By Jon Meoli
The Baltimore Sun
3:16 PM EDT, August 11, 2014
Setting the scene: The Ravens and San Francisco 49ers took the field in helmets and shorts at 10:30 a.m. and practiced for about two and a half hours under sunny skies at the Under Armour Performance Center.
Finally, a weakness: Not that we’re looking for things that rookie inside linebacker C.J. Mosley doesn’t do well, but given the glowing reports he’s gotten, it’s worth noting when he struggles — even if it’s something the entire league struggles with. Early in seven-on-seven drills, Mosley was beaten in coverage for a touchdown by San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis. Davis also made a catch over Mosley during full-team drills later in practice. Mosley has been good in coverage otherwise, so we’ll chalk it up to Davis being nearly unstoppable.
Secondary in flux: The absence of cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Asa Jackson has forced the Ravens to get creative in the secondary, with several players rotating through the nickel cornerback slot, but 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick never really made them pay Monday. He could have feasted on the Ravens’ makeshift secondary but missed several deep balls and didn’t get much going against the Ravens’ starters.
DeAngelo Da Vinci: For the second time since the 49ers arrived, defensive end DeAngelo Tyson swatted a Kaepernick pass at the line of scrimmage. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs referred to him as the “Italian painter no one’s ever heard of,” perhaps because of his Italian-sounding first name, or maybe because he’s actually a painter.
Legion of Doom: Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil isn’t known for his pass coverage, but he picked off San Francisco backup quarterback Josh Johnson to raucous cheers from his teammates during 11-on-11 drills. Dumervil tried to take it to the house, holding the ball above his head around the 30-yard line before it was stripped by 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton.
Simon says: Dumervil, however, didn’t even have the best linebacker interception of the day. That honor goes to second-year outside linebacker John Simon, who ran step-for-step with a 49ers tight end on a play-action pass and picked off a deep ball with one hand. The boisterous Ravens defense went wild for the play, just as they did for Dumervil.
Back on the run: Days after he seemed to be shackled in the running game and forced to use his arm, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor was back to his scrambling ways Monday. His legs are his biggest weapon, so it makes sense that he’d run a bit, but Taylor is still trying to find the balance between scrambling and throwing.
Case of the dropsies: On the first play of the Ravens’ red zone drills, fullback Kyle Juszczyk was wide open in the end zone but dropped a pass from Joe Flacco. Later in the drill, tight end Owen Daniels and wide receiver Steve Smith also dropped catchable balls, leaving offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak muttering to himself on the sideline. Those are three of the teams’ most sure-handed players, so it was striking to see their hands fail them so badly in quick succession.
Injury report: Tight end Dennis Pitta was a limited participant after missing practice Sunday with an ankle injury, while Jackson missed with an ankle injury suffered Sunday, and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore missed practice after a serious Achilles injury Sunday. Guard/center Ryan Jensen (leg) and safety Brynden Trawick (back) missed a second straight practice after getting hurt Saturday. Webb (back), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (PUP-hip), defensive end Brent Urban (knee), and guard Will Rackley (head) all missed practice again with long-term injuries.
Overheard: “Hey 81, I knew you’d come out of retirement” – Suggs to 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin, his former teammate, after Boldin caught a deep ball over Ravens rookie safety Terrence Brooks. Suggs was positively lively in the practice, as was the rest of the Ravens defense.
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