Setting the scene: Initially scheduled for 7 p.m., the Ravens’ open workout at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium got underway about a half hour earlier than expected. On a sticky night in Annapolis, the practice lasted about 2 1/2 hours, ending at approximately 9 p.m. After two straight days in full pads, the players wore shells. There was no official attendance kept, but one side of the stadium was relatively full.
Giving credit where it’s due: Chykie Brown’s struggles in training camp have been well-documented, but the cornerback does appear to be improving each day. The fourth-year corner may have had his best practice yet, intercepting a deflected Joe Flacco pass and then on the very next play, cutting in front of a wide receiver to knock the ball away.
Smith versus Smith: One of the most interesting aspects of training camp has been a red-zone passing drilling which sets up one-on-one matchups outside between the wide receivers and cornerbacks. The Ravens’ cornerbacks mostly held their own but Torrey Smith won the featured matchup, catching a touchdown on a fade route over Jimmy Smith. Steve Smith also had little trouble shedding Asa Jackson and scoring a touchdown.
Needed a little wind: Justin Tucker always enjoys entertaining the fans so it was no surprise that the Pro Bowl kicker decided to push the envelope a little bit with a long field-goal attempt. Tucker converted attempts from 33, 44 and 51 yards but he came up a couple of yards short on his attempt from 68 yards.
Have yourself a day, Keith: The biggest questions about Keith Wenning coming into the draft were about whether he had enough arm strength to transition into the NFL. On three straight throws, Wenning provided an emphatic answer to those questions. He found Deonte Thompson, who got behind Sammy Seamster, for a 60-yard touchdown. On the next play, he connected with fellow rookie Jace Davis for a long score. And then he culminated the stretch by finding LaQuan Williams (Maryland) for a big gain. Williams wrestled the ball away from Dominique Franks.
Not a great night for Flacco: Flacco was intercepted by both Brown and Seamster and wasn’t really sharp throughout the practice. He also threw behind several receivers, but Steve Smith and Jacoby Jones adjusted to make the catches.
Piling on: As Ray Rice burst through the defensive line and secondary on his way to the end zone, a host of Ravens jumped into a pile near midfield, where a fight had broken out. It appeared that the main combatants were outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and offensive tackle Jah Reid. Order was restored but not before several punches were thrown and seemingly half the team entered into the fracas.
Where’s Elam?: Jeromy Miles, who started his college career at Navy before transferring, alternated with Matt Elam alongside Darian Stewart as a starting safety. It wasn’t clear if Elam was dealing with a physical issue or if the coaching staff was just trying to get his attention a little bit. The former first-round pick, who started 15 games last year, has had a relatively quiet training camp.
Hurst having tough time: Offensive tackle James Hurst was viewed as one of the potential gems of the Ravens’ undrafted free agent class because of all the starting experience that he had at North Carolina. However, he’s had a rough go of in camp trying to deal with the Ravens’ plethora of pass rushers. His struggles continued tonight as he was called for holding on two difference occasions.
Injury report: Middle linebacker Daryl Smith returned to practice after being sidelined for five days with a groin injury. He participated in the individual drills but not the team ones. Cornerback Jimmy Smith also practiced despite dealing with a back injury on Sunday. The Ravens who didn’t practice were wide receiver Michael Campanaro (ribs), guard Will Rackley (concussion), nose tackle Terrence Cody (hip) and cornerback Marrio Norman (undisclosed).
Overheard: “I’ll tellyou what, Keith was on fire on third downs. Did he have an incompletion?” Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Wenning.
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