A few observations from the Ravens’ second open practice Thursday:
Flacco sharp: Quarterback Joe Flacco threw well and completed more long passes than I’ve seen him complete in recent years.
Some will suggest Flacco is throwing better because of the competition with Robert Griffin III and rookie Lamar Jackson on the roster, but there might be multiple reasons for any improvement.
Flacco looks healthy and isn’t complaining of any back or knee issues. He also is working with a new group of receivers and they are still trying to get timing down on routes.
Clearly, Flacco’s throwing motion is better than either Griffin’s or Jackson’s. Griffin has more of a slingshot motion when he throws and Jackson needs to work on technique and consistency. He has made significant progress in recent weeks.
It will be interesting to see if the other two QBs can narrow the distance between them and Flacco during the preseason.
Mr. May: Jerry Coleman of 105.7 The Fan likes to call receiver Breshad Perriman “Mr. May” because he performs so well during various minicamps this time of year and then goes back to being Mr. Dropsy afterwards.
Perriman was good in the practice the media got to see last week but dropped a long pass from Flacco Thursday. I checked the calendar and noticed it was May 31. I think Perriman knew the clock was close to striking midnight.
The former first-round pick, though, did get a glowing endorsement from coach John Harbaugh.
“He’s played really fast,” Harbaugh said. “He’s worked hard. I’m not sure exactly what he did. He told me he was working and running routes away from the building. He’s trained very hard when he’s been here, I can tell you that. He’s in great shape.
“But he’s playing very fast. Not just that, he’s catching the ball really well. He looks much smoother; he’s getting in and out of routes quicker. He’s taking a step in the right direction. I know that he’s determined to carry that right through training camp, so I’m looking forward to seeing that.”
Worth watching: Rookie receiver Jordan Lasley has been impressive. He has dropped one or two passes, but for the most part has been consistent. Keep an eye on him.
Rookie tight end Hayden Hurst, the team’s No. 1 pick out of South Carolina, has great hands even on rainy days like Thursday. Mark Andrews, the other rookie tight end from Oklahoma, has been impressive as well. Hurst, though, has a presence about him on the field.
Line experiment: The Ravens put guard Alex Lewis at center Thursday and this might be his permanent home. There are still some questions about Matt Skura being the starting center.
I do wonder about Lewis’s height (6-foot-6) at the position. Nose guards are usually strong and squatty and rely on leverage just as much as power. It’s going to be hard to root them off the ball at Lewis’s height.
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Tackle in training: I’ve been watching Orlando Brown Jr. at right offensive tackle the past two weeks. He runs well for a big man but his technique is sloppy even though it improved from a week ago.
A major problem with the 6-foot-8 Brown will be getting him to bend his knees to get proper blocking angles in leverage. The Ravens also need to work on his hands because he is dropping them way too low. That will cost him time when blocking speedy pass rushers on the outside.
Brown, a former left tackle in college, has been getting advice from Ronnie Stanley, the Ravens third year left tackle.
“I told him to just keep his head down, work hard, just know your role, and he’s been doing great,” Stanley said. “He’s been working his butt off, trying to learn new techniques, and he’s playing a whole new position at right tackle. He’s working hard. I couldn’t ask him to do any more.”
OLB Correa: This is a big year for third-year linebacker Kamalei Correa. The Ravens have moved him back to the outside and he looks bigger than a year ago. On the field he seems more comfortable and appears to be thinking less.
He had some good QB pressures in practice Thursday. I’m still looking for more from second-year linebackers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams. The Ravens need both to step up in 2018.
Bulking up: Fullback/defensive lineman Patrick Ricard has added some weight during the offseason. He kind of looks like former Raven nose guard Kelly Gregg but with longer arms.