Baltimore Ravens

Ravens training camp highlights: Joe Flacco demonstrates why he is the incumbent

Solid debut for Flacco

Sunday was Joe Flacco’s first practice in which he worked against the Ravens defense, and the quarterback appeared solidly ahead of rookie Lamar Jackson and veteran Robert Griffin III. Flacco found rookie tight end Mark Andrews over the middle on a well-designed seam route, zipped passes to several receivers on comeback routes and avoided getting intercepted. Flacco ended practice by leading the offense down the field during a two-minute drill, finding wide receiver Chris Moore alone in the back right corner of the end zone for a touchdown.

Run, Joe, run

As well as Flacco threw the ball, fans were most impressed when the quarterback took off around the left end and wove his way through the defense during a full-team exercise. That play drew the loudest applause of the day from the crowd.


One-on-one success

Tavon Young was the defensive standout during a one-on-one drill between receivers and defensive backs. The cornerback broke up Flacco’s pass intended for rookie wide receiver Jordan Lasley on a comeback route along the right sideline and blanketed Lasley on an out route that forced Flacco to throw he ball away. Young looks fully recovered from the torn ACL in his left knee that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season.

Under construction

Matt Skura and Alex Lewis have been sharing repetitions at center as the team searches for a replacement for Ryan Jensen, who left in the offseason for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the education continues for both players. Defensive tackle Willie Henry blew up Lewis during one full-team exercise, and Skura nearly snapped the ball over Flacco’s 6-foot-6 frame. But Skura and Lewis have cut down on their missteps so far.


Delivering the wood

Rookie safety DeShon Elliott made his presence known with a pair of hard hits. During a full-team exercise, he decked Nick Keizer after the rookie tight end caught a pass from Jackson and dislodged the ball from Keizer’s grasp. During a 6-on-7 drill, Elliott trucked rookie wide receiver Jaelon Acklin to cause another incompletion.

Fool me once…

During an exercise in which the offense was tasked with fourth-and-7, a hard count by Flacco enticed outside linebacker Tyus Bowser to jump offsides. On the next play under the same conditions, the defense did not budge with Griffin under center.


Sunday was not a good day for several rookies trying to demonstrate they can return kicks. During an extended kick return exercise with an emphasis on blocking, wide receivers Janarion Grant and Lasley and running back Gus Edwards each dropped kickoffs, and Lasley did it twice. Each mistake drew loud groans from fans watching practice.

Overheard at practice Part 1

While transitioning from one exercise to another, coach John Harbaugh implored the players to get to their positions quickly. When they apparently did not move fast enough, Harbaugh said loudly, “Guys, when I say get moving, that means stop walking!”

Overheard at practice Part 2

“You’ve got to keep your head on a swivel, boy!” — A Ravens support staffer to another holding the down marker after safety Chuck Clark pushed tight end Maxx Williams into him, knocking him to the ground.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jonas Shaffer contributed to this article.