The sounds of pads cracking and helmets popping could be heard throughout the practice fields at the Under Armour Performance Center Saturday morning.
The Ravens held their first padded practice of training camp, and putting on the full-gear raised the intensity during the two-and-a-half hour practice.
"It's the first day of pads – a lot of good, a lot of bad," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said. "Guys are playing hard."
The introduction of pads was most evident at the line of scrimmage, where the men in the trenches had a physical day of work. Pees pointed out that he got a better sense of where his run defense is after Saturday's practice.
The practice was also notable because veteran tight end Dennis Pitta went through a full-contact practice for the first time since returning from his second major hip injury. Pitta actually went to the ground after a collision early in practice – a fan yelled out "Oh no, Dennis!" – but he popped right back to his feet without any issue.
Pitta took a couple of shots from defenders over the course of the day, but he absorbed all of them without issue.
Here were some of the other key observations and news items from practice:
- Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (unreported), tight end Crockett Gillmore (reported hamstring), running back Kennneth Dixon (knee) and wide receiver Chris Moore (unreported) did not practice. Jernigan talked with the trainers late in Friday's practice after he appeared to get stepped on, but it's unclear if that's why he missed practice.
- Veteran cornerback Jerraud Powers passed his conditioning test and went through his first practice.
- Rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa came up with the play of the day during seven-on-seven drills. While running away from the line of scrimmage, he tipped up a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco with one hand, and then brought it down for the interception. Correa took off in the other direction for the end zone and may have had a pick-six on the play.
- Inside linebacker Zach Orr also had a strong day. He was constantly around the football and broke up a couple of passes in the flat. Orr is competing with Correa for a starting job, and neither of them wanted to lose any ground to the other.
- Cornerback Sheldon Price is off to a strong start in training camp. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound cornerback is physical with wide receivers. He also seems to have good instincts. Price was able to break some passes in his direction, and he consistently played tight coverage.
- Rookie receiver Keenan Reynolds had a bit of a rough day. He dropped a pass and also fumbled a kickoff return. The Ravens are giving him plenty of reps at returner, and they want to see how he handles that responsibility while making the adjustment from college quarterback.
- The centers had a few issues with shotgun snaps. Jeremy Zuttah had a pair of bad snaps and John Urschel had another.
- The Ravens are using Michael Campanaro in a bunch of different ways. It's clear he has the ability to be a difference maker on offense and special teams, as long as he's able to stay healthy.