SETTING THE SCENE: Monday's outdoor practice started at 2:30 p.m. and ended a few minutes before 5 p.m.. Weather was partially cloudy with temperatures in the high 70s. Players wore full pads for the eighth straight practice.
MUDDLED IN THE MIDDLE: Two weeks into camp, there doesn't appear to be much clarity at the inside linebacker position. Daryl Smith, who was given the day off, should be a nice addition if he can stay healthy, as he is a smart, solid all-around player. But then again, there may be a reason he was on the free-agent market for so long. Rookie Arthur Brown has speed and coverage skills, which should allow him to at least carve out a role in passing situations. But Josh Bynes and Albert McClellan, who have spent a lot of time with the ones, haven't been anything special. With Smith sitting out Monday, the play at inside linebacker was underwhelming.
SLUGGISH SHOWING: Maybe their bodies were lagging after Sunday's late practice in Annapolis or maybe they are simply ready to hit somebody wearing a different color, but the Ravens did not have a sharp practice Monday. The offense was out of sync for much of practice, and quarterback Joe Flacco let his frustration show, hanging his head for a few seconds after he shot-putted one pass over his intended receiver. The defense came up with a few nice plays, but that unit wasn't that much sharper.
LOST IN SPACE: Pernell McPhee doesn't look comfortable playing in space as he transitions from defensive end to outside linebacker. But with all that depth at his new position, the Ravens won't need McPhee to be an every-down player. The Ravens might just ask him to get after the quarterback like they did with Paul Kruger. We'll see if McPhee can get there off the edge, but he can also move inside to defensive line in passing situations, and he might be a little quicker playing at a lighter weight.
THE O STANDS FOR ORNERY: Guard Kelechi Osemele has routinely gotten under the skin of teammates in practice, and he scuffled with three of them Monday. The man they call K.O. exchanged slaps with nose tackle Haloti Ngata and got into a shoving match with Bynes. He also landed a few slaps on McClellan's helmet and ripped the linebacker's helmet off.
BIG WILLIE STYLE: Defensive end Will Pericak, a rookie free agent out of Colorado, has stood out among the third-stringers throughout camp. Monday, he got reps with the second team — lining up as a three-technique tackle, five-technique end and even getting a couple of snaps at nose tackle—- and made a couple nice plays. He is a tough guy to move off the edge, and he flashed a little bit of athleticism when he chased quarterback Tyrod Taylor out of bounds on one play.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL: Every few practices, the Ravens tinker with Taylor in a variety of options plays. Monday, they ran some read-option with Taylor and running back Ray Rice in the backfield. In the read-option, the quarterback has to know when to stuff the ball in his running back's belly and when to keep it and run. Despite all this practice, Taylor doesn't have a great feel for it yet.
WHERE IS JAH?: Jah Reid has been filling in for Marshal Yanda at right guard, and while he shouldn't be expected to play at a Pro Bowl level like Yanda, Reid has fared fine. Well, outside of one play Monday when he kicked out to block Terrell Suggs and Suggs blew right by him. If the season started today, Reid, who can play both tackle and guard, would likely be the top backup.
INJURY REPORT: Tight end Ed Dickson (torn hamstring) missed practice and could be sidelined for a week or more. Rice (ankle) left practice early, but the injury is said to be minor. Safety Omar Brown (undisclosed) walked off early and did not return. Wide receiver David Reed (groin) missed a second straight practice. Like Smith, cornerback Chris Johnson and nose tackle Terrence Cody were given the afternoon off. Yanda (shoulder) and linebacker Jameel McClain (bruised spine) remained sidelined.
OVERHEARD: "We're not going to be out there Thursday to line you up." — defensive coordinator Dean Pees to his second-team defensive line after two players lined up at the wrong spots.
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