John Harbaugh Didn't Mince Words About Ronnie Stanley, But Opened Other Questions
You can't talk about Ronnie Stanley without extrapolating what it means for veteran Eugene Monroe, and that's exactly what happened after Head Coach John Harbaugh made expectations for his top draft pick crystal clear.
"[H]e's the sixth pick in the draft," Harbaugh said of Stanley. "I expect him to start."
Harbaugh was asked about Stanley working at both left tackle and guard. The head coach didn't miss a beat: "Did you see him working at guard today?"
An awkward pause ensued … then finally the answer: no.
Harbaugh did provide a caveat.
"If he's not good enough to do it or somebody is better than him – if somebody beats him out or he can't beat somebody out – then that's how it's going to go," he said.
The obvious candidate for "somebody" is Monroe, but it's pretty clear that Harbaugh wants Stanley to beat him or any other challenger.
So if Harbaugh expects Stanley to start, and he's not working at left guard, theeeeen what does that mean for Monroe, the 29-year-old veteran who has held the job for the past three years?
While Harbaugh didn't mince words about Stanley, it only created more Monroe questions for CSNMidAtlantic.com's Clifton Brown.
"What's going to happen with [Monroe]?" Brown asked in the video below. "Is he going to be with the Ravens? If Eugene Monroe is not the starting left tackle, what does that mean? If Ronnie Stanley is good enough to start, will it be exclusively at left tackle? Stanley is the guy out here getting the reps. Monroe is still not here (shoulder)."
From the second the Ravens used their No. 6-overall pick on Stanley, media have speculated about when Monroe's future in Baltimore would come to an end. Yet, here we are in June, and Monroe is still on the roster.
My colleague John Eisenberg gave a few possible reasons for that: 1) the Ravens are waiting to see for certain what they have in Stanley before cutting ties, 2) the team is waiting for a potential trade offer that could come if another left tackle in the league is injured, or 3) they can afford both players under the salary cap, so why not keep both in case of injury this year?
The third scenario hasn't been talked about much, but is a solid point.
To Monroe's credit, despite all the speculation swirling around him, he's been helpful where he can in the rookie's development.
"It's interesting, Stanley talked about the fact that he's communicated with Monroe," said CSNMidAtlantic.com's Chris Miller. "Not just in text, but in person. He talked about how Monroe has been a great resource for him, so far. But, it is a business and everybody is trying to get a job."
Ravens React To Manny Machado's Right Hook To Royals Pitcher
Things got interesting at Camden Yards yesterday, and I'm not just talking about the 9-1 pounding the Orioles laid on the Royals.
There was another pounding that occurred in the fifth inning when Manny Machado landed a right hook to the face of Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura. Ventura beaned Machado with a 99 mph fastball – his fastest pitch of the night – which triggered Machado to take off his helmet, limp to the mound and unleash a string of punches before teammates and coaches could run out and separate the two.
Both players were ejected from the game. Machado had already barked at Ventura, who has a history of beaning batters, in the second inning when a pitch got close to hitting him.
Ravens guard Ryan Jensen, who got in a small scuffle of his own at practice Tuesday, saw the exchange and seemed to like it. Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith also chimed in.
Ryan Mallett Has Up-And-Down Practice
With quarterback Joe Flacco sidelined as he continues to rehab from knee surgery, backup Ryan Mallett led the offense in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Tuesday.
The media has only seen Mallett twice this offseason, but he continued to struggle with accuracy and balls sailing over his receivers' heads.
"A snapshot of what he showed during Tuesday's workout was exactly what his coaches have both craved and cringed at dating back to his years at Arkansas," wrote The Baltimore Sun's Don Markus.
"After rifling a few passes through ridiculously tight windows to receivers when the Ravens were practicing outside before a threat of a thunderstorm moved the team to their indoor practice field, Mallett had some issues toward the end of the workout in his decision-making and execution."
Markus pointed out one specific rough string of plays in which Mallett was intercepted twice on similar corner routes into the end zone and botched a snap from the center. Not all of those mistakes were definitively Mallett's fault, as there seemed to be a miscommunication on one pick with his receiver and it's unclear what happened on the snap. But, Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman did take him aside to chat.
Mallett had some shining moments, too.
"[R]ight before practice ended, Mallett showed creativity by moving out of the pocket and lofting a perfectly-timed touch pass to second-year receiver Breshad Perriman in the clear," Markus wrote. "It was like a golfer finishing a string of practice round bogeys with a chip-in birdie on the 18th hole to set him in the right frame of mind going into the tournament."
The even better news is that Harbaugh said Flacco is ahead of schedule and, as long as there are no setbacks, he will be ready for training camp. Harbaugh flashed a big smile when he talked about Flacco running yesterday more than he expected.
Attendance Is Up For Final Week Of OTAs
The Ravens' attendance continued to rise as players get healthy and return to the field. Of the 90-man roster, 78 players practiced, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Starting middle linebacker C.J. Mosley returned after missing the last open OTA two weeks ago for personal reasons. Rookies Kenneth Dixon and Keenan Reynolds also returned from a hamstring injury and graduating from Navy, respectively. Running back Trent Richardson (hamstring) also returned.
As expected, five injured starters continued to be sidelined, including Flacco, cornerback Jimmy Smith (foot), linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles), tackle Eugene Monroe (shoulder) and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles).
Veterans Marshal Yanda and linebacker Elvis Dumervil continue to train on their own away from the facility. Third-round pick Bronson Kaufusi will not return until training camp after he "wrenched" his back at his first rookie minicamp last month. Wide receiver Michael Campanaro is still nursing a calf injury.
Justin Forsett's Cousin Ousted From 'Bachelorette'
Here's what you can now consider your daily "Bachelorette" update. Between Justin Forsett's cousin being on the show and several Ravens players getting together to watch this week, the show keeps making news in Baltimore.
Maybe it will slow down now that Forsett's cousin didn't get a rose last night, symbolizing his end on the show.
Justin Tucker and Dennis Pitta both tuned in to watch again, but weren't happy about the long segment at Heinz Field with Steelers players Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger. Ward bragged about how much he loved the show and had viewing parties.