Ravens rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman is as advertised, so far. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound speedster from Central Florida is big, fast and explosive.
The first-round NFL draft pick displayed his deep speed in team drills Monday and caught a long touchdown pass while surrounded by defenders. He elevated over defensive backs to make the catch.
Perriman nearly made another big play earlier in practice, but was unable to complete what would have been an incredible catch. Perriman's hands have been solid so far;, he hasn't made the concentration drops that dogged him last year when he caught 50 passes for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns before declaring for the draft.
Perriman's body control is impressive.
"What we saw on tape is what we are getting," offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said of Perriman, who's signed to a four-year, $8.705 million contract. "We really liked what we saw on tape, obviously. And what we're getting is a guy who is continually improving. He has a good understanding of the game. He's not just a fast guy, he's a smart guy.
"He is going to learn how to use patience and use other aspects of playing the position, his size, his hand speed, to get off the line of scrimmage. So, that's really awesome to see that he's a quick learner, and he's catching the ball and making plays just like we saw him do on tape."
Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees praised strong safety Matt Elam, who struggled in his first two NFL seasons after being drafted in the first round. Pees said this has been Elam's best camp so far and defended him against critics.
Elam did play out of position at times last year due to injuries at cornerback, but that doesn't entirely explain some of his struggles.
Elam has gotten leaner this offseason and appears slightly faster, especially when he was used in blitzing situations this week. What can't be judged in an organized team activity is whether Elam has improved his tackling. That was billed as a hallmark of his game after an All-American career at Florida, but Elam has been hit-and-miss in the NFL.
Elam is competing for a starting job with veteran Will Hill. Hill would have the edge right now, but that decision won't be made until later this summer. Even if Elam doesn't start, he figures to be in the mix for playing time.
Same old Schaub
Signed to a one-year, $2 million contract that includes a $1 million signing bonus and another $1 million in incentives based on playing time, backup quarterback Matt Schaub hasn't been much different on the practice field than he was recently with the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans.
Schaub washed out as a starter because of his tendency to throw interceptions and have them returned for touchdowns.
He has remained prone to interceptions in practice, and threw a pair on Monday. Middle linebacker Zach Orr interce[ted an errant pass over the middle and cornerback Quinton Pointer intercepted a pass that glanced off of wide receiver Daniel Brown's hands.
Schaub has his moments, but also has appeared hesitant. With more decisiveness and trust in his initial read, Schaub can improve. It almost seems, at times, like he's haunted by past interceptions and is concerned about making a mistake.
-- Tight end Crockett Gillmore had a strong practice, catching a couple of touchdown passes in red-zone drills. On one of them, he took advantage of reserve linebacker Arthur Brown's lack of height for an easy touchdown.
-- Rookie guard Robert "Snacks" Myers, the Ravens' fifth-round draft pick, is feisty. He got into a brief scuffle with veteran linebacker Albert McClellan that was broken up. Myers is still learning technique from offensive line coach Juan Castillo, but does have aggressiveness and size working in his favor.
-- Undrafted outside linebacker Brennen Beyer did a nice job of attacking offensive tackles and getting them on their heels in pass-rushing situations. Beyer has made a good impression on coaches, so far. He'll need to finish plays better to compete for a roster spot.
-- Offensive tackle James Hurst has gotten stronger this offseason and is visibly bigger in the upper body.
-- Rookie tight end Nick Boyle isn't fast at all, running the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds, but is a big target at 6-feet-4, 270 pounds, has good hands and a nice sense of how to find open seams in the defense.
-- Fullback Kyle Juszczyk hasn't been talked about much, but could provide a proven safety valve for Flacco in Trestman's offense. His primary job will remain operating as a lead blocker for running back Justin Forsett.