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Tight ends Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore come up big for Ravens in afternoon practice

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
After a promising game Thursday, Maxx Williams seemed to catch more balls than anyone else combined Saturday.

Setting the scene: The Ravens were in jerseys and shorts Saturday afternoon for their first practice after their preseason opener Thursday, and the change in schedule — they started at 1 p.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. — meant they practiced during the hottest part of a sweltering day. Practice ended about 4 p.m., and players went inside for a team-wide yoga stretch shortly thereafter.

Williams lays out: Building on his promising start to the preseason Thursday, rookie tight end Maxx Williams seemed to catch more balls than anyone else combined Saturday. The highlight was a downfield pass that Williams caught while fully horizontal; he showed an extra bit of skill to save himself from falling on the ball, too.

Gillmore a red-zone target: In high school, Crockett Gillmore caught 45 passes as a senior, 22 for touchdowns, so the tight end knows his way around the end zone. He showed Saturday that he can be a force there. Quarterback Joe Flacco found him in the corners of the end zone several times on fade routes during individual drills and seven-on-seven action. Veteran Owen Daniels taught him all the tricks last year, and with Gillmore's 6-foot-6 frame, he can be a force.

With authority: Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan returned to practice for the first time since last Saturday, and though he was limited to individual drills, Jernigan made those repetitions count. During one drill, his fellow defensive linemen shouted encouragement as Jernigan blasted tackling dummies.

Return reset: With cornerback-returner Asa Jackson out after injuring his knee Thursday, wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill) and cornerback Cassius Vaughn returned kicks with the first team. Rookie receiver DeAndre Carter, rookie running back Buck Allen and receiver Aldrick Robinson had turns with the second and third return teams.

Overheard: “Bryan Renner, you're my hero.” — A fan to Ravens third-string quarterback Bryn Renner, whose last-second headlong dive into the end zone gave the Ravens a 30-27 win over the Saints on Thursday. It was the first many fans had heard of the reserve quarterback, and apparently, some still need to learn his name.

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