Lamar Jackson planted his feet and delivered a tight spiral that Willie Snead IV caught without breaking stride.
That was just one moment during Saturday’s practice, but it continued a theme that has been building since the beginning of training camp. Jackson is throwing with more accuracy and decisiveness than he was last season, or even this spring. His teammates have noticed, making them excited about the possibilities for the Ravens’ offense.
“I think first and foremost, Lamar has done a really good job,” tight end Nick Boyle said. “I think he’s throwing tremendous balls out there, compared to what it was in the spring. You can see his improvement. You can see the timing of the receivers and the tight ends and the whole offense kind of meshing. I was talking to one of the coaches – it’s only been a week here so far in training camp. I think we got better really fast. It’s very encouraging.”
Jackson wasn’t the only quarterback who threw well Saturday. Backup Joe Callahan, who was signed earlier in the week as a free agent, delivered two perfect passes for long completions to De’Lance Turner and Jaleel Scott respectively. The Ravens got quality reps whether Jackson, Callahan, or Trace McSorley was throwing the football. Head Coach John Harbaugh said the offense had a quality day of execution, heading into next week’s joint practices with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday and Tuesday. The Ravens have an off day Sunday.
- “I’m really pleased with the passing game,” Harbaugh said. “The offense is always a little bit behind the defense. You can never predict where it’s going to go, but it’s been really good. You guys have seen it in practice. I don’t need to stand up here and tell you what’s been going on. It’s been crisp and sharp. Our defense just says, ‘Hey, it’s a lot of stuff to defend.’ We have a lot of guys out there making plays. As a coach, it makes me happy. I’m excited about it.”.
In other developments during a non-padded Saturday practice:
- Tight end Hayden Hurst was very active, getting open for several intermediate passes and making a point to jog downfield after every pass he caught. Hurst’s added bulk could make him tougher to bring down after the catch this season.* Running back Gus Edwards made an athletic one-hand catch, continuing to show his improvement as a pass-catcher. After catching just two passes last season, Edwards has obviously worked on that part of his game.
- Second-year safety DeShon Elliott intercepted a pass that was tipped by the intended receiver, then made a nice return. After missing his rookie season with a fractured forearm, Elliott has come back strong and looks ready to take plenty of preseason reps.
- Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor looked solid in pass defense, continuing his seamless transition from weakside linebacker to middle linebacker.
- It was Military Appreciation Day at practice, and Harbaugh invited all military in attendance and their families onto the field for pictures and autographs with the team following practice.
“There is no better group to be with than military families,” Harbaugh said. “What they do for us, I think it goes without saying what the men and women who serve do, and what they sacrifice. But what about their families, too? That’s worth bearing in mind. It just means so much to us, and it’s an honor to have them out here.”
- Not practicing Saturday were safety Earl Thomas III, running back Mark Ingram II, defensive back Anthony Levine, right guard Marshal Yanda, and offensive linemen Alex Lewis and Randin Crecelius. Yanda missed his second straight practice, but Harbaugh said the veteran Pro Bowl guard had a foot issue that was not serious.
Check out Saturday's training camp practice action in front of troops and their family.