The Ravens have a new cast of characters on their coverage teams in 2013, but in last week's preseason loss, their punt coverage team experienced the kind of breakdown that plagued them during the playoffs in 2012.
Sunday's release of Tommy Streeter, Rashaad Carter and Gerrard Sheppard (Towson, McDonogh) leaves the Ravens with seven healthy wide receivers on their roster. It also narrows down what might be the most intriguing roster competition left before the regular season begins.
It took only a few moments for Ravens Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda and starting cornerback Lardarius Webb during their respective preseason debuts to prove that their surgically repaired limbs are sound.
Saturday¿s outdoor practice started at 2:45 p.m. and ended at 5:20. The sun was out for most of the workout with temperatures hovering in the high 70¿s. Players were in full pads after having Friday off from practice following Thursday¿s 27-23 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, we exchanged emails with with Andrew Hanes, who blogs about the Ravens for Raven Nation Army.
Newly signed slot receiver Brandon Stokley practiced with the Ravens for the first time Monday, but it was obvious that he was unfamiliar with his new teammates and what he was supposed to be doing on a few plays, which is understandable considering he was lining up on his couch a few days ago.
Sunday's open practice at M&T Bank Stadium started at 5:00 p.m. and ended around 7:15. Approximately 2,500 fans attended. It was partially cloudy and temperatures were in the mid 80s. Players wore full pads for the second straight practice.
The Ravens defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Thursday night's preseason opener. While many of the starters only played a quarter, they were in there long enough to make a few observations about when and how certain players were being used and what formations the Ravens were lining them up in.
By the time the downpour came and lighting flashed around the perimeter of Raymond James Stadium, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs had long found a spot on the Ravens¿ sideline where they would remain the rest of the night.
The Ravens couldn't have asked for much better weather to start training camp. The first full-team workout, which started at 2:30 and finished just after 5, played out under sunny skies and in temperatures in the mid-to-high 70's. Players, who undoubtedly appreciated the break from the summer heat, wore shells.
Jacoby Jones is currently the starting wide receiver opposite Torrey Smith on the Ravens' depth chart. Although Jones is designated as the favorite to earn a starting job with Anquan Boldin traded to the San Francisco 49ers, he'll face competition for the position.
As diminutive Ravens running back Bobby Rainey and punter Sam Koch belted several home runs at Ripken Stadium, cornerback Lardarius Webb came away even more impressed by what surrounded his teammates Sunday in Aberdeen.
"You don't replace Anquan" Boldin. Those are the words of Ravens wide receiver Tandon Doss, the man who is expected to be one of the leading combatants in the offseason royal rumble to replace the veteran receiver who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.