There used to be a time when NFL minicamps meant something. Now, with all the offseason team activity camps and weight-training sessions, it's hard to put a lot of stock in observations.
But if a problem continues to arise or there is a pattern, then it's a time for concern. After watching the first of a three-day minicamp at The Castle on Tuesday afternoon, there were a few things that raised some eyebrows.
First, there is rookie receiver Breshad Perriman, the first-round pick out of Central Florida. Pro scouts liked him coming out of college, but the knock on him was that he dropped passes, reportedly from a lack off concentration.
The youngster out of Lithonia, Ga., has great size and speed. He runs routes hard even when used as a decoy and has shown the ability to go up and get jump balls.
But within the first 90 minutes of a two-hour practice, he dropped four passes. Granted, two were difficult, including one fade in the end zone, but he also dropped two passes on short turnarounds. These were clunkers that hit him square in the hands.
Veteran receiver Steve Smith has dropped passes in practice before and so did former Raven Derrick Mason. But they were reliable on game day, and they didn't come into the NFL with a reputation of dropping too many passes.
It is something to keep an eye on.
Webb looks tentative, rusty: Starting cornerback Lardarius Webb didn't attend any of the three previous OTAs, and he looked tentative in practice Tuesday.
He got in and out of his backpedal well and at times showed good change of direction, but the explosion wasn't there. It's uncertain if Webb, who played with a back injury most of last season, was holding back or just a little rusty.
Regardless, the Ravens are going to need him to play well outside in 2015 opposite of fellow cornerback Jimmy Smith.
''We'll see," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I thought Webby looked good out there today. It looked like they've been working hard. Obviously, Webby is very important to us. We could have a pretty darn good corner group with the guys we have here, so hopefully, not hopefully, but we'll keep building toward that and try to make it happen."
Suggs is heavy, will be fine: A year ago Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was sporting a drastically changed body, looking 20 to 30 pounds lighter and moving well.
But, on Tuesday, he looked heavy, as did end Chris Canty. There is still a month left before training camp so both have time to prepare and slim down. Suggs, though, should know better after the poor year in 2013, when he gained a lot of weight at the end of the regular season.
Suggs admitted he wasn't in game shape but said he would be prepared for the upcoming season.
"I'm definitely not out of shape," said Suggs. "I can participate in practice without getting hurt, without getting tired. But I'm definitely not at my fighting weight. I'm at my walk-around weight. This is Year 13 for me."
"At 13 I owe it to myself to kind of just pace yourself. That way, when you come down to the tail end of the season, Week 9, Week 10, I've still got something left in the tank. I'm trying to pace myself and not do too much right now."
Suggs will be fine. He seems to have wised up. He is so smart now that he wouldn't even comment on Deflategate, involving his favorite target, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady.
"Two years ago I would have taken the bait," said Suggs, leaving the podium laughing.
Yanda-Osemele decision looms: As expected, guard Marshal Yanda didn't want to talk about any contract negotiations. Both Yanda and left guard Kelechi Osemele are in the final year of their contracts and it will be hard for the Ravens to re-sign both.
The guess here is that the Ravens will offer the more lucrative deal to Yanda, who is entering his ninth season compared to the fourth for Osemele.
Yanda is a more consistent, better all-around player, but Osemele isn't that far behind. Both run well and can work into the second level. Yanda is more powerful, especially at the point of attack, but Osemele is strong at finishing blocks. Both have had their share of injuries, but Osemele has had back problems, and that's a major concern for any offensive linemen and team.
Who's got Steve Smith?: It's kind of fun listening to Steve Smith talk to some cornerbacks in practice. Smith ran a crossing route on Cassius Vaughn and left him about 10 yards behind.
After catching the pass and going out of bounds, Smith turned to Vaughn and asked, "Are you playing me?"
Elam working harder: The biggest improvement for safety Matt Elam so far has been his work ethic. The 2013 first-round draft pick has struggled in his first two seasons, but teammates have noticed a stronger drive in practice and improved attention to detail.
Speaking of safeties, here is a note to Kendrick Lewis: Stop biting on the play-action fakes.
Hurst looking strong: It looks like second-year offensive tackle James Hurst had a strong offseason in the weight room. He played well in spot duty filling in for the injured Eugene Monroe last season and looks stronger.
If he pans out, that would be great for the Ravens because Hurst was a rookie free agent signed by the Ravens out of North Carolina.