Young safeties Matt Elam and Terrence Brooks knew they needed to step up their play in this year's training camp to carve out a role on the team.
That's exactly what they did in Thursday's practice.
Elam had one of the nicest plays of the day when he picked off a pass over the middle from quarterback Josh Johnson. The pass was intended for wide receiver Kaelin Clay, but Elam had great coverage and then made a nice play on the ball to complete the turnover.
Elam then treated everyone to some dance moves to celebrate.
Brooks made his mark later in practice during a live tackling period in goal-line drills. Quarterback Joe Flacco hit tight end Maxx Williams on a pass in the flat just short of the end zone, and Brooks drilled the second-year tight end to keep him from scoring.
Brooks is giving up about 50 pounds to Williams, but still stopped the tight end right in his tracks.
Both plays showed that Elam and Brooks are making progress this summer as they fight for their spots on the roster.
Here are other news and notes from camp:
- Rookie defensive end Bronson Kaufusi broke his ankle and Head Coach John Harbaugh said he is expected to miss the entire season.
- Cornerback Will Davis returned after sitting out two days to give his surgically-repaired knee some time to rest. Rookie running back Kenneth Dixon was also back in uniform working with the trainers as he continues to recover from a tweaked knee he sustained on the first day of camp. Harbaugh said the rookie is close to returning to practice.
- Ladarius Webb and Michael Campanaro both had off days. Tight ends Crockett Gillmore (hamstring) and Dennis Pitta (finger), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (rib), cornerback Maurice Canady (undisclosed) and wide receiver Chris Moore (undisclosed) all didn't practice. Harbaugh did not have an update on whether any players on the physically unable to perform list (Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Steve Smith Sr., Breshad Perriman and Lorenzo Taliaferro) are close to returning.
- Practice included a period of live tackling, which is rare during training camps in today's NFL. The standard in practice is for defenders to wrap and release, but the Ravens typically have a couple practices every summer where they actually tackle. The intensity definitely ramped up during that portion of practice. "It was spirited and good and I think we learned a lot from that," Harbaugh said.
- Rookie receiver and return man Keenan Reynolds had an up-and-down day. He showed off some nifty moves by making a couple defenders miss to gain extra yardage in the short-[hyphen]yardage drills, but he also bobbled a couple of punt returns. There will be growing pains with the former Navy quarterback, and the Ravens are giving him plenty of reps in a variety of roles.
- Rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa has shown good instincts when asked to drop in coverage. He had a one-handed interception earlier in training camp and he almost picked off another one Thursday. Correa was clearly mad at himself for not bringing down the interception, and he punted the ball for an equipment staffer in frustration after the play.
- Correa has drawn positive reviews for his play recently, but Zachary Orr is still very much in the mix to start next to C.J. Mosley. Orr took the bulk of the first-team reps Thursday, and he is consistently around the football.
- Veteran cornerback Jerraud Powers showed nice hands with an interception during one-on-one drills. He has been a quiet offseason addition, but could end up playing a significant role this year.
- The Ravens worked on field-goal blocks for a portion of practice, and defensive backs Anthony Levine and Tavon Young both came up with blocks.