The Practice Report is an account of what happened on the field at today's open practice.
John Brown had himself a day during Thursday's training camp practice.
The free-agent addition was a popular target for starting quarterback Joe Flacco, as he hauled in a pair of touchdown passes in what was his best Ravens practice to date.
"It feels good," Brown said. "The coaches trust in me, the players trust in me and it's just up to me to make the plays when it counts."
Brown and Flacco first connected on a deep pass down the sidelines where the receiver ran by cornerback Marlon Humphrey to pull down a 40-yard touchdown. Flacco hit Brown perfectly in stride, and the speedy receiver did a nice job running under the pass.
Flacco came back to hit Brown on a deep out route for a first down and then again for a touchdown during seven-on-seven drills. On the second touchdown, Flacco put a pass just over the shoulder of cornerback Brandon Carr and Brown made a nice snag just inside the pylon for the score.
The practice showed off Brown's speed, as well as his ability to make tough catches and get open with precise route running. The Ravens have said since signing Brown in the spring that he's more than just a speed threat, and he demonstrated that in Thursday's practice.
"I'm feeling good about it," Brown said. "Joe's a great quarterback. Even with the backup quarterbacks, we have a lot of weapons. It just feels good to get the connection down with all of them."
Having Brown and Flacco get into a rhythm early in training camp is a great sign because they've only gone through three full practices together. The Ravens eased along the veterans during the first week of camp, but it looks like the extra work they've put in before and extra practice is paying early dividends.
Here are some of the other notes from practice:
- Rookie first-round pick Hayden Hurst participated in about half the practice as he continues to work his way back from a soft-tissue issue. He certainly doesn't look hobbled, and he made a pair of nice catches from Flacco before heading into the locker room. Fellow rookie tight end Mark Andrews (soft-tissue injury) did not practice. Veteran defensive tackle Brandon Williams also didn't practice.
- After having a week to acclimate to training camp, the veteran players are spending more time on the field this week. Veteran safety Eric Weddle and Carr both went through the full practice for the first time of camp.
- Rookie receiver Jordan Lasley had a couple nice plays. He showed nice vision once he had the ball in his hands and used his shiftiness to spring him for some extra yardage. He also beat Humphrey for a touchdown on a double move to catch a deep pass from Flacco.
- Humphrey gave up a few deep completions on the day, which is uncharacteristic for last year's first-round pick. Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale said he still needed to watch the tape to see exactly what happened on those plays, but he did stress that they tell their defensive backs to avoid unnecessary contact in practice on those types of plays.
- After starting practice red-hot, the offense had some miscues down the stretch. Flacco got picked off by linebacker Patrick Onwuasor on a slant route in the red-zone, and the offense also had a false start and bobbled snap. Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said the group was working on some new plays late in practice, which was part of the reason for the issue.
- Defensive tackle Willie Henry has been an active interior pass rusher early in practice, and he showed off that ability by sliding through the offensive line and touching down rookie Lamar Jackson for a sack in full-team drills.
- John Harbaugh's father, Jack, was on the practice field Thursday. Harbaugh talked earlier this week about a text message he received from his father regarding his comments about callousing up young players, and the head coach shared the text message from his dad:
"Absolutely love the message you sent on callousing up the mind and body. I believe human beings will live up or live down to the expectations we have for them.
Coaching, teaching, and parenting are synonymous in preparing those we lead to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for life's challenges.
Football has lead the charge in bringing a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual toughness into the lives of our young men.
The only push back you get when you make this argument is from those who never experienced a demanding and challenging football camp."
Jack will be attending practice for the next week, and both he and John will join an upcoming episode of The Lounge podcast.