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Practice Report: Day 1 at Ravens Training Camp

WR Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Here's who stood out from Day 1:

  • Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took the next step in his build-up for the regular season. He looked more explosive and pushed it more at the top of his routes compared to minicamp. Beckham appears to be in great shape, and he showed off his muscular legs with rolled up shorts. Head Coach John Harbaugh said he likes the trajectory Beckham is on.
  • Beckham had a crafty deep catch working against cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Lamar Jackson lofted a pretty deep ball toward the right sideline. Bekcham gave Ya-Sin a bit of a stutter step at the top of the route to make him think it might be a back shoulder pass. That made Ya-Sin elevate a little too early and Beckham slipped in behind him to make the long grab.
  • Not to be outshined, rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers was quite busy. He hauled in a series of quick passes getting him in space, where the fleet-footed rookie can do some serious damage. He put a juke on linebacker Roquan Smith that drew some shouts from fans and Jackson said he has a new nickname for the rookie, "Joystick."
  • New weapons and all, the first pass of 11-on-11 work at Ravens 2023 training camp went to none other than Mark Andrews. After that, however, he had a quieter day compared to last year as other players were targeted. The Ravens know full well what Andrews brings.
  • The Ravens offense was moving at a fast clip all day – so fast that reporters commented about not having enough time to take notes on all the action. Jackson said Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken doesn't want him wearing a wristband. It's "call it and haul it."
  • The offense also featured a lot of quick passes to get the ball in the playmakers' hands. Of course, the mid-range passing attack and deeper explosive shots will be a major part of Baltimore's offense, but it showed how Monken also wants to spread defenses out and get the ball to playmakers quicker.
  • New running back Melvin Gordon III showed off his pass-catching ability, hauling in a ball from out of the backfield and bursting up the sideline. Harbaugh said he's impressed by Gordon's physical shape. Undrafted rookie running back Keaton Mitchell also had a nifty one-handed grab.
  • Harbaugh said rookie sixth-round offensive lineman Sala Aumavae-Laulu earned the right to get reps with the first-team offense, as he did at the start of training camp.
  • Kyle Hamilton had a leaping interception on a deep pass from Jackson intended for wide receiver Nelson Agholor. It's good to see Hamilton show off his range. He technically didn't have any interceptions as a rookie (one was called back due to a penalty on Chuck Clark), but Hamilton will play at all depths this year and can show off his ball-hawking skills. He had eight interceptions in three college seasons.
  • Defensive back Brandon Stephens had tight coverage on one long pass intended for tight end Isaiah Likely. Don't lose sight of Stephens in the mix for the nickel cornerback job. Ar'Darius Washington also closed quickly on an end around and had a pass deflection on the next play.
  • Veteran quarterback Josh Johnson floated a short pass directly into the hands of safety Geno Stone. It seemed like Johnson was trying to find a running back leaking out.

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