Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie tweeted this afternoon that the Baltimore Ravens were releasing him. He later confirmed to my colleague, Aaron Wilson, that the Ravens had released him, only to change his tune about 20 minutes later, saying it wasn't over yet.
The final portion of the Ravens' practice involved the 2-minute drill. From their own 32-yard line, quarterback Joe Flacco and the offense marched 68 yards, capping the drive with a pass from Flacco to wide receiver Tandon Doss, who scampered 21 yards to the end zone. Coach John Harbaugh immediately signaled the end of practice after the score.
Pernell McPhee, who has started at defensive end in both of the Ravens¿ first two preseason games, and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, are absent from the team¿s practice at Stevenson University¿s Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills.
The defense's ability to apply pressure got off to a modest start when defensive end Pernell McPhee tagged quarterback Joe Flacco. But the pass rush really ramped up during a two-minute exercise during which backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor was whistled down five times in six plays. The other play resulted in a Hail Mary from Taylor to rookie wide receiver Tommy Streeter getting deflected by strong safety Sean Considine and intercepted by inside linebacker Jameel McClain.
Upshaw, the team's first of two second-round picks in April, was one of several Ravens to return to the practice field today. Running back Anthony Allen, guard Marshal Yanda, linebacker Jameel McClain and defensive end Pernell McPhee, who all left practice early yesterday, were also on the practice field.
With the secondary covering the receivers, the rest of the defense turned up the heat on the quarterbacks. Inside linebackers Ray Lewis and rookie Nigel Carr, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and outside linebacker Albert McClellan each got to the quarterbacks ¿ with Taylor getting tagged three times. McClellan and fellow outside linebacker Sergio Kindle also posted at least one quarterback hit each.
Nearly seven months removed from his missed 32-yard field-goal attempt in the closing seconds of the AFC championship game, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff is refreshed, healthy and, by his estimation, enjoying the best training camp of his NFL career, which has spanned a decade.
So far, Paul Kruger hasn¿t done anything to disappoint observers. The outside linebacker dove and tipped a pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to rookie wide receiver Deonte Thompson. On the very next play, Kruger sacked Taylor. Kruger then sacked Flacco twice.
Center Matt Birk (back spasms), rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (bruised right shoulder) and wide receiver Tandon Doss (hamstring) sat out their sixth consecutive practice. Tight end Dennis Pitta (broken right hand), rookie running back Bernard Pierce (hamstring) and linebacker Josh Bynes (undisclosed) did not participate for the fifth straight day.
Williams continued to burnish his highlight film for the coaches. His touchdown catch in the red-zone drill involved a leaping grab in the end zone. During a third-down exercise, he hauled in two passes good for first downs, including a leaping back-shoulder catch over rookie cornerback Jordan Mabin.
Second-year defensive end Pernell McPhee, who has been sidelined since organized team activities with a knee injury, returned to the practice field on Wednesday, his first full-participation practice of Ravens training camp.
Yanda found a way to block out the pain, like he has throughout his career as he enters his sixth NFL season. The discomfort Yanda felt months ago after he suffered bruised ribs Week 16 against Cleveland, was just a memory on Tuesday as he participated in training camp. When asked to reflect on playing through the pain, Yanda chose to focus on the present, saying he is 100 percent.