Some reasons for optimism at Ravens minicamp

Some reasons for optimism at Ravens minicamp

Ravens

Some reasons for optimism at Ravens minicamp

Ravens mandatory minicamp is underway this mid-week of June 12-14. Veteran Terrell Suggs reported to practice in what many thought was the best physical shape of his career. Maybe that’s a good omen.

Two more good omens:  Joe Flacco is healthy and strong enough for the first time in two years to actually be a full participant in minicamp offense drills.

And the Ravens have avoided any significant injuries in the offseason up to this point. That was not the case the past two seasons either.

Speaking of offense drills, will we see two quarterbacks in competition with each other for the starting position? Not really…

Ryan Mink, Ravens staff writer, observed that the Ravens are experimenting with what they can do with BOTH Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on the field at the same time.

At times during Tuesday’s first minicamp practice, Flacco and Jackson both trotted out with the first-team offense and lined up at multiple spots.

“If we put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That’s what we’ve tried to figure out,” head coach John Harbaugh said.

“[Lamar’s] back there throwing the ball, he’s back there doing other things. Then Joe has to be able to do some other things too if [Lamar’s] throwing the ball. It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they’ve worked hard at it.”

Harbaugh also alluded to the fact that the Ravens want to be careful not to get either quarterback injured running trick plays. But if Jackson’s going to be active on gamedays, which Harbaugh expects, then Baltimore wants to find ways to utilize his unique talent.

Ryan Mink: “Jackson can obviously run and make defenders miss. The Heisman Trophy winner did it throughout college, rushing for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in his three seasons…Jackson is especially dangerous in the red zone because he takes the teeth out of opponents’ pass rush. If they get too far up the field, he can easily find a seam and run into the end zone, as he showed during Tuesday’s practice.”

Other notes on minicamp practice from Mink:

  • Second-year guard Nico Siragusa is back on the field and has no limitations, per Harbaugh. Coming off a major knee injury suffered at the start of last year’s training camp, the Ravens are still easing him in with limited reps, however.
  • The Ravens continue to shuffle their offensive line as they get a look at how players handle different positions. On Tuesday, the first-team offensive line, from left to right, was Ronnie Stanley, Jermaine Eluemunor, Matt Skura, James Hurst and Orlando Brown Jr.
  • Second-year outside linebacker Tyus Bowser had the play of the day when he picked off Flacco during 11-on-11 red-zone drills and raced the other way for what would have been about an 85-yard touchdown.
  • Safety Eric Weddle also made an extremely difficult interception when he made a diving catch near the sideline. Weddle also had a diving pass breakup earlier in the practice. He’s enjoying the additional freedom afforded in new Defensive Coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s scheme.
  • Wide receiver Breshad Perriman had a drop during 11-on-11 work on a pass to the sideline that should have moved the chains. Perriman hasn’t yet replicated the strong offseason he had last year around this time.
  • Kamalei Correa worked at outside linebacker and looked quite explosive. He’s physically sculpted this year and seems best suited for “attack mode” off the edge. He can also drop well and drew praise from Weddle on one play for his communication in pass coverage.
    • With Correa lined up outside, the Ravens experimented with undrafted rookie defensive end Myles Humphrey at inside linebacker. He’s a player to keep an eye on.
    • Quarterback Robert Griffin III throws within the pocket the vast majority of the time, but he flashed his wheels on one play during 11-on-11 work. He’s still really fast and agile.

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