.
9. I really liked Monken’s remark about the coaching staff’s responsibility in building and optimizing an offense. “Every player that we have on our roster has some unique trait. They just do. And it’s our job to pull it out of them or find what that is that they do.”
10. Asked about Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar, Monken reiterated needing to identify a blocking tight end this summer in the wake of Josh Oliver’s departure and Patrick Ricard working his way back to full strength from hip surgery. Keep that in mind in regards to roster projections and potential moves.
11. The path to a job for Keaton Mitchell wasn’t helped by Melvin Gordon’s arrival, but the undrafted rookie running back — and son of 2000 postseason hero Anthony Mitchell — has impressive speed. That should help him on special teams and improve his chances to stick on the practice squad at least.
12. Retired special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg is in Owings Mills this week, and he’s done plenty of hands-on coaching, something he still loves to do. Longtime Denver writer Mike Klis wrote a good story on Rosburg’s stint as the Broncos’ interim head coach late last season.