News And Notes 7/31: Maxx Williams Has Strong Practice

Rookie tight end Maxx Williams had been relatively quiet during practices in organized team activities and minicamps. He also blended in during Thursday's practice to open training camp.

But the second-round pick seemed to take a step forward on Friday.

Williams had arguably his best practice as a Raven, as he was frequently targeted in short yardage situations during 11-on-11 drills. He ran crisp routes and showed strong hands as he picked up first downs to keep drives alive.

Williams also just missed a touchdown over the middle of the field on a pass from quarterback Matt Schaub. Williams gained some separation from the defender as he went airborne for the pass, but he bobbled the ball for an incompletion as he fell to the ground.

The 21-year-old tight end still has plenty of work cut out for him before the start of the season, but Friday's practice was a good sign.

Here were some of the other key notes:

-  Cornerback Ladarius Webb returned to action after passing his conditioning test. Veteran outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil sat out because of tendonitis, and receiver Breshad Perriman was sidelined after tweaking his knee Thursday. Head Coach John Harbaugh said neither injury is serious, and he expects Perriman to be back within a day or two.   

  • Second-year defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan left practice early to get an IV because he was dehydrated late in the 85-degree day.
  • Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native, watched practice from the sidelines.

-  New Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman has a history of involving the running backs in the passing game, and if Friday's practice was any indication, that trend will continue this year. Running backs Justin Forsett, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Buck Allen all had a fair share of passes thrown their way. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk also flashed his reliable hands.

  • Safety Kendrick Lewis came up with an interception on quarterback Joe Flacco during 11-on-11 drills. The Ravens signed Lewis to be a ball hawk in the secondary, and he's quickly fitting into his new defense.

-  The one-on-one receiver vs. cornerback drills are fun to watch. The defenders are at a clear disadvantage during this drill, but this is some of the best competitions in practice. Second-year wideout Michael Campanaro was impressive during these drills, consistently getting open off the line of scrimmage.

  • Veteran Steve Smith Sr. continues to do what he's done for 15 years. He caught everything thrown his way, including a jump ball down the sidelines from Schaub. Cornerback Quinton Pointer collided with Smith on the play and the veteran wideout fell hard on his back. He didn't return to practice after that, but he left the field without any trainers by his side. He also didn't express any concern when talking with reporters after practice.
  • Inside linebacker Arthur Brown came up with a pick-six on Schaub on a pass over the middle.
  • Defensive lineman Brandon Williams is a force in the middle of the defense. Drills weren't full contact, but he is a tough player to block in any situation. He will be fun to watch when the pads come on tomorrow.

-  Wide receiver Jeremy Butler made an impressive sideline catch for about a 30-yard touchdown with cornerback Kyle Arrington in tight coverage. The reception got waved off because the officials said Butler pushed off Arrington, which is the second time in as many days an offensive pass interference call has cost Butler a touchdown.

  • Harbaugh let the starters finish practice a little early while the younger players continued with special teams work and another full-team session. The head coach is building up the intensity of training camp practice before full-contact drills this weekend.

The Ravens took the field Wednesday morning for the first practice of 2015 training camp.

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