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Late For Work 6/3: Haloti Ngata Looking In Shape Away From OTAs

Posted Jun 3, 2014

Most impressive Raven. Ozzie on moves coming. Mellette’s knee a little alarming. Reid on bubble? Torcasso.


Ngata Looking In Shape Away From OTAs

Haloti Ngata is one of just three veterans we haven’t yet seen at the team’s organized team activities (OTAs), but that doesn’t seem to have an effect on the defensive tackle’s physique.

This photo of Ngata enjoying his summer at the beach is circulating the web, and the beastly man is all muscle (mobile users tap “View in Browser” to see).

“Ok well maybe he's not at the voluntary OTA’s but clearly he's staying in shape particularly for a 340 pound man!” Ravens 24X7 wrote on Facebook.

Ngata is officially listed as 330, but either way, it’s obvious he hasn’t been eating too much of that Royal Farms chicken and is keeping up with his own workout schedule while staying close to his wife and three kids.

His third son was just born in January, propelling Ngata to withdraw from his fifth Pro Bowl. Ngata has been at the Under Armour Performance Center this offseason, just not at the first week of OTAs.

The All-Pro is entering what many believe could be a contract year. He officially has two years left on his deal, but each is reportedly worth $16 million, the most of any player on the team, including franchise quarterback Joe Flacco.

Most Impressive Raven At OTAs

It’s only May and there’s plenty of time until the regular season, but of all the players at organized team activities (OTAs) so far, offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele is “the most impressive on the field,” says ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Osemele is 100 percent recovered from back surgery, according to Head Coach John Harbaugh, and it shows.

“There is no contact in offseason practices, but Osemele jumped out because he showed intensity in every drill,” Hensley wrote. “After missing the last nine games with a back injury, Osemele seemed like he was letting everyone know that he's at full strength. The biggest question is whether he will line up at left guard or right tackle.”

We won’t really know how strong K.O.’s back is until he tests it when the Ravens are allowed to, but early signs are positive. 

The three locks on the offensive line (barring injury) are Eugene Monroe at left tackle, Jeremy Zuttah at center and Marshal Yanda at right guard.  You put Osemele either at left guard or right tackle, and The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec believes the unit is already much improved from last season regardless of what happens with the fifth and final spot.

“There is a lot of talk about the competition at right tackle, and that’s understandable. But a case could be made that the most important factor in improving the offensive line play is the health of Osemele,” Zrebiec wrote.

“If Jeremy Zuttah is indeed an upgrade over Gino Gradkowski and Osemele finds the form he showed in his rookie season, that will improve things significantly. Ravens officials thought Osemele was well on his way to developing into a Pro Bowl-caliber guard before his back issues started affecting his play.”

Ozzie: Free Agent Activity Late This Week

General Manager Ozzie Newsome is keeping an eye on the free-agent market, but is being patient as always.

When the calendar hits June, the Ravens have a history of signing veteran free agents because they no longer count against the compensatory pick formula. Daryl Smith (2013), Bobbie Williams (2012) and Shayne Graham (2010) are recent examples, and Hensley wonders if that trend will continue.

It seems it might.

As of Monday, the Ravens seem to be comfortable with their 90-man roster, but Newsome told The Sun’s Mike Preston that he could get into the mix later this week.

"Basically, most of the players have been pored over and picked through," Newsome said. "Because of the June 1 deadline and salary cap acceleration, we'll just have to wait and see who gets released. We might become more active later in the week, but right now we're holding steady."

Speculation has swirled around the Ravens adding veterans at the offensive tackle and cornerback positions following the departures of Michael Oher and Corey Graham, but Newsome seems content with his younger players for now.

"We're happy with the guys we have, and if we brought somebody in, it would have to be a significant upgrade," Newsome said.

Mellette’s Knee ‘A Little Alarming’

The Ravens are largely healthy as they continue their work leading into training camp, but there is some concern over wide receiver Aaron Mellette’s knee.

