Breshad Perriman attracts plenty of attention every time he steps on the practice field.
He is a first-round pick the Ravens hope to develop into a franchise receiver, and all eyes are on him to see how he looks in his first few practices as a professional. Monday's session of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) featured Perriman making exactly the kind of play the Ravens envisioned when they spent the No. 26 pick on him.
During 11-on-11 drills, Perriman leapt over a defender to corral a long touchdown from quarterback Joe Flacco. Perriman made the tough catch in the midst of heavy traffic, showing he has the ability to go up and get the football.
Flacco and his new target almost connected on another big play earlier in the practice, but Flacco's pass down the sidelines hit off Perriman's outstretched hands for what would have been an incredibly difficult catch. He bounced back from that play to make the touchdown grab later in practice.
In addition to plays from the Perriman, here were some of the other notes from practice:
- Fellow rookie receiver Darren Waller had bright spots of his own. He caught a pair of deep passes down the sideline, and also showed great speed gaining separation from defenders after the catch.
- Flacco put on a clinic during the red-zone portion of practice. He connected with tight end Crockett Gillmore for touchdowns on back-to-back plays, and then followed that up with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Marlon Brown.
- The hot afternoon practice featured a few scrums as tempers flared. Rookie offensive lineman Robert Myers got into a shoving match with a group of defenders and later defensive end Lawrence Guy and rookie guard Kaleb Johnson got after each other. The scrums were brief, and on both occasions the offense and defense quickly got back to the line of scrimmage.
- Safety Matt Elam was used as a pass rusher in a few situations, and he was able to get into the backfield to pressure the quarterback.
- Safety Will Hill always seems to be around the ball. The no-contract rules prohibit defensive backs from making big hits to contest passes, but Hill seems to put himself in good position to make plays.
- Kicker Justin Tucker is money. He drilled a 52-yard field goal in practice through the middle of the uprights with little room to spare. The Ravens also gave punter Sam Koch a shot at a few field goals, and he made one of his three attempts.
- Second-year defensive lineman Brent Urban uses his size to his advantage. The 6-foot-7 defender batted down a pass from Flacco at the line of scrimmage, and he could cause fits for opposing quarterbacks with plays like that during the season.
- Backup quarterback Matt Schaub got picked off twice during practice. Linebacker Zach Orr intercepted a pass over the middle and cornerback Quinton Pointer reeled in a deflected pass along the sidelines. Pointer likely would have gone in for a pick-six after making the nice interception.
Trestman Likes Flacco's Quiet Confidence
New Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman met with reporters for the first time since taking the job this offseason, and he's quickly settling into his new role. Trestman has hit it off with his new quarterback, and he's been impressed with how Flacco carries himself.
"There is a quiet confidence, a calmness that he has," Trestman said. "I've certainly enjoyed the process of getting to know him, and still it's a learning process moving forward."
In terms of the overall adjustment to a new team, Trestman described the transition as "awesome."
"There's great support from [Head Coach] John [Harbaugh], the guys in our staff, the people in the building," Trestman said. "It's been a very easy transition. We have a terrific mix of coaches, some really outstanding young coaches who understand the game real well. We have the experience as well on the offensive side."
Pees Could See Upshaw Pass Rushing
The Ravens are looking for help in the pass-rushing department after the departure of Pernell McPhee this offseason, and one likely candidate is outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw. General Manager Ozzie Newsome pointed to Upshaw earlier this offseason as someone who could help replace McPhee's production, and Upshaw has said he wants to add more sacks to his resume.
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees could see Upshaw making that kind of impact.
"I can see him being part of our pass rush, no doubt," Pees said. "He's having a good camp. He's here every day. He's always been a smart football player and that certainly hasn't changed at all."