Lamar Jackson had not thrown an interception during training camp, but safety Chuck Clark spoiled that during Thursday's practice.
Reading Jackson's intentions perfectly, Clark cut in front of Mark Andrews and deflected the pass. Rookie linebacker Malik Harrison caught the ball before it hit the crowd and the defense celebrated the interception, while Jackson became one of Clark's victims during his strongest day of camp.
Clark got his hands on two other passes during practice and buzzed around the secondary all morning. After the team was given Wednesday off, Clark looked like he had fresh legs and he was flying..
His knowledge of the defense and ability to direct teammates is well known. That's why Clark wears the microphoned helmet with the green dot, relaying play calls from Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale to the entire defense. Head Coach John Harbaugh described Clark this offseason in three words – bold, brilliant, and brief.
With two career interceptions, Clark would love to up that total in 2020. He's around the ball a lot, and had nine passes defensed last season when he became a starter midway through the year.
Clark is carrying more responsibility this year as a mentor to third-year safety DeShon Elliott, who will be a starter for the first time. But Clark never looks overwhelmed. At today's practice, he looked like the best player on the field.
In other highlights from Thursday's practice:
- Harrison was the other standout on defense. The rookie inside linebacker has been described as a physical tackler who excels at stopping the run. That's true, but Harrison's athletic ability should not be sold short. His best play came when he chased Tyler Huntley out of the pocket and almost tackled the undrafted quarterback before chasing him out of bounds. Harrison's closing speed was impressive and he got kudos from coaches after the play ended.
- Elliott continued to look comfortable in his new role as a starting safety. His best play came in the end zone when he leaped to break up a high pass intended for Andrews. Winning a 50-50 battle with Andrews isn't easy, but Elliott has leaping ability and ball skills. Afterward, Marlon Humphrey was one of several players to congratulate Elliott enthusiastically.
- The defense had the upper hand in this practice, but wide receiver Willie Snead IV was the standout player on offense. Snead got open consistently on sideline and underneath routes.
- Tight end Nick Boyle ran a nice pattern in the red zone to make a catch that he carried into the end zone. Once Boyle gets his hands on the football, defenders aren't always thrilled about tackling him. When Boyle lowers his shoulder, there's plenty of force behind it.
- Rookie running back J.K. Dobbins had his first fumble of camp, and it was recovered by linebacker Jaylon Ferguson. It's a surprise when Dobbins loses the ball. In 725 career carries at Ohio State, Dobbins lost just four fumbles.
- Ravens who did not practice Thursday were D.J. Fluker, Justice Hill, Matthew Judon, Anthony Levine Sr., Marcus Peters, Brandon Williams, Kenjon Barner, Chris Moore, Josh Nurse and Jaleel Scott. Rookie tight end Eli Wolf returned to the practice field after being absent since last week.