By Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun
6:11 PM EDT, August 1, 2012
WORKING OVERTIME:To end Wednesday’s practice, head coach John Harbaugh simulated an overtime game by running through two simulations with the NFL's new overtime rules. In the first one, the starting offense stalled and No. 2 quarterback Tyrod Taylormoved his offense into position for rookie kicker Justin Tucker to make a 19-yard field goal. In the second simulation, both offenses traded possessions before Tucker nailed another game-winner, from 44 yards, for the second team. Harbaugh said he wanted his players to be prepared for the new overtime rules.
BIG HITS: The Ravens were in full pads for a fourth consecutive practice, and though there wasn’t live tackling, a couple of defensive backs sent receivers tumbling to the turf. Cornerback Lardarius Webb popped Anquan Boldin in the slot, breaking up the pass, knocking down the wide receiver and drawing an “Oooh!” from the crowd. Later, rookie safety Omar Brown hit Matt Balasavage so hard that rookie tight end’s helmet popped off and rolled a few yards down the field.
JOE AND TORREY CLICK: It was an uneven practice for the first-team offense, but quarterback Joe Flacco continued to perform well in the red zone. During Wednesday’s drill, the fifth-year starter completed five of his eight throws for two touchdowns -- both to speedy second-year wideout Torrey Smith.
STANDOUT PERFORMER: Safety Ed Reed was all over the field. Reed whacked wide receiver Jacoby Jones as soon as one ball arrived, breaking up a short pass. He later backpedaled then stretched his arms high while making a leaping interception near the goal line. And near the end of practice, linebacker Ray Lewis intercepted Flacco and quickly lateraled the ball to Reed, who sprinted past the offense for what likely would have been a touchdown. Just like old times.
NEWCOMER WATCH: Tucker, who has missed just two of his 37 field-goal attempts in training camp, went 7-for-7 on Wednesday, including those two simulated game-winners and a 55-yarder earlier in the afternoon. Incumbent Billy Cundiff went 4-for-5, with his lone miss coming from 41 yards out.
INJURIES: Second-year defensive end Pernell McPhee, who had been sidelined with a knee injury, practiced fully for the first time in training camp. Returning to practice after sitting out Tuesday were defensive tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu and rookie wide receiver Tommy Streeter, though Streeter still appears to be a bit banged-up. Center Matt Birk missed his third straight practice. Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie (back) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (hamstring) still have not practiced, but Harbaugh said Ngata has started running again and Ngata thinks he is close to returning. Also absent were wide receivers Patrick Williams (undisclosed), David Reed (knee) and Tandon Doss (hamstring); running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring); linebackers Terrell Suggs (Achilles), Courtney Upshaw (arm) and Josh Bynes (undisclosed); offensive tackle Jah Reid (calf); guard Cord Howard (undisclosed); and tight end Dennis Pitta (hand).
OVERHEARD: “We’ve got no damn pass rush and you’re pump-faking like Jordan out there,” cornerback Cary Williams to quarterback Curtis Painter, who was hanging onto the ball too long in 7-on-7 drills.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun