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Brandon Stokley Makes Immediate Impression

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Brandon Stokley has a lot of learning to do, but he showed his skills in his first practice.

Receiver Brandon Stokley didn’t waste any time making a good impression in Baltimore.

When the Ravens went into their red-zone portion of practice, quarterback Joe Flacco’s first pass went to receiver Jacoby Jones on an out. The ball deflected off his hands and was intercepted by cornerback Lardarius Webb.

In came Stokley, the 37-year-old slot receiver who the Ravens signed over the weekend.

Stokley ran the same route, shook cornerback Corey Graham and hauled in the pass. Touchdown.

“It’s just nice to catch a ball,” said Stokley, who hasn’t played with a team since the Ravens beat the Broncos in January’s AFC divisional playoffs.

Stokley ran with the first- and second-team offenses in his first time on the field as a Raven. He showed flashes of his skills, making quick cuts to get open on short routes to the sidelines and underneath.

Monday’s practice also showed he’s got work to do to assimilate into the Ravens offense. On the play after his touchdown, Stokley stopped short on a pass as it went over his head and was intercepted.

“I felt a little rusty,” Stokley said. “It just takes a while to get your legs under you. I haven’t been in an organized team activity since I lost to the Ravens in the playoffs. So it’s been a while.”

Stokley said he was staying in shape, waiting for some team to call, when the Ravens came knocking. He was on a plane the same night.

Where he’s got the most work to do is in the playbook, which is understandable for any new player. Flacco specifically called over to him once when he was in the shotgun. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe physically moved him once. Stokley occasionally asked receivers near him what to do.

“I’ve been here a day; they know the whole playbook,” Stokley said. “So they’re working with me. The receivers have been great, Joe, our quarterbacks, all our coaches. I’m trying to catch up as much as possible, but that’s the problem with not being around in the offseason.”

Stokley also needs to quickly build chemistry with Flacco. His slot position calls for him and his quarterback to be on the same page when it comes to reading defenses and knowing where the soft spots will be.

Stokley made a couple other catches on the day, but wasn’t targeted more than any other player. After his touchdown, he had a ball punched out of his hands by rookie cornerback Marc Anthony. Stokley did make a nice adjustment to reach back and originally catch the ball, however.

The veteran showed good feet, quickly getting in and out of his breaks.

“The system is not easy to learn, but it was great that he was able to get out there and do something for us,” Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell said. “I’m not going to evaluate him on his first day. We know what he can do, and I think he’ll have an opportunity to show that as the week goes on.”

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