Veterans Give Thoughts On Rookies


The initial phase of the offseason training program has passed, as Organized Team Activities (OTAs) concluded on Thursday.

The three weeks of OTAs gave the coaches a chance to install the playbook and get an early look at some of the new players on the roster. It also allowed the veterans to get on the field with the rookie class to see what they think of their new teammates.

"The rookies are looking good," fourth-year offensive lineman Michael Oher said. "They're getting better every day, working hard, playing fast and stacking practices on top of practices."

Here is a look at what some of the veterans think about the 2012 draft class:

Second-Round Outside Linebacker Courtney Upshaw

"He brings the youth, the speed and energy," said veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie. "He looks like a pretty good pass rusher and seems like he'll be pretty physical as well. I'm excited to see him play."

"Courtney is going to be a good physical player," Oher said. "He's going to bring a lot to the table for that defense. I think he's doing a fantastic job already. He's tough to block and he's doing great."

Second-Round Tackle/Guard Kelechi Osemele

"He's a big guy and he looks like somebody who is pretty powerful with his hands," said veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie. "I'm looking forward to seeing him play and just teaching him some of the things I've learned along the way."

"KO is explosive," Oher said. "He's a big, strong, physical guy.  He's going to be good. When he gets everything down, the sky is the limit for him."

Third-Round Running Back Bernard Pierce

"He hits the holes pretty fast, kind of like Ray Rice" nose tackle Terrence Cody said. "I think he's got a little bit of power and speed put together. In that zone running scheme, you're always looking for the cutback, and he makes good cuts, just like Ray Rice out there."

Fourth-Round Center/Guard Gino Gradkowski

"He's a lunch-pail guy," defensive-lineman Art Jones said. "He's one of the guys that spends time in the weight room and is a hard worker. He's a guy that's real football smart and it's going to show."

"He's a smart kid," Oher said. "He has pretty good fundamentals already. When he and [Osemele] get everything down fully they're going to be pretty solid players."

Fourth-Round Safety Christian Thompson

"You see a guy who is willing to learn," safety Bernard Pollard said. "He's not shying away from gaining knowledge. I've played this game a long time, and things are going kind of fast right now. I'm excited just to see him progress."

Sixth-Round Wide Receiver Tommy Streeter
"You see a young guy who is raw," Pollard said. "He's out there, he's trying to learn. This year, that group is talented and you see the weapons those receivers have to go down the field. You want Streeter to learn from those guys."

Seventh-Round Defensive Lineman DeAngelo Tyson

"He's a guy that has a great get-off," Jones said. "He has heavy hands and he's a guy that has a hunch for the ball. He's a guy at a young age that knows what it means to play like a Raven. He's a guy that's going to compete and work hard and I'm excited that we drafted him."

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