TAMPA, FLA. -- With a jab step and a quick cut, Ravens rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro gained separation behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers nickel back Leonard Johnson.
Then, Campanaro leapt over Johnson in the back of the end zone on Sunday to secure a lob from quarterback Joe Flacco during the first half of the Ravens 48-17 rout of the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
"I was running the seam," Campanaro said. "We had single-high coverage and Joe put it right where it needed to be, and I made a play."
It was a significant moment for the River Hill graduate. Not only was the 19-yard reception his first NFL reception, it was a touchdown.
"It was great," said Campanaro, who was active for the first time with Marlon Brown inactive with a pelvis injury. "Just coming out and being able to contribute to the team. We had things rolling at the time. So, it was good. It felt good to get that first catch and have it be a touchdown."
Campanaro won two Class 2A state championships in high school and set a Wake Forest record for catches with 229 career receptions for 2,506 yards and 14 touchdowns. This was his first contribution at the NFL level in the regular season, though, and it followed the Ravens' 20-13 loss last week to the Indianapolis Colts.
"I think we just came out hungry," Campanaro said. "I think last week we were a little bit disappointed with our effort and outcome [last week]. We just focused all week. We came out as a team, offense and defense, firing on all cylinders."
Campanaro said Ravens coach John Harbaugh had a subdued reaction to the lopsided victory.
"He was just proud of us," Campanaro said. "He was excited for next week, but told us to enjoy this one tonight."
Wide receiver Kamar Aiken also scored his first NFL touchdown, catching a 17-yard pass from Flacco in the first quarter over the middle. Aiken would leave the game later to go to the locker room for examination after getting shaken up on a hit by safety Mark Barron, who was flagged for hitting a defenseless receiver. Aiken was feeling fine after the game, though, according to a source.
"The one to Kamar, we had seen that you can kind of get up and over the top of their Mike linebacker," Flacco said. "We snapped the ball pretty quickly and he ran right by him. It doesn't get any easier than that."