Wide receiver Matt Willis played only two years of football at UCLA, but his speed and hands earned him a training-camp invitation from the Ravens this summer. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound rookie will be hard-pressed to crack a roster that includes Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams, Devard Darling, Clarence Moore and third-round pick Yamon Figurs, but Willis nearly grabbed the spotlight with a five-yard catch that fell one yard short of the end zone in Saturday's scrimmage against the Washington Redskins.
Although Willis didn't score, he drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Redskins cornerback John Eubanks, who shoved Willis after the play. The penalty gave the Ravens a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and the offense scored two plays later on a touchdown by running back P.J. Daniels. "I thought I fumbled, so I hopped on it. The next thing I know he was pushing me," Willis said of Eubanks. "He kind of lost his cool or something. So we'll take those extra six inches and get us closer."
Willis said he feels like his development is moving at a good rate. "I struggled a little bit towards the end of OTAs [offseason training activities]," he said. "Then I came out here and started off really well. I struggled a little bit towards the end of last week, but I think I had a good day today and showed that I made some plays."
Willis, who played with quarterback Drew Olson at UCLA, had nothing but positive comments for Olson, who is competing with fifth-round pick Troy Smith for the No. 3 role. "Drew has a great arm," Willis said. "He's a smart player. He knows what he needs to do and how to work. He's a worker and you can't say no to a guy who works."