Setting the scene: The Ravens’ first of two open practices at M&T Bank Stadium started just before 7 p.m. on a warm and breezy night in downtown Baltimore. The Ravens announced the crowd at 28,323, though some headed for the exits when it started to rain with about 90 minutes remaining in the practice. Head coach John Harbaugh halted practice at about 9:50.
Close call: Second-year safety Matt Elam intercepted Joe Flacco and his reward was a much too close encounter with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. In fact, Elam had to veer out of bounds on his return to avoid colliding with the golf court driven by Bisciotti.
Look Mom, no hands: Wide receiver Torrey Smith had the highlight of the day during a red-zone drill as he skied in the air over cornerback Asa Jackson and hauled in Joe Flacco’s pass with one hand. The catch elicited ooh’s and aah’s from the crowd.
Don’t quit your day job: Ravens rush linebacker Terrell Suggs decided to have a little fun in practice, dropping back to field a punt. He probably regretted the decision. The ball went through Suggs’ hands and hit his knee before bouncing away. Nose tackle Haloti Ngata then showed up his close friend by cleanly fielding a punt.
Not here fellas: Offensive guard John Urschel and defensive tackle Levi Brown – both rookies – got into a shoving match that was caught on the stadium scoreboard. The situation was quickly diffused by teammates, preventing an ugly incident.
Take that rook: Cornerback Tramain Jacobs, a rookie undrafted cornerback out of Texas A&M, has shown some promise early in camp but he got a bit of an education tonight. Jacobs was juked badly by running back Justin Forsett on one play. He was then out-dueled by Steve Smith on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Tucker dials long distance: Ravens Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker angrily ripped the chin strap from his helmet when he came several yards short on a 64-yard field goal attempt. However, he redeemed himself by making back-to-back tries from 58 yards.
Keeping it close to the vest: Ravens fans will have to wait a little longer to see some of the intricacies of Gary Kubiak’s new-look offense. Not wanting to give away any secrets, Kubiak and head coach John Harbaugh kept things pretty basic during the open practice. Expect that pattern to continue through training camp.
Rice received warmly: If running back Ray Rice had any apprehension about how he would be received by Ravens’ fans following his offseason felony aggravated assault charge, it’s probably all gone now. Rice was cheered when he was put on the stadium scoreboard and he patted his chest in appreciation. Rice also earned more applause for racing a little kid down the sideline.
Star-studded crowd: The loudest applause of the night was given to former Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis who showed up on the sideline about 45 minutes into practice. Lewis still lives in Maryland, as does former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who was on the sideline working for NFL Network. Both Lewis and Billick spent some time catching up with Harbaugh. Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala also watched the practice from the sideline with his two kids.
Injury report: Guard/center Will Rackley (head), offensive tackle Parker Graham (groin), nose tackle Terrence Cody (hip), defensive end Chris Canty (undisclosed) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (back) were the only Ravens not participating in the workout. It was the third straight practice Webb missed and the second straight for Canty.
Quotable: “Most times I’m never at a loss for words, but that’s a very humbling thing. This is my home. I gave everything I had to city. To have a statue in this city means everything.”
Lewis when asked about what having a statue outside M&T Bank Stadium, which will happen before the season, means to him.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun