Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston's observations from Monday's Ravens training camp practice

Rough start

I hope the Ravens play better Tuesday against the Los Angeles Rams than they did Monday, especially on offense.

I stuck with the Ravens offense throughout practice Monday and the Rams pretty much dominated. The Ravens broke off a few decent running plays, but the Rams smothered the passing attack.


Quarterback Joe Flacco was constantly off the mark and at times seemed too concerned about the Rams pass rush even though they couldn’t hit him. The Ravens had no long ball. They basically threw short, underneath stuff, and the timing was off on a lot of those patterns.

Maybe they were holding something back or maybe they were just trying to counter the Rams pass rush. The Ravens didn’t play with a lot of energy. In fact, they looked more like the team that had made the trip across the country to practice instead of the Rams.


The Rams clearly sent a message. They were a better, stronger football team and after about 90 minutes they slowed the intensity. It was mission accomplished.

“I thought we did fine,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “It was pretty solid. It was just OK. It was a work day.”

The Rams have a lot of physical specimens on their team. They look good getting off the bus.

No fighting

It was apparent that both head coaches had talked to their players about fighting. Everyone was watching Ravens receiver Michael Crabtree go against Rams cornerback Aqib Talib because of their previous history, but there were no physical or verbal exchanges between the two.

Talib actually knocked down a Flacco pass attempt to Crabtree, but it was no great play. In all honesty, it was a lazy pass thrown by Flacco and a poor way of coming back to the ball by Crabtree.

It was on par for the Ravens practice.

The only brief player exchange was between Ravens right offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and rookie outside linebacker John Franklin-Myers, who had a couple of pity-pat shoves.

Where is Ryan Jensen when you want a melee?


He definitely would have been swinging at Rams nose tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Brown improving

Brown continues to make progress — the rookie has a good attitude and a willingness to learn. He’ll be learning a lot this week.

Suh overpowered him in one-on-one pass protection drills and there were times when Franklin-Myers beat him around the corner. But as practice wore on, Brown held his own. If he can measure up against the Rams defensive line, he might be on to something.

As for guards Alex Lewis and James Hurst, they appeared to have strong practices Monday.

Special teams match up

It might be just practice, but the best matchups occur when the special teams play against each other. That’s because these are the guys who are fighting to make the roster. A lot of them are on the bubble.

The Ravens’ Anthony Levine Sr., Tim White and Jordan Lasley worked hard and played well as gunners on the punt team during a drill while cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman stuck out for the Rams.


And those drills were very physical.

Hogan in-house

Maryland governor Larry Hogan showed up at practice Monday and apparently someone told him it was photo opportunity day.

He came out wearing the black coach’s garb complete with the sunglasses. He was entertaining standing out there with his arms folded as if he was calling the shots.

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He was fooling no one, but it might look good on a magazine cover or in the next political ad.

Impressive rookie

The Ravens don’t need another kicker because they have punter Sam Koch and kicker Justin Tucker, but rookie Kaare Vedvik is going to kick somewhere in the NFL this season.

He has a rocket of a foot. From where we were standing, it looked like he converted on a 59-yard field goal that he cleared by about 10 yards.


Vedvik is a free agent out of Marshall.

Yanda easing back

Ravens Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda practiced for a little while during individual drills Monday. He is still recuperating from shoulder surgery this offseason but you could tell by the look on his face he wanted to be out there going against the Rams.

Once he is ready, the Ravens should have a solid offensive line. But this group can’t afford injuries.

Ugly long ball

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson throws an ugly long ball. It flutters and just hangs up in the air forever. If you’re not paying attention, you might think it was a punt.