SETTING THE SCENE: Tuesday's outdoor practice started at 4 p.m. and wrapped up around 5:15. Weather was mostly sunny. Quarterbacks, rookies and injured veterans only. Players wore shells.
THIS IS THUNDERDOME: The most competitive portion of the first practice of training camp came late in the session when coach John Harbaugh asked his mishmash group of young defenders to protect a seven-point lead in a two-minute drill. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed his first five passes to move the offense across midfield, but the drive stalled outside the 20-yard line. Flacco's desperate fourth-down pass sailed well past the outstretched arms of rookie wideout Aaron Mellette. During the drill, Flacco completed six of 10 attempts.
ELAM GETS TESTED: Flacco picked on rookie safety Matt Elam during the aforementioned two-minute drill. Flacco completed three straight short passes to Rashaad Carter, a 6-foot-3 undrafted rookie out of Tusculum, while the 5-foot-10 Elam struggled to get position on Carter.
FOLLOWING FLACCO: Third-year quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Flacco's backup the past two years and the favorite to win the No. 2 quarterback job this summer, spoke this offseason about wanting to become more refined as a passer. But he was inaccurate throwing against air in one drill Tuesday. Taylor threw high on one slant and put another ball on the inside shoulder of a receiver running a quick out, a recipe for disaster if defensive backs had been on the field.
LOST IN THE WASH: Rookie inside linebacker Arthur Brown is fully healthy after offseason sports hernia surgery and was active on the field. He was quick to diagnose running plays in team drills and displayed good burst to pursue the ball-carrier, but he got caught up in the wash on a couple of plays, something that could be an issue for the undersized linebacker.
A TERP STANDS OUT: Former Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg, who is battling to be the team's third tight end, caught a couple of passes in team drills, including one when he boxed out a smaller defensive back to catch a floater from Flacco in the end zone.
LESS IS MORE?: Second-year linebacker Nigel Carr has shed a significant amount of weight, so much that two observers at practice noted that he looks like a safety this year. Carr weighed 247 pounds during training camp last year but is currently listed at 232 on the team's website. With uncertainty at the inside linebacker position, Carr will compete for a roster spot this summer.
INJURY REPORT: Cornerback Lardarius Webb, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, nose tackle Terrence Cody and tight end Ed Dickson, who are all coming off injuries, suited up for practice. Webb took a few snaps in run-only team drills, but left the field when footballs started flying.
OVERHEARD: "You're not that good, Joe! You're not going to get it every time." -- Ngata to Flacco, who called for pass interference after Elam and former Towson wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard jostled for a pass near the goal line. Both players got grabby as the ball hit the turf.
Matt VenselCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun