Twelve Ravens thoughts following Day 9 of open training camp


With the Ravens returning to the practice field Thursday amidst the protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:
1. Players and coaches hit the field shortly before 9 a.m. with John Harbaugh addressing everyone before the usual team stretch to kick off practice. In order to devote time for social justice discussion and efforts, the Ravens canceled their afternoon football meetings.
2. It remained unclear Thursday afternoon whether any players chose not to practice, but absent veterans included Matthew Judon, Brandon Williams, Marcus Peters, Anthony Levine, and D.J. Fluker. Justice Hill, Chris Moore (finger), Jaleel Scott (midsection), Kenjon Barner (leg), and Josh Nurse were also missing.
3. A good indication of how well he’s practiced this summer, Lamar Jackson finally threw his first interception in an open workout off a deflection intended for Mark Andrews. I think the reigning MVP will be OK, however.
4. That deflection was one of several breakups made by Chuck Clark, who looked like the best player on the field. We don’t know how DeShon Elliott or anyone else will fare replacing Earl Thomas, but Clark is everything the Ravens wanted Tony Jefferson at a much cheaper cost.
5. We’ve touched on the lack of interceptions this summer, but J.K. Dobbins fumbled as Jaylon Ferguson made the recovery during a 9-on-9 drill. I couldn’t recall another fumble from a running back in a team drill during open practices, which is impressive given Baltimore’s style of play.
6. Malik Harrison came away with the Jackson interception and also recorded a pass breakup on a pass intended for Andrews in a 7-on-7 period. Harrison doesn’t appear to be in the running to start Week 1 at this point, but seeing him make plays in coverage was promising.
7. Tyre Phillips was regarded as a raw prospect for a third-round pick, but the 6-foot-5, 330-pound guard looks to be ahead of fellow rookie Ben Bredeson and 2019 fourth-rounder Ben Powers — both considered more polished in college — on the depth chart. A normal 2021 offseason could make him very interesting.
8. In the midst of another strong practice that included an impressive recovery — he’d briefly stumbled in coverage — and breakup of an end-zone fade pass to Miles Boykin, Anthony Averett left the field early with an apparent injury. You hope that isn’t serious with the third-year corner practicing so well.
9. Undrafted rookie wide receiver Jaylon Moore has been mentioned in this space before, but he pulled in two touchdown passes from Trace McSorley, one in a 7-on-7 drill and the other during a full-team period. He’s definitely looking like a developmental talent to keep around on the practice squad.
10. Thursday brought the return of rookie tight end Eli Wolf, who hadn’t practiced since the third day of open workouts due to an undisclosed injury. He flashed early in camp, but time is short for him to impress in a No. 3 tight end competition that’s been largely underwhelming.
11. The three coordinators were scheduled to talk for the first time in two weeks before the post-practice schedule was revised, but we’ll hear from Wink Martindale, Greg Roman, and Chris Horton next week. Martindale’s thoughts on the Earl Thomas-less safety picture should be interesting.
12. I don’t pretend to have the answers for these difficult times in which we live, but I look forward to listening to the message from Ravens players after their discussions on Thursday. There are a number of very thoughtful individuals in that locker room striving to spark positive change.
(Update: Read the statement and call to action issued by the Ravens on Thursday evening HERE.)