Practice Report 7/28: Ravens' Deep Passing Game Is on Fire

Last season, the Ravens were last in the league in yards per passing attempt (5.7).

That won't be the case next season.

It's still early, but there's been enough of a sample size over the course of Organized Team Activities, minicamp and now training camp to say that the Ravens will have a much better deep passing game this season.

It was on full display again Saturday as free-agent addition John Brown hauled in a pair of deep throws from Joe Flacco, once getting behind veteran Brandon Carr and then Marlon Humphrey. Brown also had an excellent practice Thursday.

Flacco also hit Breshad Perriman on a long toss after Perriman separated from Humphrey at the last second. Robert Griffin III connected with Willie Snead IV on an over-the-shoulder pitch and catch.

Rookie Lamar Jackson threw one of his best passes of training camp when he rolled right, then threw deep down the left sideline to hit undrafted rookie tight end Nick Keizer on a long touchdown.

"I think the offense is just coming together in a lot of ways," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We did a lot of good things today. The deep balls the last two days to John Brown from Joe have been really good and important for us.

"We're seeing that across the board on offense. Our defense is being forced to break passes up. The ball is not really hitting the ground on its own too often. That's what we expect, I love it."

Here are some other notes from Saturday's practice:

  • Those missing from practice included outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, safety Tony Jefferson, safety/linebacker Anthony Levine, running back Kenneth Dixon, cornerback Maurice Canady, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser and tight end Mark Andrews. Suggs and Jefferson were given the day off and the others have minor camp injuries, per Head Coach John Harbaugh.
  • Outside linebacker Matthew Judon cashed in the first big hit of the Ravens' 2018 season. For the first time of Ravens training camp, the team had some periods of tackling (or close to it). Judon made it count when he drilled undrafted running back Gus Edwards along the sideline during a red-zone drill.
  • Tight end Nick Boyle made a nice diving catch at the end of one drive, showing that he can be relied on to make tough catches. While rookies Hayden Hurst and Andrews are expected to be the pass-catchers, Boyle is also a reliable target.
  • Jackson continues to "wow" fans when he runs. During one run-pass option play, he kept it and darted up the middle through a big hole. Jackson put a juke move on one linebacker and got loose in the secondary.
  • Flacco's decision making seems quicker. If his initial read isn't there, Flacco is quickly going to his secondary targets and often finding success.
  • Flacco found Hurst streaking across the middle of the field for a red-zone touchdown after it looked like it was going to be totally covered. Overall, however, the defense won the red-zone portion of the day.
  • Undrafted wide receiver Janarion Grant continues to stand out as a shifty and fast slot target. He made a tough catch plucking the ball off the turf on a shallow crossing route, then spun out of a potential tackle.

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