The Ravens welcomed back starting wide receiver Marlon Brown, kick returner Deonte Thompson and starting cornerback Lardarius Webb in their final full practice before Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.
With Ray Rice parked on the sideline in street clothes after suffering a hip injury last weekend, Bernard Pierce made his first NFL start Sunday against the Houston Texans. Predictably, it was his busiest afternoon to date. Here is a deeper look at that and other observations from the NFL's official snap counts.
A week after Michael Huff struggled in a loss the Denver Broncos, rookie Matt Elam, the team's first-round pick in April¿s NFL draft, replaced Huff as the starting free safety in Sunday's 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns. Elam played all 63 defensive snaps.
We knew the Ravens would be in the nickel a lot against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. They probably had to use it even more than expected as the Broncos went three-wide on more than 75 percent of their plays. As a result, Jimmy Smith, Corey Graham and Lardarius Webb played significant snaps.
I expect a lot of the national media to say that the reason the Ravens lost and gave up a lot of yards to Denver and Peyton Manning is because the team no longer has linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.
The Ravens' front office has earned plenty of praise for their decisions during the draft but it is also in the minutes after the final pick has been made, a period that assistant general manager Eric DeCosta equated to a "feeding frenzy," where the organization has historically done some of its best work.
Daryl Smith will start for the Baltimore Ravens at middle linebacker tonight. With the regular season just three weeks away, Smith appears to have that starting spot locked up. The team's other starting inside linebacker spot? Well, that one is another story.
As the Baltimore Ravens look to fill the void left by Ray Lewis' retirement and choose another starter to replace free-agent departure Dannell Ellerbe, we could see the Ravens do things a little differently when it comes to their inside linebackers this season.
The Ravens continue contract negotiations with Vonta Leach and they remain the front runner to sign the two-time Pro Bowl fullback. It was initially believed that Leach would make a decision by Friday. However, talks will now continue into the weekend.
A sizable chunk of the Ravens' salary cap is taken up by the bloated cap figures of Pro Bowl players such as Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata and costly cap hits for fellow franchise cornerstones such as Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. But the Ravens also rely on young players and cheaper veterans to round out their roster. Here is a list of seven of the best bargains on the Ravens.
Preston never put a lot of stock in OTAs because the season is still a few months away and there could be some significant changes to the roster before the regular season opener. But here are a few casual observations from watching the first workout open to the media Wednesday.