Ravens safety Earl Thomas III didn’t practice Saturday and apparently it was a decision made by the front office after Thomas got into a heated exchange with fellow safety Chuck Clark Friday. Coach John Harbaugh plans to address Thomas’s situation soon, possibly as early as tomorrow.
Thomas had problems getting along with teammates and members of the coaching staff last season, but the Ravens were obligated to him because of the three remaining years on his contract. Maybe the Ravens have found a loophole because of his altercation with Clark. Both players had to be restrained by other players and coaches Friday.
The incident reminds me of all those who wanted the Ravens to sign disgruntled and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown recently. It goes to show that just because a player has exceptional talent they don’t always fit.
I’m not making the assumption that Thomas was at fault in his argument with Clark or that the Ravens will get rid of him, but championship caliber teams have to be careful of bringing in certain players that can offset the chemistry such as Brown, Dez Bryant or Thomas.
It's a gamble.
It will be interesting to see if the organization can kiss and make up with Thomas. He can definitely help the Ravens but might not be worth the risk. He reported to training camp in shape, can be physical around the line of scrimmage and was running well. The problem with this team is that they don’t have many strong, established players such as a Marshal Yanda or a Terrell Suggs.
Maybe a veteran like defensive end Calais Campbell could speak with Thomas. Harbaugh has often been the forgiving type but it’s hard to read him at this time.
Coach’s mood: Harbaugh was certainly not in a good mood on the field Saturday.
He was clearly irritated at his defensive line and let the players and assistants know about it. Maybe he was still mad about the Thomas-vs.-Clark fight or that quarterback Lamar Jackson didn’t practice even though he was reportedly given the day off.
It was a good chance to see what this offense would look like if Jackson got hurt and missed substantial playing time. It wasn’t pretty.
Huntley gaining ground: Second-year quarterback Trace McSorley, out of Penn State, needs to start looking over his shoulder. He hasn’t performed well in training camp and has been outplayed by Tyler Huntley, an undrafted rookie QB from Utah.
Huntley can run the ball and has a quick release. At this point I’d take Huntley over McSorley.
Ferguson lagging: Second-year outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson missed the first couple of days of minicamp and it shows.
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Ferguson looks fit and appears to have dropped some weight, especially around the midsection. But as far as technique, he looks rusty and had to redo a lot of individual drill work on the sled. He had a solid season last year finishing with 31 tackles in the nine games he started, but he was inconsistent in both rushing the passer and stopping the run.