First-round rookie tight end Hayden Hurst turned heads in his preseason debut Thursday night with a touchdown and several tough catches.
On Saturday morning, third-round rookie tight end Mark Andrews got his first shot in a while to make an impression, and he reminded everyone that he could be a factor this season too.
Andrews returned to the practice field for the first time in two weeks after dealing with a soft-tissue issue suffered early in training camp.
He promptly made a beautiful leaping catch down the seam despite tight coverage from safety Chuck Clark. Andrews followed it up with two more standout grabs before ending practice early because coaches are easing him back into action.
“He showed a little knack for route running today, which is kind of what we thought we drafted,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
Hurst said Andrews was itching to get back to practice and frustrated by the injury bug. Now back on the field together, the Ravens’ passing attack added a new dimension.
“Mark’s an extremely dynamic player and he goes down the field and makes plays,” Hurst said. “It’s really exciting for both of us to be on the field at the same time [to] stretch the defense vertically.”
Here are other notes from practice:
- In addition to Andrews, running back Kenneth Dixon, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser and rookie tackle Greg Senat all returned to practice. They were eased in Saturday, but will ramp up over the coming days, Harbaugh said.
- The wide receivers put on a show during one-on-one red-zone drills. Chris Moore made a juggling one-handed grab against Brandon Carr. Willie Snead IV made a very tough catch with cornerback Jimmy Smith draped over him. John Brown had a leaping snag in the back of the end zone. Michael Crabtree, who is so smooth around the end zone, finished practice with a beautiful snag in the corner.
- Cornerback Tavon Young undercut a pass to undrafted wideout Janarion Grant during one-on-one drills. Young continues to shine, even in drills that favor the wide receiver.
- Rookie inside linebacker Kenny Young ran with the first-team defense with Patrick Onwuasor missing from practice and did well. Young came flying through the line to make one stop on run defense and showed his strength by knocking tight end Nick Boyle backwards during a pass-rush drill. Young got into a skirmish with offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and guard Alex Lewis near the end of practice, but said all was good afterward.
- Kicker Justin Tucker came up short from 68 yards out and was wide left from 61. He drilled it through the uprights from 55 as the Ravens practiced end-of-game scenarios.
- The pass rushers turned up the heat during first-team 11-on-11 drills. Terrell Suggs got Stanley to set up too far outside, then darted through his inside shoulder for a sack. Veteran Albert McClellan shot a gap for what would have been another sack. Kamalei Correa continued to look explosive off the edge, but needs to make sure he keeps containment on outside runs.
- After a couple weeks of silence (besides the fans) at Ravens practice, the speakers were brought out Saturday. The Ravens didn’t want as much noise as they installed plays, but Baltimore is ramping up for games and players will need to operate with loud noise. Plus, it provides more entertainment as the training camp days get long. Rookie wide receiver Jordan Lasley and other players certainly seemed to like it judging by the amount of dancing going on.