No points under pressure
One of the final portions of the Ravens’ joint practice with the Los Angeles Rams on Monday pitted their offense against the Rams defense in a two-minute situation. In three possessions, the offense emerged with zero points. The opening series, with quarterback Joe Flacco under center, was the most promising, as the unit drove to Los Angeles’ 40-yard line. But on third down, Flacco overthrew a deep pass along the right sideline to wide receiver Chris Moore, and kicker Justin Tucker’s field-goal attempt from 58 yards missed wide left. The Ravens’ ensuing drives, led by rookie Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III, did not get close to crossing midfield.
The Ravens have to continue to address their pass protection. Rookie outside linebacker Justin Lawler blew past rookie tight end Nick Keizer for a would-be sack of Jackson and got by right tackle Andrew Donnal for what another would-be sack of Jackson, and defensive tackle Tanzel Smart tagged Flacco. Worse, the Rams got to the quarterback without Aaron Donald, one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL, who is holding out from camp because of a contract dispute.
Show of hands
Los Angeles’ defense tipped, batted and slapped away a number of passes. Cornerbacks Nickell Robey-Coleman and Troy Hill, rookie strong safety Nate Holley and inside linebacker Ramik Wilson each broke up attempts, and free safety Marqui Christian got his hands on two throws. The Rams also tipped back-to-back passes from Jackson at the line of scrimmage.
Good hands, eyes and hands again
On one play, Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead IV crossed the middle of the field to catch a pass from Flacco in stride. Los Angeles cornerback Kevin Peterson popped the ball out of Snead’s grasp, but the receiver had the presence of mind to keep his eyes on the ball and snatch it out of midair without breaking stride.
The Ravens avoided interceptions but not fumbles. Rookie running back Gus Edwards was stripped of the ball on an inside carry, but center Nico Siragusa pounced on the loose ball. Six snaps later, Edwards lost the ball again on a swipe by rookie inside linebacker Tegray Scales, and rookie outside linebacker Trevon Young recovered the fumble. Finally, Griffin and Siragusa botched a snap, but rookie running back De’Lance Turner safely picked up the ball.
During the field-goal portion of practice, kicker Justin Tucker easily converted from 37, 41 and 48 yards but hooked a 55-yarder wide left. Rookie Kaare Vedvik connected from 36, 41, 48 and 58 yards. During full-team exercises, Tucker nailed a 51-yarder, while Vedvik missed a 44-yarder wide left. Tucker’s day ended with him pushing the 58-yarder wide left.
Name that tune
Monday’s playlist included Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Makin’ Some Noise,” Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” Wolfmother’s “Joker and the Thief” and Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.”
Overheard at practice, Part 1
“Coach Harbaugh, gunner alert!” Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel said to Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who was engrossed in a conversation with Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips inside the left sideline as both sides lined up for the punt-coverage portion of practice.
Overheard at practice, Part 2
Father to daughter: “You didn’t listen. That’s sunblock, not lip balm.”
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Daughter to father: “It’s sunblock for your lip.”