SETTING THE SCENE
The Ravens’ final official practice of training camp started around noon with a walk-through practice and ended just before 3 p.m. Most of the starters finished up just after 2:30 p.m. Players wore helmets and shells. Like it was for most of camp, it was sunny and relatively mild.
Tight end Dennis Pitta was sidelined earlier this week by an ankle injury and he spent the early part of practice testing it out. Once he got on the field, he certainly looked healthy, making several plays down the field. On his biggest gain, he got position on safety Omar Brown and quarterback Joe Flacco found him down the sideline.
CONTINUING TO IMPRESS
Pitta was sharp, but the best day among pass catchers was enjoyed by rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro who consistently found space in the Ravens’ secondary. Campanaro caught short passes and intermediate ones, and he was able to get open against the first-team defense. At this point, it would be shocking if the seventh-round pick didn’t make the team.
GETTING HIS CLOSEUP
With head coach John Harbaugh looking on, rookie quarterback Keith Wenning got a long look directing the scout team against the Ravens’ first-team defense. He had mixed results, making several plays down the field but also getting picked off by Tramain Jacobs, Jimmy Smith, Terrence Brooks and Albert McClellan. Wenning was also nearly intercepted by Brynden Trawick, but the ball deflected off the safety’s hands and was corralled inside by rookie wide receiver Jace Davis.
Rookie third-round pick Terrence Brooks is starting to come on a little bit and he made arguably his most athletic play of training camp with his interception of Wenning. Brooks actually tipped the pass to himself before picking it off. Saturday’s preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys is a big one for Brooks who could find himself on the field more and more with the rash of injuries in the secondary.
IT GOES BOTH WAYS
While the league has made illegal contact and defensive holding a point of emphasis this season, officials have also vowed to crack down on offensive pass interference. Chykie Brown and Anthony Levine are still waiting. Both Ravens’ defensive backs felt like they were pushed off by Deonte Thompson and Torrey Smith respectively, prompting complaints to the officials. Said Levine: “I did pull him but you didn’t see him pull me.”
During a slow part of practice, the Ravens’ three quarterbacks took turns trying to throw a football into a garbage can that was about 40 yards away. None of them put it in the can, though Wenning came the closest, hitting the side of it on two occasions.
Veteran wide receiver Steve Smith was hard to miss and not just because he again was making catches all over the field. Smith was wearing bright red and yellow gloves and cleats. He also had high black socks, one with the number eight on it and the other with the number nine.
DON’T LET HARBAUGH SEE
Chykie Brown was temporarily kicked out of practice earlier in training camp for kicking the ball up field in frustration, an act which immediately garnered a penalty flag. Ray Rice didn’t kick the ball, but he playfully spiked it at the feet of safety Omar Brown after Brown was demeaning the running back’s stiff-arm attempt.
Tight end Owen Daniels was sidelined for a second straight practice, though Harbaugh said his absence was just precautionary and the 31-year-old isn’t injured. The other absences were guard Will Rackley (head), defensive linemen Terrence Cody (hip) and cornerbacks Lardarius Webb (back) and Asa Jackson (ankle).
“Man, I’m not Chykie, I’m Omar.” Ravens safety Omar Brown after a fan yelled, “Nice play Chykie,” thinking that he was Chykie Brown, following an incompletion while Brown was in coverage.
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