6:00 PM EDT, August 17, 2011
PLAY OF THE DAY: During a six-on-seven exercise, quarterback Joe Flacco found fullback Vonta Leach in the right flat. But as Leach turned to run upfield, outside linebacker Jarret Johnson popped the ball loose, and inside linebacker Jameel McClain recovered the fumble. He would have returned it for a touchdown if not for the phalanx of offensive players — who were not involved in the play — blocking his path to the end zone.
TURNING UP THE VOLUME: The defense continued its chatty ways. Flacco tried to hit wide receiver Lee Evans deep, but the receiver was flanked by safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. That incited McClain to yell after Evans, "I told you not to run that deep route!" After rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw a pass behind wide receiver Marcus Smith, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs needled wide receivers coach Jim Hostler. "You might as well throw that [expletive] to me!" Suggs exclaimed. "I can catch a five-yard out!"
CLOSE CALLS: Cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Domonique Foxworth nearly came away with interceptions. Webb had his hands on the ball after Flacco's pass to Ray Rice in the left flat bounced off the running back's hands, but couldn't hang on. Foxworth stepped in front of Taylor's attempt to wide receiver Justin Harper, but he couldn't corral the ball, either.
NICE HANDS: It wasn't all bad news for the offense. Flacco zipped the ball between the outstretched hands of cornerback Cary Williams and into the hands of rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith. On the next play, Flacco found wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a crossing route, and Boldin tipped the ball into the air before pulling it in for a first down.
TARGETING ANQUAN: When Boldin moved early and drew a flag for a false start, the entire defense teased the former Florida State standout by engaging in the school's tomahawk chop and chant.
GETTING A LEG UP: Billy Cundiff was perfect, making all five of his field goals including twice from 48 yards and once from 51 yards. Rookie Jake Harfman made a 35-yarder, but his 44-yarder strayed wide right.
INJURIES: Inside linebacker Ray Lewis was excused from practice to deal with a family member's illness. Players who did not practice included cornerbacks Chris Carr (left hamstring) and Marcus Paschal (unspecified), wide receivers James Hardy (hamstring) and David Reed (unspecified), center Matt Birk (left knee), right guard Marshal Yanda (back spasms) and rookie running back Damien Berry (unspecified). Linebackers Terrell Suggs, Jarret Johnson and Brendon Ayanbadejo, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, defensive end Cory Redding, running back Ray Rice, Boldin and Webb returned to practice after sitting out Tuesday's session.
OVERHEARD: "Draw it up in the dirt, Cam!" — Suggs to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron as the offense took a long time to call a play and get to the line of scrimmage.
NEXT DAY'S SCHEDULE: Thursday's session is a walk through, and it is not open to either the public or media.
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