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News & Notes 8/17: Willie Snead IV Looks at Home in Homecoming

081718_NewsNotes

Friday was a homecoming of sorts for wide receiver Willie Snead IV, who played college football at Ball State in Muncie, Ind., about a 75-minute drive from the Colts’ practice facility. Snead is stoked about returning to the area.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Snead said. “I was kind of excited, because I haven’t been back here in three or four years.”

Despite having back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons at Ball State, Snead went undrafted in 2014 after bypassing his senior season. However, Snead has proven his worth. He posted 1,879 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons in New Orleans , and is expected to be a key member of the Ravens’ revamped receiving corps.

“We love Willie Snead,” Harbaugh said after the receiver had another solid practice Friday. “Willie’s been nothing but a pleasure, nothing but a professional. Willie works harder than most guys you’ll ever see.

“[quote]I think his background, his dad’s a coach. Being in the MAC, I’m kind of partial to those Mid-America conference guys. He’s always got a little chip on his shoulder, always feels like he’s got something to prove. And those are the kind of guys that make it in this league. Very talented, great hands. A chain mover I think for us, that’s what we’re hoping for.”

The additions of Snead, Michael Crabtree, and John Brown will give the Ravens a much different look at wide receiver. Still only 25 years old, Snead hopes a rebound season begins in September.

“Joe [Flacco] has been feeling really good about every one of us, getting the chemistry down and the timing,” Snead said. “As we’re getting closer to the season, the anticipation builds. We all want to put it all together and get out there on Sundays. The vibe has been great.”

Coach Harbaugh Glad to See Luck Back in Action

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has plenty of people rooting for him after missing the 2017 season with an injury to his throwing shoulder. Luck played for Harbaugh’s brother Jim at Stanford, and Friday’s practice gave the Colts quarterback and the Ravens’ coach time to catch up.

“Was the mustache gone today?” said Harbaugh, referring to Luck’s clean-[hyphen]shaven face. “I was kind of happy to see that, to be honest with you. We had a couple of laughs. Our families are very close, with Jim and his time at Stanford, and my parents and his parents. It’s just a great relationship. We love the guy and good to see him back. I know that he was hurting. You miss that much football, you start questioning everything I’m sure, and for him to be back out here, it has to be a joy for him. He’s close to our family, so we’re really happy to see it.”

How Darren Waller Is Trying to Make up for Lost Time

After his one-year suspension by the NFL, Ravens tight end Darren Waller faces an uphill battle to become a consistent part of the Ravens’ tight end mix. After Waller was reinstated Aug. 7, Harbaugh said he would be “the hardest guy on him of anybody.”

After a few more practices and another good showing during Friday’s practice, Harbaugh is impressed.

“He’s been getting better,” Harbaugh said . “He looks good. He has to continue to work on the fundamentals, all that stuff – he hasn’t played for awhile. But he’s made some plays. His speed showed up. His athleticism showed up. I’ll tell you the best thing; he knows what he’s doing which is no small feat, just coming into camp a few days ago.”

If Waller can be depended on this season, the tight end group previously consisting of Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and rookies Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could become one of the team’s deepest positions.

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