Ravens camp highlights: Aug. 2

SETTING THE SCENE: Friday's outdoor practice started at 2:30 p.m. and ended at 5. Weather was partially cloudy with temperatures in the low 80s. Players were in full pads for the sixth straight practice.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: There may not be anyone better at throwing the deep comeback than Joe Flacco. It is one of the most difficult and dangerous throws for a quarterback to make, but Flacco makes it look so easy. Flacco fired accurate passes on comebacks to Jacoby Jones and LaQuan Williams as they were making their breaks. He also picked up first downs on a curl route by Tandon Doss and a deep out to Torrey Smith. Those type of intermediate throws to the speedy Smith will be like stealing if Smith learns to run those routes half as well as Derrick Mason did.


SPEAKING OF SMITH: The third-year wide receiver made one of the most impressive catches of training camp near the end of Friday's practice. Running across the formation on a drag route in a live 11-on-11 drill, Smith reached out with his right hand to pluck a pass that was thrown behind him. He hardly broke stride as he pulled it into his body and turned up the field.

CORNERING THE MARKET: The Ravens have excellent depth at cornerback, which makes sense as they have drafted five in the past five years, including Jimmy Smith with their top pick in 2011. After a shaky start to camp, Smith is playing well, as evidenced by the lack of passes going his way. But Corey Graham, a free-agent addition a year ago, is playing well, too, especially when his man runs routes across the field. Throw in Chykie Brown, who has been making plays in the nickel package, and the Ravens have options as they ease Lardarius Webb back into the lineup.

LIVING ON THE EDGE: Rookie John Simon, a fourth-round pick in April's draft, is running with the third-team defense due to all the depth at outside linebacker. He has mostly blended in with the crowd and has plenty of work to do to get better against the run, but he did generate some pressure as a pass rusher Friday. He sacked Caleb Hanie when Hanie bootlegged right into his lap. Simon hurried quarterbacks on a couple other plays, too, including one when starting right tackle Michael Oher lined up across from him.

LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN: When he isn't on the field, left tackle Bryant McKinnie spends more time with his hands on hips than the cast of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." But at least he has been making it the whole way through practices and is pass blocking a bit better.

MAKING NOISE: Safety Anthony Levine, a two-year NFL veteran, has stood out the past few days. He isn't afraid to get physical. He got trucked by running back Anthony Allen on one play but made the tackle. On the next play, he responded by drilling Billy Bajema with a loud hit to the tight end's back as he caught a short pass. Levine is battling for the fourth safety spot.

BIG BROWN: Marlon Brown, a rookie free agent out of Georgia, is finally practicing fully after tearing his ACL in November. At 6-feet-5, Brown is an easy guy to spot when he is on the field. The receiver made a couple of catches in team drills Friday. It's too early to draw conclusions, but if he has some skill to go with that size, he could be a player the Ravens try to stash on their practice squad.

GRINDING IT OUT: The Ravens ended practice by simulating a late-game situation in which the offense had to run for a first down to bleed out the clock. Both the first-team and second-team offenses moved the chains thanks to tough between-the-tackles runs on fourth down by Bernard Pierce and Allen, respectively.

IN THE NAVY: The players have an off day Saturday before the team holds its first open practice of the summer at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Sunday evening.

INJURY REPORT: There was no change in attendance from Thursday's practice. Guards Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and Ramon Harewood (knee) and linebacker Jameel McClain (bruised spine) remained sidelined.

OVERHEARD: "You like these? They put a hole in my wallet." — Jones, talking to two members of the Ravens media relations staff about his new metallic gold cleats.


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