Practice Report 8/11: Left Guard Competition Remains Undecided

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Asked about the competition at left guard after Sunday’s practice, Offensive Line Coach Joe D’Alessandris used the phrase “work in progress” several times.

Jermaine Eluemunor, fourth-round pick Ben Powers and veteran James Hurst are all competing at left guard, and it was Eluemunor who started Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

However, nobody has been declared the winner of the competition and Sunday was not Eluemunor’s best day of practice. He ran laps after a false start early in the session, and Eluemunor was also the recipient of some intense words from Head Coach John Harbaugh.

The Ravens still have three preseason games left, and the battle will continue until someone emerges as the clear choice.

“Who knows how long this takes, but here’s what I can tell you – the guys are working hard,” D’Alessandris said, assessing the offensive line as a whole. “They’re diligently all trying to compete, trying to make the strides they have to make collectively and individually as a unit.

“When we open up September against Miami, we’ll have our starting offensive line. Jermaine, he’s been a work in progress and he’s grown a bunch since he’s been here. We’re just going to continue to coach him, encourage him, see where the chips fall. It was good for him to play the other night. He helped us last season against Pittsburgh and against Carolina at left tackle, didn’t bat an eye. This year, we’ve got him at left guard and we’ll see how this continues to develop.”

In other notes from Sunday’s practice:

  • Marlon Humphrey intercepted a pass thrown by Lamar Jackson and returned it for a touchdown. It wasn’t a good throw by Jackson, however Humphrey had several other outstanding breakups during practice. Nobody in the Ravens’ deep cornerback group has performed better in training camp than Humphrey.
  • The Ravens’ secondary had a strong day overall, as cornerback Anthony Averett made a nice deflection and safety Earl Thomas III showed his range while breaking up several plays.
  • Hayden Hurst backed up Saturday’s solid practice with a repeat performance, targeted by Jackson on several crossing routes. Hurst is not only bigger than last season, he looks faster to the naked eye. The way Hurst, Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are playing, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman should have no hesitation using multiple tight end formations.
  • Justice Hill caught a short pass and accelerated quickly after making the catch, showing the speed that caught the Ravens’ eye before the draft. Hill caught two passes for 16 yards in the preseason opener, and the fourth-round pick looks like a potential weapon not only as a runner, but as a receiver out of the backfield.
  • Absent from Sunday’s practice were cornerbacks Maurice Canady and Iman Marshall; offensive lineman Randin Cresilius, linebackers Nicholas Grigsby and Mike Onuoha; and wide receiver Seth Roberts. Running back Kenneth Dixon returned after missing Saturday’s practice.

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