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Practice Report: Rookie TE Isaiah Likely Closes Minicamp With a Flourish; 10 Observations

TE Isaiah Likely

The Ravens wrapped up three days of mandatory minicamp on Thursday at the Under Armour Performance Center. Here are 10 observations from practice:

  • Rookie tight end Isaiah Likely had nice finish to minicamp, catching several touchdown passes during goal-line drills. Two of his catches were with one hand, although one was ruled out of bounds. However, that didn't detract from the athleticism it took to make the play. The 6-foot-4 Likely is showing a large catch radius that could make the fourth-round pick an effective target in tight quarters. Lamar Jackson is impressed and said they were "tremendous catches."
  • Brandon Stephens had an excellent day in coverage playing outside corner. Early in practice, he would have possibly had an interception if he had turned his head toward the football sooner. Stephens was disgusted when the ball deflected off his helmet and bounced away, but it was still a pass breakup. A few reps later, Stephens stripped the ball away from Jaylon Moore as he tried to secure a catch in the end zone.
  • Jackson had another strong day, including a deftly thrown sideline toss to Rashod Bateman that hit the receiver in stride. Jackson's passes have a little more zip compared to last season, but he has also shown nice touch on passes that need to be lofted over the heads of linebackers and defensive backs.
  • Quarterbacks Coach James Urban ran a new drill that had Jackson, Brett Hundley and Anthony Brown throwing passes into a seven-foot basket that was stationed at least 30 yards away from them. Throwing the ball into the narrow opening of the basket requires almost a perfect toss, and the quarterbacks had many more misses than hits. "We were about 4 for 1,000," Jackson said laughing.
  • Jackson yelled at himself after briefly juggling a shotgun snap from rookie center Tyler Linderbaum. The ball never touched the ground, but the juggle threw off the timing of the play. Linderbaum's snaps to Jackson were extremely accurate throughout practice as they had been throughout minicamp – another positive sign in the rookie's development.
  • Sixth-round running back Tyler Badie caught every pass thrown to him, including a swing route when he made a sharp break away from linebacker Patrick Queen to get open. Badie continued to show excellent hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
  • Tight end Josh Oliver had the catch of the day, a one-hand circus grab in the end zone that drew howls from teammates on the sideline.
  • Fullback Pat Ricard showed nice dexterity catching a low pass and turning quickly up field once he secured the ball.
  • Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris spent ample time at the beginning of practice working on blocking drills and choreographing individual assignments. The Ravens could have a new starter at center, right tackle and left guard, so building chemistry quickly will be important.
  • The team gathered around Owner Steve Bisciotti at the end of minicamp. Bisciotti reminded everyone to make good decisions and avoid trouble during their time away prior to training camp. "He talked about the culture, and he talked about [how] we like people that add to our culture, not people that detract from our culture. And he asked them for no drama," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

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