The education of Courtney Upshaw continues this week as the Ravens host their first-year players for rookie school, where they will go over what the new guys have learned in minicamps and organized team activities.
The outside linebacker out of Alabama, whom the Ravens drafted with the first of their two second-round picks, has received a bunch of snaps with the first-team defense this spring. Unfortunately, it’s been out of necessity, though, with Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs sidelined with a torn right Achilles tendon.
Suggs hasn’t been out on the practice field with Upshaw, but he has seen footage from recent practices, and he believes Upshaw is “ahead of where I was” when the Ravens drafted Suggs after he starred at Arizona State.
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“From what I’ve seen on the film, he’s been playing pretty good,” Suggs said Thursday, the final day of their mandatory minicamp. “He clearly knows the game, and they’re moving him around. So, it isn’t just him playing the ‘rush’ [linebacker position]. He’s playing a little bit of everything. So, I think that’s awesome, and I’m really excited to see how the puzzle comes together when we’re all here. But until then, I’ve got 100 percent confidence in the kid.”
Inside linebacker Ray Lewis likes what he has seen, too.
“I just love his motor,” Lewis said Tuesday. “He’s a kid that just loves football. And anytime you get a rookie that can just grab certain things … Trust me, forget the mental errors, because that’s just life. I don’t care what year you’re in, you’re going to make mental errors. But the way he approaches the game, his speed towards the game, and the way he flies around to the football, you really appreciate watching somebody like him.”