When kicker Justin Tucker had the day off during Friday’s practice, it wasn’t expected that field goals would end up being one of the biggest highlights of the day.
But punter Sam Koch changed that.
The Ravens tested Koch’s leg during practice, giving him a chance to try some field goals from longer than 50 yards. Koch drilled a field goal from 51 yards and then backed it up even further to hit one from 60 yards.
The team all cheered Koch’s 60-yarder, and Head Coach John Harbaugh even picked him up to celebrate.
“It’s remarkable some of the things these guys can do, and that’s a testament to them,” Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. “They’ve practiced just a couple of times, and they go out there and warm up, and get ready to go, and they knock a 60-yarder.”
Undrafted rookie punter Richie Leone also showed off his leg, as he drilled a 51-yard field goal himself to end practice.
“It doesn’t surprise me really that they’re able to do that because they’re both really good athletes, but I think it kind of points to the kind of players that you have at this level,” Rosburg said.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome was on his cell phone soon after Koch drilled the 60-yard field goal, and Kicking Coach Randy Brown joked that “Tuck [Justin Tucker] got a little nervous when he saw Ozzie on the phone!”
Here were some of the key notes of the morning practice:
- For the second day in a row, the Ravens practiced in shorts and shells. Harbaugh has dialed back some of the contact after a very physical two days of practice earlier in the week.
- Cornerback Jimmy Smith, wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and left tackle Eugene Monroe all had the day off for a little rest. Linebacker Daryl Smith (groin), cornerback Lardarius Webb (back) and Timmy Jernigan (back) were also held out of practice because of injuries.
- Terrell Suggs opened up practice loudly, belting out the Zulu words from the "Circle of Life" that opens up the Disney movie “The Lion King.” Suggs was skipping out on to the practice fields as he sang, and it started to spread with his teammates joining in the chorus.
- With Jimmy Smith and Webb both sitting out practice, cornerbacks Asa Jackson and Chykie Brown got more reps with the first-team defense. Jackson continues to make strides and had a particularly strong day of practice. His best play was an interception of quarterback Joe Flacco during full-team drills near the end of practice.
- Even though Steve Smith wasn’t practicing, he was still active out on the field. He was essentially another coach and he spent much of practice talking with some of the younger receivers on the roster. At one point, he gave receiver LaQuan Williams some one-on-one instruction after Williams caught a pass in the back of the end zone but was unable to stay in bounds.
- Wide receiver Deonte Thompson had a few nice plays during practice, including a catch and run on a slant pass over the middle of the field. Thompson ran a nice route to get open, and then showed off his speed to blow by the secondary.
- Wide receiver Jacoby Jones is a joy to watch during practice. He’s always doing something, even when he isn’t involved in a drill. Whether it’s cracking a joke, dancing to whatever song is playing over the speakers or making funny faces at the fans, Jones is a character. One of the funniest parts of practice was when he was playfully arguing with Suggs and Haloti Ngata across the field. Ngata then walked onto the field and did his best impression of Jones by mocking the receiver’s pigeon-toed walk. Jones couldn’t keep a straight face after that.