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With many top veterans sitting out practice, tough sledding for Ravens offense at training camp

Setting the scene: The Ravens wore shells and shorts at practice Friday, which began at 1 p.m. and ended at 3:45. p.m. In a mostly overcast day in Owings Mills, coach John Harbaugh used chunks of training camp practice to work on situational football, like having running backs get down to set up last-second field-goal attempts. The Ravens practice Saturday afternoon before getting Sunday off.

Too many drops: It was a relatively sloppy practice, characterized by several offside penalties and a flurry of drops. Darren Waller, Trent Steelman, Tom Nelson, Aldrick Robinson and Nick Boyle all dropped passes during different parts of practice. Steelman's drop was particularly disappointing; the former Army quarterback had gotten behind the defense and could have jogged into the end zone untouched.

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Play of the day: Waller, a sixth-round NFL draft pick, had an uneven day, but the rookie ended it on a high note, catching a deep pass from Joe Flacco down the sideline. It was a perfect throw from Flacco, but Waller also got good position on cornerback Quinton Pointer before making the catch.

Credit where it's due: The struggles of backup quarterback Matt Schaub have been well documented, but the veteran made several strong throws on a day when few offensive players stood out. Schaub deftly floated a pass to running back Terrence Magee, who had beaten inside linebacker Arthur Brown, in the end zone. He found undrafted rookie DeAndre Carter in traffic for another touchdown, then made maybe his prettiest throw in camp, hitting tight end Allen Reisner in stride downfield. Schaub did throw an interception, to linebacker Steven Means, but Harbaugh said the quarterback was sacked before he got rid of the ball.

Don't try that here: Marc Trestman's offense tried a couple of reverses, none of which were successful. That was largely because of strong-side linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who knows how to set the edge. Upshaw's active practice included snuffing out end arounds by Jeremy Butler and Michael Campanaro (River Hill). Means also stayed home on another reverse during practice. It was tough sledding for the Ravens offense throughout the afternoon.

Friendly fire: Safety Will Hill delivered the biggest hit of the day on one of his defensive teammates. Hill broke on a pass toward the sideline, but instead of breaking it up, he collided with cornerback Kyle Arrington. That left Campanaro to make the catch and head downfield.

Don't forget about him: Justin Forsett has looked quick and decisive. Lorenzo Taliaferro is leaner and faster. Rookie Buck Allen makes seemingly one jaw-dropping cut per practice. Fitzgerald Toussaint, who was active for two regular-season games last year, has been the forgotten man in the running back picture. But he broke several big runs at practice, finding a hole and popping through it. He still faces an uphill battle in making the team, but he has had a solid camp.

Taking care of the veterans: Harbaugh gives veterans days off periodically throughout the season, a practice that led some of the Ravens' top performers to stay indoors Friday rather than join teammates on the practice field. Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., linebackers Terrell Suggs and Daryl Smith, defensive end Chris Canty, cornerback Lardarius Webb and Forsett all were held out of practice, giving many of the organization's young players more repetitions.

Injury report: Wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee) and Marlon Brown (back) remained sidelined. Perriman has missed seven consecutive practices. Guard Kelechi Osemele (foot/ankle) missed a second straight practice, while fellow guards Robert Myers and John Urschel, who were tested for concussions Thursday, sat out Friday. Tight end Maxx Williams also was missing a day after being poked in the eye. Other possible injury-related absences included cornerbacks Tray Walker (hamstring) and Chris Greenwood (hamstring), outside linebacker Zach Thompson, and defensive linemen DeAngelo Tyson and Brent Urban.

Overheard: “Throw the towel. Throw the towel.” Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson begging the side judge for an offensive-pass-interference call that never came.

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