Training camp practices are officially underway.
The Ravens held their first full-team practice of camp Thursday morning, working for three hours on the cool summer morning.
"I feel like we had a really good first practice," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "The lack of heat helped the guys, I guess, but they're in really good shape."
The team practiced in shorts and shells, with the first day of full pads on Saturday. The Ravens weren't hitting during practice, but they were operating at full speed and Harbaugh was impressed with the way the team looked.
"It's not the toughest, most demanding practice we're going to have in training camp the first time, but it was a tough, demanding practice, and nobody had a problem," Harbaugh said.
Here were some of the highlights from the opening session:
- The start of practice had an excitement in the air, similar to the first day of school. Terrell Suggs high-fived fans who were in attendance, and Jacoby Jones jogged onto the practice fields yelling about being back to work. Players know training camp is exhausting, but there's also a general enthusiasm about being back in action.
- Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. had the most impressive plays of the day. He chased down a beautifully lofted pass over the middle from quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and made the over-the-shoulder touchdown catch past cornerback Chykie Brown. A little bit later, he caught a deep pass down the sidelines with cornerback Lardarius Webb in coverage.
- Running back Bernard Pierce looks quick and lean. Harbaugh said that he's down to 217 pounds and is in the best shape of his life, and he was smooth on the practice field. The next test for him will be seeing how the shoulder responds to full contact. He will be an important key to the running game with Ray Rice's suspended for the first two games.
- Owner Steve Bisciotti was out at practice for the start of training camp. He took in the action from his golf cart that he drove around the fields, and then he talked with Rice briefly after practice. Reports of Rice's two-game suspension came out during the middle of practice.
- Harbaugh debuted a new motivational t-shirt. The shirt represents the "One Accord" and "All In" mantras he said will be themes of this year's camp.
- Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley showed off some impressive speed and instincts on several plays. On one of the plays, Mosley blitzed off the edge and flushed quarterback Keith Wenning out of the pocket for what would have been a sack.
- Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak is very active on the practice field. At one point, he ran through a drill himself to show Wenning exactly what he wanted.
- Torrey Smith made a nice snag over the middle of the field and then got a little shove in the back from cornerback Jimmy Smith. But there wasn't any feistiness between the two of them this early, as they hugged it out after the play.
- Defensive linebacker DeAngelo Tyson made a few standout plays. He ended up in the backfield on back-to-back plays, shrugging off blockers and forcing his way behind the line of scrimmage. That is a good sign with last year's starter, Art Jones, leaving via free agency for Indianapolis.
- The defensive front could be really good. Really, really good. The Ravens have so many players they can use up front with Haloti Ngata, Brandon Williams, Chris Canty, Tyson, Timmy Jernigan, Brent Urban and Kapron Lewis-Moore. They have a number of combinations up front, and that group could be a problem for offenses.
- Today's practice music playlist included Kanye West, Florida Georgia Line, The Killers, JAY Z, Aloe Blacc and ACDC.