Ravens wow about 20,000 fans in open practice at Navy

Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones' inside fake was convincing enough to spin around cornerback Jimmy Smith, leaving him out of position to defend a spiral from Joe Flacco.

As Jones hauled in the touchdown pass at Sunday's open practice at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, an estimated 20,000 cheered in approval.

"Anytime you get the opportunity to interact with the fans, you appreciate it, especially us being in camp right now," said former Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith. "Our fans are important to us. They mean the world to us, and obviously we mean the world to them. Anytime we get to interact and show our appreciation back, we're all for it."

Sunday's practice marked the first of three away from team headquarters this preseason. There will be an Aug. 11 practice at M&T Bank Stadium and an Aug. 18 workout at Stevenson University.

"We started camp in Gettysburg and now we're moving through Annapolis," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We've got great respect for the military. We really feel strongly about who the heroes are in our country. The American dream is made real by the sacrifices made by the American heroes in our military. Coming here is a small way to say thanks."

The Ravens conducted a crisp practice with an emphasis on situational drills, including red-zone work, special teams and full-team work.

With training camp and offseason workouts closed to the general public at the Ravens' training complex, it was the first opportunity for fans to watch a roster overhauled since winning the Super Bowl.

"I'm feeling good about this season," said Neil Jones, 46, of Reisterstown. "I think the defense is going to be much better and faster and younger."

However, Edgewater resident Shawn Peterson, 24, isn't necessarily counting on a Super Bowl repeat.

"I don't know if they'll go all the way," Peterson said. "But I believe we've got a strong team and will at least make the playoffs."

Gino Coiro, 23, of Edgewater said Sunday reminded him of the old days watching camp at McDaniel College in Westminster.

"We're really grateful of the team keeping the tradition alive," Coiro said. "This is a big deal. We get to see our team and how they've developed. We're excited. I'm a huge Ravens fan. I live for this."

Dickson, Ihedigbo sidelined

Already shorthanded at tight end with Dennis Pitta out for the season with a fractured, dislocated hip, the Ravens were without Ed Dickson for the majority of Sunday's practice due to a strained hamstring.

Harbaugh downplayed the severity of the injury.

"His hamstring grabbed a little bit, so we pulled him out for precautionary reasons," Harbaugh said. "We'll take a look at it [Sunday] and see how it looks and see where we're at."

Strong safety James Ihedigbo didn't practice because of a strained neck suffered Friday. Wide receiver David Reed tweaked his groin.

"We're just giving James a rest on the neck," Harbaugh said. "He kind of got tweaked a little bit, a little strain in there. I want to back him off a little bit. Nothing serious with David, just resting him."

Competing with first-round pick Matt Elam for a starting job, Ihedigbo said he'll return to practice soon.

"Yeah, I'll be all right," he said. "It's nothing that's going to hinder me through the season."

Harewood returns

Sidelined for the past week with swelling in his surgically repaired knee, backup offensive lineman Ramon Harewood returned to practice and made it through with no setbacks.

Harewood visited a doctor for treatment but said he didn't need to have his knee drained.

"Especially during camp, nobody wants to miss time," he said. "It was a good feeling to be back out there. I'm in good spirits right now."


Cody getting healthier

Nose tackle Terrence Cody revealed that he had elbow surgery this offseason in addition to a previously known hip surgery.

Cody wasn't initially sure he'd be allowed to participate at the start of camp, but he has been able to practice each day.

"The elbow surgery, that's why I didn't think I was going to be ready," Cody said. "I got cleared by doctors and I feel good. Each practice, I'm getting better and better. My technique is still a little rusty."



Strong-legged kicker Justin Tucker tested his range by attempting several long field goals, nearly connecting on a series of boots from beyond 60 yards.

"I'm always disappointed when he misses those 69-yarders, you know?" Harbaugh said with a laugh. "It's really effective for him to come off the sideline and try field goals as opposed to a normal field goal drill. It helps get him ready for games, which is really what we're preparing for."

End zone

Undrafted rookie cornerback Moe Lee intercepted a pass from Taylor, continuing to display flashes of playmaking skills. "Moe Lee, he keeps showing up, but he's got a long ways to go in all honesty from a standpoint of understanding defenses and technique," Harbaugh said. "He does make a lot of mistakes that you don't see, but it's also hard to coach that knack." ... Defensive end Arthur Jones lost roughly 20 pounds over the summer heading into a contract year. "Art is having a tremendous camp," Harbaugh said. "He's quick, he's fast, he's playing with better technique than he's ever played before. Art is having his best camp." ... Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, who reported to camp overweight, says he's getting closer to his target weight of 346 pounds. "I don't know why this weight thing is always a big thing every year," he said. "I'm not like a big, huge guy. I'm not fat and sloppy."


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