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Practice Report: Running Backs Active as Receivers; Mark Andrews Gets Heated

RB Gus Edwards
RB Gus Edwards

J.K. Dobbins has yet to take the field and the Ravens' other running backs have been quite busy in his absence.

The Ravens hardly checked the ball down to running backs in Greg Roman's offense, as he on multiple occasions said he viewed Lamar Jackson's legs as the check down. If there wasn't an open receiver, it was often left to Jackson to make a play running.

Under new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken, that's about to change, and it's not going to be just checking the ball down to running backs. They're going to be a sizeable part of the passing attack.

"The backs are very much a part of the passing game right now whether it's checkdowns [or] whether it's flat routes," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "All of our backs ... Gus [Edwards], who has maybe not been known for that, has made a lot of good catches and ran some really good routes. So, all of those guys are really doing a great job."

Throwing to the running backs has been a theme throughout camp and it was evident in Friday's practice, as Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and more Ravens running backs caught balls out of the backfield during 11-on-11 work.

Here are more notes from Friday's padded practice:

  • It was a mighty competitive practice after a slower walk-through session on Thursday. Harbaugh said, "[It was a] very good practice, very competitive practice, a physical practice. I thought the guys really stepped up and did a good job, and we improved today." Cornerback Marlon Humphrey agreed.
  • Baltimore's offense didn't get much going down the field, and there was certainly some frustration. After a couple straight incompletions, false start, and sack on a blitz, Jackson punted the ball into the air. The defense brought a lot of pressure. However, Harbaugh said the offense won the day by eight points according to the team's internal scoring system.
  • Tight end Mark Andrews also got heated, seemingly with the official, after he didn't get a flag on a deep pass into the end zone, where there was contact with safety Marcus Williams as he came over the top.
  • Andrews caught several passes, but also had some missed chances. Jackson threw too long after Andrews broke wide open for what would have been a touchdown down the sideline. Andrews also had a third-down pass go through his hands during 11-on-11.
  • Safety Kyle Hamilton was one reason why Andrews didn't catch as many balls as he could have. He won his 1-on-1 rep with Andrews, then did the same against wide receiver Shemar Bridges on a red-zone rep. Hamilton also broke up another third-down pass intended for Andrews in 11-on-11s. The second-year safety is adjusting to his altered role quite well.
  • Jackson hit one long ball to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, who reached out with one hand and hauled it in for a touchdown. It was a beautiful catch.
  • Tight end Isaiah Likely was cooking on one series with the second team and Josh Johnson, catching three passes, including a crosser when he broke open and turned it up the field for a long gain.
  • Brandon Stephens came down with an interception during 11-on-11 work after Keyvon Seymour tipped a pass. Seymour continues to have a strong training camp and drew praise from Harbaugh after practice.
  • Rookie outside linebacker Tavarius Robinson showed impressive speed when racing out to the sideline to not allow quarterback Tyler Huntley to turn the corner. Robinson isn't known as a burner like Odafe Oweh or David Ojabo, but the rookie continues to play hard and impress.
  • After practice, the entire team went to the sideline to sign autographs for first responders and the many military members/veterans that came to practice.

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