1. I know it's only the first day of training camp, but the new offense looks a lot like the old offense. The only difference is that Willis McGahee is the starting running back having replaced Jamal Lewis. Even the first play the Ravens ran was the waggle right to tight end Todd Heap.
Hmmm. What imagination!!!!
Hope the Ravens didn't work all offseason on designing that one. Maybe we'll see some new wrinkles later, but I doubt it. It's still going to be an offense built around a downhill running game complemented by a short passing game. Hopefully, McGahee will be enough of an improvement over Lewis to take the team deep into the playoffs.
2. Note to first-year receiver Romby Bryant: If you catch the ball like you did in the morning session, you're going to be unemployed soon. Meanwhile, anyone notice that receiver Demetrius Williams is trying to be more physical in running routes? He pushed up on cornerback Ronnie Prude on a 12-yard crossing pattern, and then hauled in the pass. Ravens head coach Brian Billick was so ecstatic I thought he was going to kiss Williams.
3. The ankle-breaking move of the day belonged to rookie receiver Matt Willis. He twisted cornerback David Pittman so bad one time that they looked like dancing partners. Ouch. And Pittman is trying to become the Ravens nickel back.
4. Monday was a good day for teaching. The Ravens spent more time walking through plays than running them. The pace will heat up soon.
5. One of the best things about the opening practice was the rookie class. Sometimes, the rookies come in and are intimidated, but not this class. Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither didn't hesitate going after defensive end/outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, and rookie linebacker Prescott Burgess stretched out McGahee on a running play. I love that kind of enthusiasm from young guys trying to make the team.
6. Pro Bowl left offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was a no-show for the first practice. He has become the unofficial assistant coach of the team. Basically, J.O. does what he wants, and in a way, he's earned that right.