Training Camp Blog - Aug. 1

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Evening Practice NotesDerrick Mason news hits the fans, who are buzzing with excitement.
Updated 5:07 p.m.

The field was buzzing with the recent news that Derrick Mason is returning to play in 2009.

Mason passed the running test, which took place on the field at Bair Stadium, and then jumped on the back of a gator and rode up the hill behind the stands. He didn't get to interact with fans today, but I expect a huge welcome in Sunday's practice. I did spot Mason in the locker room afterwards, and he was all smiles.

Weather was really nice in Westminster. Not too hot. Kind of a cool breeze blowing across McDaniel College. Perfect for football.

As far as practice goes, it's business as usual. Players are going through the typical routine with full-team action and seven-on-seven.

Here are some thoughts from the field:

  • Rookie wideout Eron Riley drew claps when he made a comeback reception after he lost his shoe. Nice work from a Duke guy, which is hard for this UNC grad to admit.
  • Quarterback Troy Smith made a 30-yard rainbow completion to Justin Harper, who hauled in the pass over his shoulder mid-sprint.
  • Terrell Suggs got the crowd fired up by waving his arms before full contact.
  • Tackle Adam Terry was not on the field. He is dealing with a knee injury that had been heavily wrapped. Likewise, linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was not out there.  He is wearing a boot on his right foot for a sprained toe.
  • Harper got more applause when he twisted around Frank Walker to snag a 25-yard pass from Smith on the left sideline.
  • Will Johnson did not practice.
  • Mark Clayton caught a high-arcing pass from Joe Flacco after he got free from Fabian Washington.
  • Safety Ed Reed is now wearing a red No. 20 jersey, not just the practice mesh top.

Morning Practice NotesRay Rice cuts through the line on Saturday morning.
Updated 10:15 a.m.

It's a beautiful day in Westminster, Md., as Ravens training camp is fully underway at McDaniel College. Not much really to report from the field, as the stands are packed – not as much as Friday's record-setting morning – and the footballs are flying.

One of the guys that has been standing out is running back Ray Rice, who is having a great day between the tackles. The diminutive Rice has been darting into the line of scrimmage and coming out on the other end to pick up yardage.

Rice figures to be a big part of the Ravens' offense this year. Baltimore will surely use Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain, but Rice was the featured guy in offseason minicamps.

Here are some more notes and observations from the morning practice:

  • Big cheers and jeers went to the referees that were calling practice, as Marcus Smith and Frank Waler got tangled up on a routine pass play. Quarterback Troy Smith dropped back and lofter a 30-yard pass to Smith, who was jockeying with Walker along the right sideline. Smith did come up with an impressive catch, but he was called for pass interference, which drew the cat calls.
  • "Matt Birk, welcome to Ravenstown!" said one random fan when the team split into offense and defense on different sidelines. Birk has looked more confident every day. He's making all the calls for Baltimore's young offensive line.
  • Not practicing today are defensive tackle Will Johnson and tight end L.J. Smith.
  • Biggest applause came during 10-on-10 drills, when Joe Flacco dropped back and tossed a perfect 45-yard bomb to Demetrius Williams. Demetrius was covered closely, but he still managed to haul in the pass.
  • The Ravens' quarterbacks are really going for the big one, as they're throwing into deep coverage.  I guess it's better to do that now and not in games.  Flacco threw an interception to safety Dawan Landry, who took it to the house, and Smith tossed one to Haruki Nakamura.  Smith was obviously pretty peeved because he ran over to knock Nakamura out of bounds, which caused some pushing and shoving on the sideline between Smith and some of the defenders.
  • Flacco got frustrated late in practice when he tossed another late interception to Landry when he threw off his back foot. He was obviously cursing himself under his helmet.
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