Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman says he feels as fast as ever – if not faster – since returning from a knee injury that held him out for two months. (He says he may be faster now that he's lost three or four pounds from cutting off his dreads).
While that's good news, there was never any doubt that Perriman would add some major speed to the Ravens' wide receiver corps once he got back on the field. After all, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds at his pro day.
In perhaps better news, Perriman has improved in other parts of his game during his extended time away from the football field, and Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman has already noticed in Perriman's first few practices.
"I think his hands and his concentration have even got better since he first got here," Trestman said Wednesday. "He is much more sure-handed – not that he wasn't – but he has become even more sure-handed. I think that goes with confidence."
Drops were the biggest knock on Perriman when he entered the 2015 draft, and something he admitted he would have to improve to take his game to the next level. It wasn't that he showed bad hands in college – he made some sparkling snags – but his drops seemed to come on more routine catches.
Perriman opened some eyes in his first full practice back with the team when he made a couple impressive one-handed grabs. He's also hauling in more of the easy ones.
As Trestman mentioned, Perriman seems to have a lot more confidence in his second year than he did as a rookie, when he hardly spoke a word after the injury.
"I feel really good; I'm confident," Perriman said. "I feel like my speed is still there. I can't complain at all."
The most important thing for Perriman right now, given his injuries, is to stay on the field. If he can do that, it seems he's primed to make a big impact.
"He just needs to get out and play and run routes and do it consistently and get some reps," Trestman said. "He has go-to speed, and he has size to go with it. It is a unique package."
Now it's a question of how the Ravens can utilize both Perriman and Mike Wallace. While Perriman is basically starting from scratch when it comes to chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco, Wallace and Flacco have developed a clear rapport throughout the summer.
Trestman indicated that he will shuffle the wide receivers given so much talent with Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Wallace, Perriman and more.
"We could have different personnel groupings and different plays designed for different guys," Trestman said. "It could go into that kind of detail. I think it is a matter of seeing how things progress over the next few weeks."