The Ravens backed off the intensity Tuesday for their final training camp practice before the preseason opens Thursday night in Tampa Bay.
After a physical practice Monday, the Ravens went without pads and at about half speed during the drills. The team practiced outside during a cool, misty afternoon, and there wasn't much hitting during the afternoon session.
"In preparation for the game we toned it down, took them out of the pads and slowed it up a little bit," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We've had some great practices. Yesterday was really a great, tough practice, and today was more of a mental-tough day."
Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday's practice:
- Wide receiver David Reed, safety Omar Brown and cornerback Chris Johnson also all sat out Thursday's practice, but Harbaugh said that the injuries are not serious. At this point of training camp, players deal with minor injuries and the team plays it safe with them. It's unknown whether Reed, Brown or Johnson will play in the preseason opener.
- Running back Ray Rice was back on the practice field after rolling his ankle Monday and heading into the locker room early. It's good to see Rice right back on the field.
- Rice was having some fun near the end of practice, taking over the duties as water boy. He was pulling the water cart around to hydrate his teammates in between drills. He keeps things relaxed during practice.
- Rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette has made strides in recent weeks and in is getting targeted more frequently during practice. He's even been working more with quarterback Joe Flacco and the first-team offense during some drills, although most of his work has come with the second teamers. Mellette has made "good progress, but still has a long way to go," Harbaugh said.
- Undrafted rookie Marlon Brown has made some plays in practice lately, including a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone on a perfectly thrown pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
- There was plenty of dancing during practice, especially from the defense. Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown were all dancing to the music that plays throughout practice. And of course Jacoby Jones got in on the dancing a little bit as well.
- Suggs called out wide receiver Tommy Streeter near the end of practice, as Streeter led let a pass from quarterback Caleb Hanie sail over his head and get intercepted by safety Anthony Levine. "Tommy Streeter, make a play for your quarterback," Suggs shouted.
- The Ravens had several members of the military at the Under Armour Performance Center for practice, and Harbaugh met with them afterwards practice. Harbaugh talked with them about practice, took photos with the group and also thanked them individually for their service.