The defense stole the show at Wednesday's practice and safety Marcus Williams was the star.
Williams had two interceptions and any quarterback throwing the ball in his direction took a chance. His first pick came off Lamar Jackson, who was trying to connect with Mark Andrews on a deep pass. Williams wasn't having it and stepped in front of Andrews to make the play.
Late in practice, Williams intercepted No. 3 quarterback Anthony Brown during a 7-on-7 drill. Playing deep centerfield, Williams ranged far to his right to make a leaping interception, and he stuck the landing by coming down with both feet inbounds.
Williams' ability to make game-changing plays is a major reason the Ravens signed him during free agency. During his five seasons with the Saints, Williams had 15 career interceptions and earned a reputation as one of the NFL's best ballhawks. Each week, Williams has looked more comfortable in the Ravens' system, allowing him to play with more freedom.
"You're not thinking, you're just reacting - obviously that's what you go for," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He can cover some ground, you saw that today."
The offense had a tough day overall as it went up against the first-team defense a lot. As practice has gotten more game-like, Williams has stood out.
"We're not going ones against twos or ones against a scout team, so it's going to be challenging," Harbaugh said. "There's going to be some push up front. There are going to be some guys covering tight."
Here are some other observations from Wednesday's practice, which concluded the training camp portion of the Ravens' preseason:
- Rookie cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis left practice early and walked slowly of the field while being assisted by a member of the medical staff. Harbaugh said Armour-Davis hit his head after taking a fall and needed to be examined.
- Inside linebacker Patrick Queen had another excellent day in pass coverage. The highlight was a one-handed interception he made during a one-on-one drill, after he stayed stride-for-stride with Justice Hill before making the play.
- The longest completion of the day was a 75-yard touchdown connection from Tyler Huntley to receiver Bailey Gaither. Huntley dealt with tendinitis earlier this summer, but he has thrown the ball well this week.
- The offense had trouble establishing rhythm during 11-on-11 drills. Give credit to the defense, although there was a miscommunication on one play between Jackson and Rashod Bateman that resulted in an incomplete pass. Bateman broke one way and Jackson threw the ball in a different direction. That hasn't happened often during training camp.
- Tight end Nick Boyle returned to practice. Aside from players on the PUP list, James Proche II, Marcus Peters, Tylan Wallace and Daniel Faalele did not practice.
- A humorous moment occurred when offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James flawlessly caught a punt during a special teams drill. James showed impressive punt-catching technique for an offensive lineman, and his teammates got a kick out of it. "That drill was designed for the ball to be on the ground," Harbaugh said. "We tried to practice it, but he just ruined the whole deal by catching it. But he did look smooth."