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Practice Highlights 7/26: Pads Popping In First Contact Practice


The Ravens threw the pads on for the first time in training camp Saturday, and there was certainly a lot of popping.

It was the first chance for the offensive and defensive linemen to really get after it, and offered a good initial look at the Ravens' run game.

Running back Bernard Pierce left practice early with a team doctor and did not return, but tweeted afterwards that he's fine. Pierce is returning from shoulder surgery and was cleared for full contact for the first time at the start of training camp.

"U walk with a trainer now your [sic] hurt??? For the record I'm fine no one got hurt," Pierce tweeted.

Cornerback Lardarius Webb, who reportedly left Friday's practice early due to back spasms, did not practice Saturday.

Here are some notes from the padded practice:

  • Rookie first-round pick C.J. Mosley was looking forward to putting on pads and he showed why. He was still very fast moving around the field and looked physical inside. He ripped a pass out of Owen Daniels' hands during 7-on-7 drills, drawing big praise from the defensive coaches.
  • Cornerback Chykie Brown continues to get beat by too many big plays in training camp. Jacoby Jones got him on a double move for a 65-yard score and gave up another 35-yarder to Steve Smith along the sideline when Smith fought back for the ball and went high to catch it over Brown's head.
  • Free safety Darian Stewart is occasionally moving over to play some cornerback when the Ravens want to give Jeromy Miles, who is also pushing for the starting gig, more snaps. Baltimore could use three safeties at one time.
  • Right guard Rick Wagner was one of the key players to watch and see how he responded to practice in pads. He held up very well, even against physical pass rusher Elvis Dumervil. Wagner is strong and can fight off Dumervil's strong bull rush. Wagner also blocked down well once, springing Ray Rice for what would have been a long gallop.
  • Left guard Kelechi Osemele ran over Stewart on one screen pass that Rice took a long ways. Osemele got a number of head slaps for that one.
  • Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee looks really good. He was dominating in one-on-one blocking drills versus tight ends and easily cruised past rookie tackle James Hurst for what would have been a sack on Tyrod Taylor.
  • Rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro is starting to show himself more. He had done well catching short passes over the middle and occasionally flashed open along the sidelines due to good route running.
  • The offense in general had a good day, especially on third down in 11-on-11 practices. The offense moved the chains three times in a row when faced with a third-and-8 situation. Kubiak's scheme really seemed to shine as receivers were found wide open.
  • Kicker Justin Tucker hit a 55-yard field goal with ease, then missed wide left on a 50-yarder.
  • Wide receiver Deonte Thompson isn't being talked about much but shouldn't be forgotten. He had a pair of long catches, including a diving snag on an absolute bomb by Taylor.
  • Head Coach John Harbaugh got on his offense after the second-team offensive linemen were giving up too many sacks. The offensive was complaining that the plays were being ruled sacks (there's no hitting quarterbacks, so it's a judgment call on whether they would have actually been brought down). Harbaugh yelled back, "It's a blatant sack! … Block somebody! That works a lot better than begging!"
  • The offense responded after Harbaugh's chiding, as Taylor hit Thompson to convert a long first down and then rookie wide receiver Jeromy Butler for another first down on the next play, bringing a lot of hollers from the offense.
  • Safety Will Hill, who was signed Friday, picked off his first pass while working with the third-team defense. He stepped in front of a pass from rookie quarterback Keith Wenning.
  • The running game looked better as practice went along. It consistently got around 3-yard gains with the first offense; occasional plays could have broken for a lot more. There weren't many negative plays.
  • Quote of the day goes to outside linebacker Terrell Suggs after he pulled up short when he could have sacked quarterback Joe Flacco: "He makes a lot of money. I'm not trying to get my coach fired!"
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