For a guy who missed the 2016 season because of a torn ligament in his thumb, wide receiver Chris Matthews has made a few standout catches during the first six days of Ravens training camp. But the four-year veteran acknowledged that he needs to be more productive to make a lasting impression with the coaches.
"My biggest thing is they want to see consistency out of me," he said after Wednesday morning's practice. "I know that in my past years, I would do good, but then I would kind of taper down a little bit and then come out of nowhere and do good again. What they want to see is consistency? 'Can he continue to do that?' So I think that's the biggest thing. It's great that I'm doing this out here in practice, but it's only really going to count when game time comes."
Matthews speaks from experience. He made his breakthrough in Super Bowl XLIX for the Seattle Seahawks when he caught four passes for 109 yards and one touchdown in their 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots on Feb. 1, 2015.
But after nine games the following season in Seattle, Matthews was released. He was signed by the Ravens and caught nine passes for 97 yards and one score in four games before sitting out last season.
At 6-foot-5, Matthews is the tallest wide receiver on the Ravens roster and could be a red-zone target. But he said his goal is to be a versatile wideout for the team.
That's part of the reason why Matthews is trying to carve out a niche on special teams. During a special teams drill during Wednesday morning's practice, he drew the ire of free safety Lardarius Webb and outside linebackers Matthew Judon and Terrell Suggs when he drove a defensive teammate out of bounds and stared him down.
Reminded of that incident, Matthews laughed it off.
"All that meant to me is that I did my job and they got mad. That's what it meant to me," he joked. "It's all fun and games. We're all out there working hard. It's nothing malicious. We're not trying to hurt anybody. It's just friendly competition amongst men."
End zone: Coach John Harbaugh told reporters he will refrain from discussing timelines for injured players unless they are of the season-ending variety. "Beyond that, it's really hard to put a time frame on it. I know everyone wants a time frame, and we do want to keep our fans informed, we do want people to know what's going on. But I have learned the lesson the hard way. You just don't know how long things are going to last, and if you start putting dates on them, everybody starts questioning you. It's just unpredictable. So we'll let you know if it's serious." … Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan attended Wednesday's practice. … Cornerback Tavon Young attended practice wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee.