Setting the scene: The Ravens began their second straight day of full-pads practice at 4 p.m. on a warm afternoon in Owings Mills with a large crowd in attendance. Many veterans got the day off and the young stars of the team put on a good show.
Young pass rushers shine: On a day when Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil and Chris Canty weren't around, the young emerging stars in their position groups made life hard on the offense. Defensive end Brent Urban, who missed last year with a knee injury, was a force, once chasing quarterback Matt Schaub to the sideline and forcing an incompletion. Rookie Za'Darius Smith followed that up on the next play by doing the same thing. Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and outside linebacker Zach Thompson also spent time in the backfield Sunday.
Aiken leads receivers: With Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman not practicing and Marlon Brown limited, Kamar Aiken again made a big mark at wide receiver. He and quarterback Joe Flacco connected on a long catch-and-run with cornerback Lardarius Webb in tight coverage, and Aiken was a force in red-zone one-on-one drills against veteran cornerback Kyle Arrington. Aiken is clearly taking the opportunity in front of him this week.
Depth chart observations: With so many veterans sitting out, it was interesting to see which young players ascended to first-team reps. Cornerback Cassius Vaughn appeared to be heavily in the rotation behind starters Jimmy Smith and Webb, while veteran Albert McClellan took many first-team snaps in place of inside linebacker Daryl Smith. Guards John Urschel and rookie Robert Myers ascended to the first-team in place of Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele, while Lorenzo Taliaferro was the top running back and defensive end Lawrence Guy ran with the first-team.
Magee, Allen making an impression: For the second straight day, rookies Terrence Magee and Buck Allen stood out in the running back mix. Magee is a hard runner who gets low to the ground and sees holes develop well, while Allen made an outstanding blitz pickup of Arrington to allow Flacco to cleanly throw a pass.
Schaub scores in red zone: Schaub had arguably his best day of camp Sunday, highlighted by a series of third-down conversions in and near the red zone on which he hit wide receiver Tom Nelson with an over-the-shoulder touchdown from around 25 yards out, then fit a ball into a tight window to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint for another first down from around the 15, and just missed a touchdown on a low completion to Nelson close to the goal line.
Orr smothers in coverage: Second-year inside linebacker Zachary Orr continued to stand out, especially in pass coverage. He stayed step-for-step with running backs and tight ends during 7-on-7 and full-team drills, and the coaching staff singled out his coverage several times during the early portion of practice.
Crowded kick return cast: Associate head coach-special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Saturday there were a lot of candidates in the return game, and he showed it Sunday. Arrington, Vaughn, wide receivers Nelson, Michael Campanaro, Trent Steelman, and Aldrick Robinson, plus cornerback Quinton Pointer and Toussaint, took turns returning kicks during drills. It's safe to say the competition is wide open.
Injury report: Wide receiver Marlon Brown returned after missing Saturday with a back issue, as did inside linebacker Andrew Bose. Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (Achilles) missed a third straight day, while cornerback Rashaan Melvin missed with a hamstring tweak suffered Saturday. Rookie cornerback Tray Walker suffered a similar hamstring issue Sunday.
Overheard: "Are you a safety" Then why are you just standing there?" – special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg to one of his blockers during a kickoff simulation drill. In an otherwise uneventful practice, Rosburg's instruction stood out Sunday.