The intensity ramped up at Saturday's practice when the Ravens put on the pads for the first time in training camp.
The Ravens practiced for three hours in the middle of the hot summer afternoon, and the defense had the edge. The competition was at its height when Head Coach John Harbaugh matched the starting offensive and defensive units against each other in full-team situational drills during the final hour of practice.
The first-string defense kept the offense out of the end zone on three straight drives. On one of the drives, cornerback Lardarius Webb came up with an impressive interception when he reeled in a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco that sailed deep over the middle of the field. Webb dove to make the interception with an over-the-shoulder catch.
The second-string offense did score a touchdown against the second-team defense on a nice cutback run from running back Terrence Magee, but that was the only time the offense found the end zone during this portion of practice.
Veteran defenders also had their way with young offensive players earlier in the day.
Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs dominated tight end Maxx Williams with a bull rush that almost took the rookie to the ground during one-on-one pass-rushing drills. Courtney Upshaw then took rookie running back Buck Allen off his feet with a big hit after he caught a pass out of the backfield in 11-on-11 work.
Below are some of the other highlights:
- Rookie receiver Breshad Perriman continues to be sidelined after hurting his knee during the first practice. Harbaugh said Friday that the injury is just a bruise, and the first-round pick is not expected to miss much more time.
- Safety Matt Elam left practice early and walked to the locker room with the trainer. Wide receiver Marlon Brown did not practice. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil sat out again because of tendonitis.
- Wide receiver Kamar Aiken had a strong overall day. He made a pair of impressive catches on back-to-back plays where he had to reach behind him to make the completion over the middle of the field. He also made a tough sideline catch on a jump ball from Flacco to keep a drive alive during the situational period.
- Fellow receiver Jeremy Butler also caught the coaching staff's attention with another good practice. He made a one-handed catch to pick up a first down and also snagged a difficult sideline grab from quarterback Matt Schaub. Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman brought up Butler's strong start to training camp during his press conference after practice.
- Schaub had one of his better practices as a Raven. He orchestrated the scoring drive that Magee punctuated with a touchdown, and he was sharp with his throws throughout the day.
- A humorous moment of practice came early in the day when veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. joked with Harbaugh in between drills. Smith then picked Harbaugh up from behind, appearing like he was cracking the head coach's back. The two shared a good laugh before moving on with practice.
- Outside linebacker Steven Means made the most of his opportunities as a pass rusher with Dumervil sidelined. He consistently made his way into the backfield and even took some reps with the first-team defense.
- Maxx Williams caught a handful of short passes during full-team drills. He seems to be a popular target for Flacco and Schaub on short out routes that can move the chains. He also doesn't shy away from contact, and delivered a blow to safety Brynden Trawick when he turned upfield after making a catch.
The Ravens continued the 2015 training camp with practice at the Under Armour Performance Center.