Mandatory minicamp is over and training camp is still several weeks away. But that doesn't mean we stop thinking about the upcoming season. To help satisfy your appetite for football until the start of training camp, here are summertime thoughts on the Ravens, all in 50 words or less:
Rookie center Tyler Linderbaum looked sharp and decisive during OTAs and minicamp. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman joked that he wanted to keep Linderbaum "laying in bed shaking every night" worrying about his responsibilities. But the Ravens are resting easy with the decision to draft Linderbaum.
Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle leading the tight end room is a major plus for rookies Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar. Being around Andrews and Boyle every day will give Kolar and Likely a clear example of how an NFL tight end should approach his job.
Speaking of Likely, his acrobatic catches at the end of minicamp were a tantalizing glimpse of his potential. The Ravens want all their young targets to get open and make the easy catches. But Likely showed he can also make the difficult catches.
I like how defensive players talk about Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald's teaching approach. Players say they are learning fast, which helps them play fast. The Ravens had a ton of injuries last season, but it will be crucial for their defense to force more turnovers.
Lamar Jackson was sacked a career-high 38 times last season, but the protection should be much better assuming All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley returns 100 percent. I think Jackson's going to be excellent in 2022. Watching him sling the ball with authority at minicamp only strengthened that belief.
It was enlightening to hear Calais Campbell talk about the effort and money he invests in maintaining his body on a recent episode of "The Lounge" podcast. It's no accident Campbell has missed just 12 games in 14 seasons. The Ravens will need his consistent presence again in 2022.
Why am I not surprised that Kyle Hamilton looked good throwing out the first pitch at a recent Orioles game? Hamilton looks smooth doing anything athletic. All rookies make mistakes. But Hamilton will overcome some of his miscues with his athleticism.
Kevin Zeitler doesn't chase attention, but he deserves it. Since he arrived in 2021, right guard is one position the Ravens haven't worried about for one second. Zeitler has never made the Pro Bowl, but he could get consideration if Baltimore has a playoff year.
I was glad to hear coaches talk about more emphasis being placed on the long passing game. Trading Marquise Brown shouldn't deter the Ravens from taking more deep shots downfield.
Losing Jaylon Ferguson and Tony Siragusa was sad and surreal. Can't sum up my thoughts about them in 50 words or less. But my thoughts and prayers will remain with their families and friends.