No, this isn't an outdated review of the movie. Wide receiver Demetrius Williams, aka Spider-Man for the tattoo of the superhero on his right biceps and his acrobatic skills on the football field, looked to be in midseason form today during the team's final session of mandatory minicamp.
On a seven-on-seven passing drill, Williams split the cornerback and safety for an uncontested long completion from quarterback Kyle Boller. Several minutes later, Williams outleaped cornerback Evan Oglesby to haul in a pass from quarterback Steve McNair in the end zone. Both examples served as another example of Williams' potential in the NFL.
"It's not second nature yet, but it's definitely getting better than last year," Williams said of his progression, which included 22 catches for 396 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season a year ago. "Things are starting to appear a lot clearer, and I'm starting to understand the whole offense instead of just my position. I think these OTAs [Organized Team Activities] have definitely been good for me."
On the opposite end of the spectrum, wide receiver Romby Bryant had a rough day. First, he let an apparent touchdown pass from Boller slip through his hands during a one-on-one drill. Then, he couldn't catch up to another Boller pass after Bryant had left two defenders behind him. Bryant, a practice-squad player last season, is competing with Clarence Moore, Devard Darling and rookie Yamon Figurs to crack the active 53-man roster.
The Ravens broke out the two-minute drill today, and as expected, the defense looked more in sync than the offense. Offensive lineman Mike Kracalik, filling in for 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden (toe), got beat a couple of times by two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs, and McNair was forced to throw the ball away on a couple of occasions under a heavy pass rush. Said coach Brian Billick: "It showed them that they've got a little ways to go [to get into] football shape. They were a little gassed. They hadn't done that in a while. And the first time up is always about process. ... Did you line up right? It's less about the clock and the time than getting everybody where they're supposed to be."
Linebackers Mike Smith (shoulder) and Dan Cody (knee) and cornerback David Pittman (hamstring) did not practice, but linebacker Dennis Haley did return to the field. Afterward, Haley said he missed the first two days because he was still recovering from emergency appendectomy surgery last week.
"I went to the hospital on Tuesday, on Wednesday I was in surgery, and I was out of the hospital on Thursday," Haley said. "Then I had to be in Virginia because my wife and I had our first child. So we were both laid up in the hospital -- literally. ... I was still sick as a dog after that surgery. We were both laid up in there, and she was like, 'Get it together.'" Haley said his daughter, Leila Grace Haley, and wife are doing well.