Setting the scene
The Ravens began trickling onto the field around 6:30 p.m., and stretched with their position groups before breaking into individual groups at 7 p.m. Practice ended about 9:45 p.m. Announced attendance was 22,111, and the lower bowl at M&T Bank Stadium appeared about half-full.
Warm reception for Pitta
Tight end Dennis Pitta, who is on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from a second hip surgery, was in a T-shirt and shorts Monday running routes with a coach before the team took the field. He remained on the field throughout practice, working with the tight end group, and received a warm ovation from the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.
Smith and Arrington exchange words
It's been an uneventful start of training camp in terms of extra-curricular activities for Steve Smith Sr., but things heated up a bit when the fiery wide receiver exchanged words with cornerback Kyle Arrington. Smith was seemingly annoyed that Arrington made too much contact with him while breaking up a pass. Arrington apologized, but Smith waved him off and the two continued to jaw. Arrington had a strong practice, later breaking up an end zone pass intended for Kamar Aiken.
First down, Forsett
After nearly 45 minutes of individual drills, the Ravens began 11-on-11 drills with a familiar site for home fans — running back Justin Forsett scampering around the left edge for a first down against the first-team defense. He was stuffed later in the series, but throughout practice showed the type of burst that made him one of the NFL's top backs in 2014.
Perry picks Schaub
Undrafted rookie safety Nick Perry was the beneficiary of a tipped ball and an ill-advised throw into triple coverage by backup quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub unleashed a bomb toward the end zone from near midfield intended for Jeremy Butler, but the defense came up with a nice tip and interception just past the goal line.
One of the biggest cheers of the night came when quarterback Bryn Renner whistled a pass to rookie tight end Maxx Williams, who beat linebacker Arthur Brown in the middle of the field, snagged the ball and sprinted into the end zone. It wasn't all good for the rookie tight end, though, as about 10 minutes later he was called for a holding penalty that negated a touchdown reception by a fellow rookie, running back Buck Allen.
Better than third-string
On one of the few third-team reps in the first full-team session, a pair of rookies blew past their blockers to get into the backfield. Outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith and defensive tackle Carl Davis each penetrated quickly, showing that the cast of undrafted offensive linemen tasked with blocking them might not be proper competition.
Friends in high places
Owner Steve Bisciotti, who last year at this practice almost ran into safety Matt Elam with his golf cart, had a distinguished guest riding shotgun in it this year — decorated Olympian Michael Phelps. Bisciotti brought Phelps to midfield to chat with coach John Harbaugh during practice.
Cornerbacks Tray Walker and Rashaan Melvin each missed practice with hamstring injuries, and were joined on the sidelines by cornerback Chris Greenwood. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (tendinitis) each missed practice for the fourth straight day, while wide receiver Marlon Brown, who sat out Saturday with a back issue but returned Sunday, was also absent. Defensive tackle Casey Walker made his training camp debut Monday. He was on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury. Pitta (hip) and safety Terrence Brooks (knee) remain on the PUP list.
"The most important people in our country are right here tonight at M&T Bank Stadium, the U.S. Armed Services." – Harbaugh, before practice began. The Ravens welcome military members and their families to the open stadium practice, and Harbaugh made sure they knew how much he, the team, and the city appreciate their service.