News & Notes: Defense Flexes Its Muscle


Perhaps there was a reason why new Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman carried a couple helmets – including that of outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw – to the locker room after Saturday's practice.

With four top receivers and both starting guards not on the field, Baltimore's defense flexed its muscles.

Wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. (personal reasons), Kamar Aiken (rest day), Breshad Perriman (knee) and Marlon Brown (hamstring) all missed practice. Guard Marshal Yanda was given the day off and Kelechi Osemele sat again after his foot was stepped on.

Both inside linebackers, C.J. Mosley and Daryl Smith, got interceptions. Mosley had perhaps the play of the day with a stretching pick off quarterback Joe Flacco when Mosley stepped in front of tight end Crockett Gillmore near the sideline.

"[The] defense had a great day," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "Obviously, you saw the defense got after it pretty good."

Perriman Could Play First Preseason Game

Just because Perriman hasn't practice in over a week doesn't mean he won't still play in his first game Thursday night in the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Perriman could still get in two practices Monday and Tuesday before a walk through on Wednesday.

"It's too early to say," Harbaugh said. "I would like to see him get on the field Monday or Tuesday, but I wouldn't keep him out if he didn't. It's just a matter of how the injury is."

Fellow rookie tight end Maxx Williams was going to practice Saturday after having his eye poked Thursday, but he had them dilated shortly before the 4 p.m. start and couldn't see.

A Few Skirmishes Break Out

You can tell the Ravens are getting to that point of camp where it's time to face another team.

One of the best sequences of practice was during blocking drills as tight ends took on the pass rushers. Fourth-round rookie Za'Darius Smith locked horns with sixth-round tight end Nick Boyle.

Smith won the first battle easily with a spin move. Then Boyle took Round 2 and let Smith know about it with a little shove at the end of the play. The two lined up against each other immediately and Smith took the decisive third round with a powerful club to Boyle's right side.

Later on, Boyle, tight end Allen Reisner and linebackers Steven Means and Albert McClellan got into a little shoving match. Harbaugh flagged Means 15 yards for throwing a punch.

"I don't know what happened before, but like most officials, I saw the retaliation, so I threw the flag on the retaliation just like they do," Harbaugh said with a smile. "I want to keep it real out here, you know?"

Here are some of the other notes of the day:

  • Others to miss practice were defensive end DeAngelo Tyson (unspecified), cornerback Jimmy Smith (rest day), cornerback Tray Walker (hamstring), guard John Urschel (concussion) and guard Robert Myers (concussion). Brown is over his back injury, but now has a hamstring issue.
  • There was a little scare when rookie wide receiver Darren Waller hit safety Kendrick Lewis low. Waller made a nice grab reaching behind him but cornerback Kyle Arrington poked the ball out. As Waller tumbled to get the loose ball, he hit Lewis. Lewis didn't return for the rest of practice, but Harbaugh said he wasn't told anything by the trainers, which is a good sign.
  • Backup Jeremy Butler continues to shine, showing he can get open in the middle of the field in addition to his penchant for sideline grabs. Rookie wideout DeAndre Carter had a second straight strong practice.
  • Arrington continues to play better and better. He got stepped on a couple times but fought through it and played very tight in coverage.
  • Tight end Crockett Gillmore showed off the advantages of his huge size by catching a floated pass over Mosley's head in the back of the end zone during red-zone drills.
  • Inside linebacker Zach Orr continues to impress. He had nice coverage and a pass breakup when backup quarterback Matt Schaub tried to hit Boyle near the goal line.
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