Minicamp Highlights: Returning Veterans Spice Things Up

The Ravens' veterans who sat out organized team activities (OTAs) certainly got a warm welcome back on the first day of mandatory minicamp.

The Ravens tried to avoid the most brutal hours, but it was still 93 degrees with a 100-degree heat index by the time they stepped off the field after 5 p.m.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was pleased with the entire team's effort, but was specifically asked about the conditioning of the newly-arrived veterans: outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and defensive end Chris Canty.

"Looks good," Harbaugh said. "It's hard to evaluate all that, but I'm totally not disappointed with anybody. They all look good.

"If I'm going to single anybody out, it would be Terrell Suggs. He can give you the [weight] numbers, but I can tell you this, the numbers were very good. You can tell he's been working very hard."

One veteran who looked a bit bigger was outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, but that was by design. He previously said he added 8-10 pounds so he would be better prepared for the black and blue AFC North.

"I gained a few pounds," Dumervil said. "It's a different division from the [AFC] West, so I'm prepared this year, for sure."

Here are some notes from Tuesday's practice:

  • The Ravens had more tryouts than previously reported cornerbacks Aaron Ross, Drayton Florence, Marquice Cole and Dominique Franks. Cornerbacks Bobby Felder and Kevin Thomas, linebacker Austin Spitler and wide receiver Dez Briscoe were also trying out. Franks stood out with good deep coverage on wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and notched an interception. Ross was also very active, including a nice play reaching around wide receiver Marlon Brown. He also had a strip for an incompletion or possible fumble.
  • Undrafted offensive tackle Parker Graham did not practice because something came up during his physical that Harbaugh said wasn't serious. Running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder) only went through individual drills and offensive linemen Jah Reid (calf) continues to get better and will "definitely" be ready for training camp, says Harbaugh.
  • Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore left practice early. He didn't engage in any contact, but Lewis-Moore was chasing a play to the sidelines and grabbed for the back of his leg.
  • Suggs' return was quite apparent. He was talking smack throughout practice at other players and even new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak and Smith. Said Smith, "I've heard him chirp a number of times before."
  • Franks had tight coverage on a deep ball intended for Smith. Smith pushed off him and was flagged for offensive pass interference. Suggs actually complimented Smith (a rare thing), saying, "Way to compete 89. It's only a penalty if they call it."
  • Franks also intercepted rookie quarterback Keith Wenning. The pass was right into his gut.
  • Rookie receiver Michael Campanaro got behind Florence for a wide-open deep touchdown. Campanaro is running with the third team behind some undrafted rookies for now.
  • Cornerback Jimmy Smith had another pick-six against Flacco. That's at least two so far this summer as Smith continues to show he may make good on his goal to get more interceptions this year. There seemed to be an offensive miscommunication on the play.
  • Flacco's footwork and movement out of the pocket seems to be improving. He was getting compliments from Quarterbacks Coach Rick Dennison.
  • Not many people are talking about defensive end DeAngelo Tyson, but he was very active on the field. He got a* *"sack" (whistles blow the play dead) coming up the middle against Tyrod Taylor, who isn't an easy quarterback to keep in your sights.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is 300 pounds, but he is also really fast. Taylor escaped outside on one play with Jernigan in pursuit. Usually Taylor jukes the big men out of their shoes, but Jernigan was fast and nimble enough to run him out of bounds.
  • Undrafted wide receiver Jeremy Butler continues to impress, including making a contested catch deep along the left sideline. He's a big-bodied, sure-handed target.
  • Wide receiver Jacoby Jones came back to the ball well on a hook. He didn't always do that before. Is it the Smith Sr. effect?
  • The competitiveness in 11-on-11 drills is ramping up, especially with Suggs' trash talk. Flacco told safety Matt Elam that there was "no [flipping] way" he sacked him before getting a pass off. Flacco wasn't happy when a sack was called later in the series just as he was releasing the ball.
  • Wide receiver Torrey Smith took a Flacco laser off the hands for a drop on a potential first down. Smith shook his hand in pain afterwards.
  • Brown was substituted out of one 11-on-11 play by Harbaugh after he didn't know which side to line up on.
  • The offense, generally, looks pretty crisp at this point. There are a lot more easy completions to open receivers than in years past.
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