6/17 News And Notes: Big Plays Continue For Wide Receivers


A theme has developed over the course of the offseason practices.

The wide receiver competition will be intense, and it will likely come down to the wire in training camp.

The Ravens currently have 11 receivers on the 90-man roster, and Steve Smith Sr.  is the only one in the group older than 26. It's created a tight competition for snaps among a young, talented group of pass catchers, and their potential was on display at Wednesday's minicamp practice.

Breshad Perriman, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Jeremy Butler, DeAndre Carter and Darren Waller all had their bright spots during the second day of minicamp.

Perriman, who drew some criticism after dropping passes the previous day, bounced back with a strong showing. The most impressive part of his day came when he beat cornerback Rashaan Melvin down the sideline and hauled in the deep ball at its highest point to cruise in for the touchdown.

Brown was also active throughout practice. He made a bobbling circus catch over the middle of the field, then caught a fade route in the corner of the end zone from quarterback Matt Schaub.

Brown would have added another touchdown later in practice, but his scoring grab was waved off because the officials said he pushed cornerback Lardarius Webb. Brown strongly disagreed with the call and made it known to Webb and the official for the next few plays.

An intriguing part of the receiver competition to watch will be between rookies Darren Waller and DeAndre Carter. They are complete opposites in in terms of stature – Waller is 6-foot-6 compared to Carter at 5-foot-8 – but they are battling for practice reps.

Waller made a great diving catch down the middle of the field early in practice, but he wore down later in the day and had a couple of drops. Carter seemed to get stronger as practice continued. He dropped a pass early in the day but bounced back to make a pair of impressive grabs during 11-on-11 drills. 

Here were some of the other highlights from the damp afternoon practice:

-  Webb had a much improved day of practice, as he looked smooth and aggressive in his coverage. Webb played tight defense throughout the day, including when he broke up a pass across the middle intended for rookie tight end Maxx Williams.

-  Safety Matt Elam has drawn compliments for the way he's performed during the offseason, and he showed why when he came up with a pick-six during Wednesday's practice. Elam read the route perfectly and jumped on the pass from Schaub to return it for a touchdown.

-  Rookie running back Buck Allen has mostly worked with the second-team offense, but he had a chance during practice to take some reps with the starters in 11-on-11 drills. Veteran Justin Forsett is the leader in the backfield, but the Ravens also want to get a good look at their depth with Allen and second-year ball carrier Lorenzo Taliaferro.

-  Safety Terrence Brooks is showing good signs as he recovers from last year's season-ending knee injury. He took a few reps with the starting defense during 11-on-11 drills, and isn't showing signs of being slowed down by the injury.

-   Tight end Crockett Gillmore continues to make strides in the passing game. He's a popular target for quarterback Joe Flacco, and he appears ready to take on a big role as a chain-moving receiver.

'Seamless' Transition With Trestman

Left guard Kelechi Osemele knows about changing offensive coordinators. Since getting drafted by the Ravens in 2012, Osemele has worked under four different coordinators. Marc Trestman is now at the helm, and Osemele praised the new play caller.

"It's been seamless," Osemele said. "I would say that the only thing that's changed really is the terminology, maybe."

The Ravens have kept the same offense with the transition from Gary Kubiak to Trestman and Osemele has seen no lag in terms of his teammates adjusting to new offensive coaches. 

"As far as everybody being on the same page now with Trestman coming in, I feel like everybody is firing on all cylinders," Osemele said.

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