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Maxx Williams flashes speed and big-play potential, a welcome development for Ravens

Ravens third-year tight end Maxx Williams persevered through the first couple of weeks of training camp with a noticeable limp, a result of the serious surgery that he had on his knee last year.

He was bigger and stronger, which was evident in his blocking, and he caught most of the balls thrown in his direction. However, when it came time to run past a defender or gain separation, Williams struggled to do it.

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That wasn't the case in the Ravens' 31-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night. Williams, the 2015 second-round draft pick who is trying to solidify a role on offense, made the longest play of the night with a 40-yard catch-and-run of a Josh Woodrum pass in the third quarter.

Williams easily could have been taken down for only a minimal gain, but he shed a tackle attempt by Deon Lacey and then raced past a few more Dolphins defenders before being taken down at the Miami 14-yard line.

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"He's a sneaky athlete. You want to think that he's not athletic and all of a sudden he starts running people over and breaking tackles," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That's what we've been looking for from him since we drafted him. That was really fun to watch."

Williams, who is competing with Larry Donnell and Vince Mayle for the No.3 tight end spot, caught two balls for 48 yards Thursday.

"It feels good to finally feel like I can run again and finally make a play," Williams said. "It was a confidence boost to myself, and it is good to know that my knee is back. Now I just need to keep building on that every week."

End zone: To make room for the signing of center Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens waived-injured wide receiver Kenny Bell, who tore his hamstring early in training camp. … Ravens rookie third-round linebacker Tim Williams was relieved to get his first NFL sack, a takedown of Brandon Doughty in the fourth quarter. Williams, who felt he was too hesitant in the team's preseason opener a week earlier, drilled Doughty to the ground again on the very next play. "It was a foundation of building blocks for what I know I can do," Williams said.

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