Harbaugh noted last week that Mellette is still dealing with some flare ups and swelling on his surgically-repaired knee.

Zrebiec said that is “a little alarming.”

“When Mellette was shut down and placed on injured reserve last September, the knee surgery he underwent was described as relatively minor, a cleanup,” Zrebiec wrote. “However, he’s obviously still experiencing a few problems more than 8 months later. The Ravens have 12 wide receivers on the roster, so it’s going to be tough for any of the unproven young guys to move up the depth chart if they can’t consistently practice.”        

Hensley was asked by a fan if Mellette will make the 53-man roster for the regular season.

“Mellette has a good shot at making the team if the Ravens decide to keep six receivers. But his chances are reduced significantly if the Ravens only keep five receivers,” Hensley wrote. “Mellette still hasn't fully recovered from last year's knee surgery. It wouldn't be surprising if the Ravens put Mellette on injured reserve for another year or stashed him on the practice squad.” 

Jah Reid On The Bubble?

One of the biggest surprises of the first week of OTAs was the emergence second-year player Ryan Jensen, a sixth-round pick from CSU-Pueblo, at right tackle. Previously, Jensen was working at center and guard.

He entered the right tackle competition with another second-year player Rick Wagner, which may have an impact on Jah Reid going forward.

“The move of former center Ryan Jensen to offensive tackle is probably a much worse development for Jah Reid than the calf injury that could sideline Reid for the various minicamps,” Zrebiec wrote. “If Rick Wagner wins the starting right tackle job and Jensen proves capable of backing him up while also offering the flexibility to play every other position along the line, it’s hard to foresee a role for Reid. …

“Reid is seemingly on the roster bubble every training camp, but a cursory glance at the Ravens’ roster tells you that he’s in for an uphill battle to make the 2014 roster out of training camp.”

Torrey Picasso = Torcasso

Wide receiver Torrey Smith is willing to give anything a try, including a little painting.

Smith joined Painted Palette, a Baltimore wine and art experience studio, and painted a Baltimore blue crab over the top of the very intricate Maryland flag.

He posted the final product on Instagram with the note: “Torcasso 1 of 1 #dontbeahater” (mobile users tap “View in Browser” at the top of the page to view).

Looks good Torrey, but my question is this: What the heck is the ketchup bottle for?

You also have to appreciate that Smith can be comfortable spending the night out as the only dude with the ladies.


Quick Hits

  • @HarrySwayne [Ravens’ director of player development]: @Ravens Rookies learn about stocks, bonds & funds using the Portfolios game! [Twitter]

  • @TeamFlacco: Proud to support @LWebb21's annual charity softball game for underprivileged kids. [Twitter]
  • Adorable … @Ravens: Joe Flacco & his son enjoyed @LWebb21's softball game. [Twitter]

  • @eugenemonroe60: My 4th Annual Football Camp! Come out and support. There will be some real learning, valuable lessons, and hard ass work! I hope to bring out a powerful guest speaker, man of God, and good friend @pt_andre#Ravens #NFL #NYC #NY #NJ #NewYork#NewJersey #dmv #football #SPORTS #youth [Intsagram]
  • @RavensInsider: There was no signing bonus for Ravens undrafted free agent rookie outside linebacker D.J. Roberts [Twitter]
  • @gdowning14: This stat from @SI_PeterKing shows how much the NFL has grown: 15 reporters covered the combine in 1999. This year, 941 did. [Twitter]
  • Three under-the-radar Ravens pushing for starting roles: Jensen, safety Darian Stewart and defensive tackle DeAngelo Tyson. [The Carroll County Times]
  • With all of draft picks under contract, the Ravens are $4.309 million under the $133 million salary cap. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Reid and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro have court dates this month on the 4th and 26th, respectively. [ESPN]
  • The Ravens are tied for having the most coaches in the NFL for 2014 season. Their 25 coaches on staff are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks. [Baltimore Beatdown]
  • Ravens rookie free safety Terrence Brooks is battling a “learning curve.” [The Baltimore Sun]

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