News And Notes 8/18: Receiver Competition On Full Display

The Ravens want to see big plays from their wide receivers to determine who ends up on the team and in the starting lineup.

That's exactly what the pass catchers provided during Tuesday's practice, which was the final session of this year's training camp practice at the Under Armour Performance Center.

Kamar Aiken started things off with a juggling one-handed catch that he made right in front of the fans. Aiken managed to haul in the tough catch during individual drills and then he hopped over the rope that divides the bleachers from the field to give fans even more of a treat.

Later in the day, Aiken started 11-on-11 drills with a touchdown from down the seam on a perfect pass from quarterback Joe Flacco.

Other receivers all had their opportunities to get in on the action. Rookie target Darren Waller pulled in a jump ball over fellow rookie cornerback Tray Walker during red-zone drills. Waller, 6-foot-6, used his height to catch the ball at its highest point and wrestle it away from the defender.

Veteran Steve Smith Sr. also wouldn't let the young guys outdo him. 

Smith caught a red-zone touchdown on a back-shoulder throw from Flacco with cornerback Rashaan Melvin in tight coverage. Smith then gave his classic ball spin to celebrate.

Ravens Work On Two-Point Conversions

The NFL has changed the rules for point-after attempts this season, pushing them back to the 15-yard line. The line of scrimmage for two-point conversions, however, will remain at the 2-yard line.

Head Coach John Harbaugh has said he expects the rule changes to encourage teams to attempt more two-point conversions, and the Ravens spent a portion of practice working specifically on those attempts.

The Ravens were in shorts and shells during practice so it wasn't full-contact in the trenches, but Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees shouted to his group that nobody should be able to run it in from the goal line.  

Here were some other notes from the day:

-   Top two draft picks Breshad Perrirman (knee) and Maxx Williams (undisclosed) both missed practice. The Ravens had an MRI on Perriman's knee to ensure he didn't have any additional damage that had not been discovered, and the MRI came back normal, Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

  • Cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring) missed practice again. He injured his hamstring last week and also didn't play in the preseason opener. Offensive lineman John Urschel (concussion) didn't practice, but rookie guard Robert Myers (concussion) returned as a non-contact participant.

-  Safety Terrence Brooks (knee) practiced for the first time of training camp as he came off the physically unable to perform list. The Ravens eased him into action, but he did participate in some 11-on-11 drills.

-  Cornerback Jimmy Smith continues to look like a top-flight cornerback in training camp. He picked off Flacco during 11-on-11 drills and took off the other direction for what could have been a pick-six.

-  Melvin had a good overall day. Despite getting beat by Smith for a touchdown,  he also broke up a pair of passes intended for the veteran wideout.

-  Rookie outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith has shown some recent progress as a pass rusher. He forced his way into the backfield on multiple occasions where he would have likely brought down quarterback Matt Schaub with a sack.

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