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Highlights From Organized Team Activities

Posted May 29, 2014

Wide receiver Steve Smith’s playfulness is evident, secondary has a good day.

The Ravens’ first day of organized team activities (OTAs) on Wednesday was beautiful.

The second day was cold and rainy – an AFC North kind of day – said Head Coach John Harbaugh.

The Ravens still practiced outside despite the weather, and Harbaugh was happier with what he saw from his players than what he saw from the media.

“Special thanks to the [media] people who stood over there in the rain. You guys gutted it out with us and we appreciate it,” Harbaugh said. “For all you people under the awning down there, c’mon.”

Jokes aside, Harbaugh complimented his team on its effort after the second day of OTAs, and said the team is mostly in really good shape.

“We had a great practice,” he said. “Yeah, we made mistakes and didn’t do everything right. But we had a bunch of guys running around, practicing as hard as they could, doing the best they could, in kind of a cold, rainy day. That’s football weather.”

Here are some notes from practice:

  • The Ravens had good attendance. The only players missing from voluntary OTAs (other than those with injuries) were veterans Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty. The offense is was entirely present trying to get up to speed with new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system.
  • When an offensive play went awry during 11-on-11 drills, the offense ran the same play again at a walking pace. They’re hammering home getting it right.
  • Wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. appears to be adjusting well, and his playfulness on the field is already evident. He lightly contested catches even in warm-ups, and joked with Torrey Smith when he batted a pass away. Smith, Sr. spent a lot of time talking with the younger Smith.
  • Smith, Sr. is so smooth catching the ball. As Harbaugh mentioned after practice, he does a nice job of coming back at the end of his route, which enables him to snatch passes before the cornerback can get back despite his shorter arms.
  • Torrey Smith made the catch of the day on a long pass down the sideline when he reached up with one hand and snared the tip of the ball before cruising into the end zone.
  • Running back Justin Forsett took reps with the first-team offense and looked quick and elusive. He’s most familiar with Kubiak’s system.
  • Ray Rice looked good at his lighter weight, especially when catching passes out of the backfield. He made a couple nice grabs with linebackers Daryl Smith and Arthur Brown closing in.
  • With Jah Reid (calf strain) out, guard/center Ryan Jensen took reps behind Rick Wagner at right tackle. Jensen seems to be making more of a permanent switch to the outside, and looked comfortable holding his own.
  • Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw’s weight has been a big issue in years past when entering offseason practices, but he appears to be in good shape at the start of this summer.
  • Rookie second-round pick Timmy Jernigan sometimes had trouble standing his ground against Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda, but also twice knifed into the backfield to make plays.
  • Undrafted rookie cornerback Deji Olatoye (North Carolina A&T) intercepted a deep pass from Joe Flacco to Deonte Thompson. Olatoye turned around to make a nice play on the ball.
  • The secondary had a solid day overall. Third cornerback Chykie Brown knocked away a pass and cornerbacks were tight in coverage deep down the field.
  • The most entertaining play of the day was when a pass intended for tight end Phillip Supernaw was deflected up into the air and wide receiver Marlon Brown was in just the right spot to make the snag. Doubt Kubiak drew it up like that.

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