By Mike Preston
8:30 PM EDT, May 22, 2013
I never put a lot of stock in OTAs because the season is still a few months away and there could be some significant changes to the roster before the regular season opener. But here are a few casual observations from watching the first workout open to the media Wednesday....It's impressive watching those big bodies on the Ravens defensive line. There is so much depth there with the additions of Marcus Spears and Chris Canty (who was present for some of Tuesday's workout). A team can never have enough of them, and the Ravens are stout in this area. There has been a lot of concern about the inside linebackers during the offseason, but with this amount of talent up front the Ravens should be better than expected.
*Second year outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw looked like he might need to slim down before training camp. Ditto for fellow linebacker Albert McClellan.
*Despite having major knee surgery in the offseason, cornerback Lardarius Webb seemed to be running well on the sidelines. He didn't do a lot of change of direction drills, but his stride was very smooth.
*Linebacker Jameel McClain, recovering from a spinal contusion, wasn't hesitant while participating in drills.
*Often we hear people questioning if outside linebacker Terrell Suggs can become a leader on the defense. Hey folks, wake up. Suggs was a leader on defense last year especially when Ray Lewis missed extensive time because of an arm injury. I think Suggs will come into training camp in great shape, and will be highly motivated after having an injury plagued season in 2012.
*It was great seeing left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie participating in OTAs. I think a veteran coach like Juan Castillo, a one time great offensive line coach who recently became a Ravens offensive consultant, has had a positive impact on McKinnie who is certainly capable of having a great season.
*It's early, but running back Ray Rice made a couple of nice cuts on runs. It will be fun watching second year running back Bernard Pierce push Rice for more playing time this season.
*After talking to several people over at The Castle, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is extremely comfortable with the additions of Castillo and Steve Spagnuolo (defense) as assistants. Both are highly respected throughout the league and Spagnuolo will work a lot with secondary coach Teryl Austin, who has basically been a one man show in the last two years.
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