The Ravens' passing game is showing encouraging signs early in the offseason.
The new-look receiving corps had a strong showing in Thursday's open practice, particularly veteran slot receiver Willie Snead and third-year wideout Chris Moore.
"I thought we caught the ball really well," Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram said. "Guys are playing fast and catching the ball well. The thing that we have to do is just keep locking in on the details of the offense."
The Ravens had 86 pass attempts during the competitive portion of practice and had only three drops. Snead had eight grabs and rookie fifth-round pick Jordan Lasley had nine catches.
Lasley had a slower start in individual drills, mishandling a few passes during the warmup portion to practice. That early time of on-field work is often when players are specifically working on new elements of their technique, such as hand placement or body control, which can sometimes lead to miscues.
Engram and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg both talked with Lasley at that point and he didn't have a drop the rest of the day. He caught several passes cleanly over the next few periods, and turned upfield with a nice burst after the catch.
The veterans Snead, John Brown and Michael Crabtree all had strong days. Snead consistently found soft spots of the defense and was a popular target for quarterback Joe Flacco during full-team drills. Crabtree and Brown are quickly developing chemistry with Flacco, and that was evident by how efficiently the offense moved the ball during the 11-on-11 portion of practice.
"Every day we're trying to get better, trying to connect," Crabtree said. "We're receivers – we're supposed to catch that ball, catch touchdowns, first downs and all that. I'm confident in the guys that we have, because every day we're putting in that work."
Moore was impressive, grabbing a pair of highlight-reel throws. The first play was a diving one-handed snag over the middle of the field and he followed that up with a leaping touchdown during red-zone drills.
"There might have been five or six long throws that were completed – that was good to see," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "We do have some speed. The quarterbacks are doing a good job of pushing the ball downfield and forcing them to go make plays on the ball deep. That's how we like to throw deep. We want to throw it out there and go get it."