Who else looked good? That's the question I get most often after these offseason workouts and I'm not a huge fan of answering it because we are talking about players wearing shorts and no pads. The defenders don't stand a chance and no tackling is allowed anyway. Some of the guys that we spent the most time talking about after last year's OTAs either got cut, went to injured reserve or the practice squad or just made little to no impact during the season. But I do feel comfortable pointing out that tight end Ed Dickson was extremely active and made a bunch of athletic catches. I also thought cornerback Jimmy Smith looked to be in really good shape. It's hard to tell sometimes, especially when you are used to seeing players in full pads, but he looked pretty lean to me. Smith had talked last year about dropping a few pounds and getting a little quicker. It looks like he's accomplished that. Another thing that struck me is the size of rookie nose tackle Brandon Williams. You can see why team officials are so excited about the third-round pick. We'll see how Terrence Cody recovers from hip surgery and how the coaching staff moves around the defensive linemen, but I think Williams has a pretty good chance of starting come Sept. 5 in Denver.
What should be considered the best development of all to Ravens fans from yesterday was cornerback Lardarius Webb running around, making some cuts and going through some drills. Webb, who tore the ACL in his left knee in mid-October, didn't participate in much of practice but he looked pretty comfortable with what he did do. Webb has been pretty smart about providing updates on his knee, declining at any point to give a target date for his return and repeatedly maintaining that he is not looking too far ahead. Harbaugh has said in the past that he thinks Webb will be ready for training camp, and everything we saw yesterday seemingly supports that.
From the bad news department, rookie linebacker Arthur Brown getting sports hernia surgery is hardly a crushing blow. But it has to raise some concern. Harbaugh said Brown, a second-round pick, had the surgery about two weeks ago and recovery time is about four-to-six weeks. That likely means that Brown will be sidelined for all three weeks of OTAs and probably for the mandatory minicamp, which takes place the second week of June. Brown will still watch from the sidelines and be in the meeting rooms, but all those repetitions are hard to replace for a player who was considered a candidate to start for the Ravens on Day One of the season.
If you are a Ravens fan, you have to love how linebacker Elvis Dumervil has gone about his business since signing with the team in late March following his departure from the Broncos. Dumervil has been at the Ravens' facility pretty much every day, according to Harbaugh, immersing himself in the offseason conditioning program and now the OTAs, and getting acclimated with his new teammates. It had to be a pretty stunning couple of months for Dumervil, starting with Denver's disappointing playoff exit at the hands of the Ravens. He agreed to take a pay cut to remain with the Broncos but then found out that he had just been cut instead after the infamous fax machine incident. He then opted to sign with the Ravens over an offer from the Broncos. Dumervil downplayed immediately taking a leadership role with his new team, but as my colleague Kevin Cowherd pointed out in a column today, his actions suggest otherwise.
Nice thoughts by former Chicago Bears' linebacker Brian Urlacher, who announced his retirement yesterday after 13 seasons in the NFL. In an interview with NFL Network, Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, was asked about possibly going into the Hall of Fame the same year as Lewis. "If I am lucky enough to go in with Ray, I will say this: I think I am pretty good but Ray is the best of all time. His numbers, to the guys that played with him, he did it the right way. He played hard. He is the best middle linebacker of all time. If I get a chance to go into the Hall of Fame with him, that would be awesome. I am up there I think, but not quite. The longevity he had was crazy, 17 years."