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News & Notes: Lamar Jackson Says Odell Beckham Jr.'s 'A Lot Faster Than People Give Him Credit For'

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. streaked down the sideline during Tuesday's joint practice with the Commanders and got behind cornerback Kendall Fuller.

That was all Lamar Jackson needed to see. He threw a deep spiral about 45 yards downfield, and Beckham made a tumbling catch as the crowd roared in approval.

The Ravens expect the Jackson-Beckham connection to produce big plays, not just passes that move the chains. Beckham can make every catch in the book and run every pattern on the route tree. But at age 30, he's still a threat to hit a home run play at any moment.

"I feel like our chemistry, it's there," Jackson said after Tuesday's practice. "And he's a lot faster than people give him credit for. A lot faster."

Marlon Humphrey knows what it feels like to be deceived by Beckham's speed. Defending Beckham in practice has given Humphrey a front row seat, and he says Beckham may have an extra gear that he's saving for the regular season.

"Whatever this means, he said, 'I'm not going to do to you what I'd do to guys in the game,'" Humphrey said. "He's done some kind of bad stuff to me, actually, so that's a good thing – that there's more in the tank.

"I think that connection's going to be sweet. I'm really excited for those two guys to make some big things happen."

Humphrey also said he expects the Ravens will have two 1,000-yard wide receivers this season, though he didn't specify which ones. Beckham and rookie Zay Flowers have been spectacular in practice and Rashod Bateman recently returned to practice action from last season's foot surgery.

Patrick Ricard Returns to Practicing at Fullback

Four-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard has taken snaps at guard during training camp, displaying more of the versatility that has been a staple of his career. "Project Pat" was a two-way player early in his career as a defensive lineman who morphed into strictly an offensive player as his career progressed.

Taking snaps as an offensive lineman during games may be part of Ricard's future, but he's back to playing fullback/tight end, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said that will remain the case this season.

"We got a little look and I think he wanted to get a feel for some of those blocks," Harbaugh said. "But it's late in camp, and he came to me the other day and said, 'Hey, I want to get back in there, where I know what I'm doing. And maybe this is something for next year.' So, he's back at fullback and tight end."

John Simpson Had Strong Showing in Preseason Opener

The competition for starting left guard between John Simpson and Sala Aumavae-Laulu has not been decided, but Harbaugh said Simpson had a strong performance during the Ravens' preseason win over the Eagles.

"John is making a good case for himself," Harbaugh said. "He was very solid. His footwork, fundamentals, assignments were all good. He was physical. [He's] a very aggressive player, in terms of looking for work in the offensive line."

Harbaugh said he liked what he saw from Aumavae-Laulu as well. While the Ravens would like to settle on a starting left guard, Harbaugh said there's no deadline.

"They're both going to get the reps," Harbaugh said. "If it settles down sooner, great. If it takes longer, it probably means both guys are playing well."

Alex Collins' Former Teammates Share Fond Memories of Him

The passing of former Ravens running back Alex Collins at the age of 28 was shocking news, especially for to those who knew him well. Collins' kindness and outgoing personality made him a popular teammate, and several Ravens shared their memories of him following Tuesday's practice.

When Jackson was a rookie in 2018, he made an immediate connection with Collins.

"A.C. that was my boy. He was from Broward County (Fla.) as well," Jackson said. "We were always chatting, playing around in the locker room, great energy, great guy to be around. Just sorry for the loss, especially to his family."

Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews was another rookie in 2018 who quickly befriended Collins.

"I have a ton of great memories of Alex Collins and his time here," Andrews said. "He was a bright spirit – someone that was always happy [and] having fun. [He was] a great guy to have in the locker room, and [I'm] deeply saddened by what happened."

Humphrey said he has reflected on how fragile life can be since hearing the news about Collins.

"Being 27 years old, all of my teammates – older than me, younger than me – you never think about a guy that was just in the league, playing with the guy [that] life could end so soon," Humphrey said. "To Alex Collins, he was a funny teammate. I think he made everybody laugh, but I just want to encourage everyone – whoever's listening – just tell your people that you love them because you truly just never know."

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