Returning Receivers Elevating Games

The new wideout additions seem to have lit a fire under those down the depth chart.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink
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Ravens wide receiver Mark Clayton swears says he’s not doing anything different than any other year.

Yet Clayton is one of several Ravens receivers who are standing out thus far at training camp after being bumped down the depth chart by the arrival of Anquan Boldin and Donte’ Stallworth.

Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Marcus Smith have all received praise from Head Coach John Harbaugh the past two days. Justin Harper’s hands have also stood out, especially in the red zone.

After running with the second-team during the first several days of training camp, Clayton has made the most of his time in the sun with Derrick Mason sidelined by a sprained ankle the past two days.

Clayton, who had a career-low 34 receptions for 480 yards in 2009, has run precise routes and displayed a solid set of hands. He broke free on a touchdown catch just minutes after stepping in for Mason Tuesday.

“Mark’s had a really good camp,” Harbaugh said. “Mark’s caught the ball really well. Mark’s a polished receiver. Last year he had the hamstring in training camp; he missed most of training camp, so this year he’s getting a lot of good work.

“I put Demetrius in that category, too. Demetrius Williams has played exceptionally well.”

Coming off a season where he posted career lows in receptions (8) and yards (142), Williams has had some of the most impressive grabs thus far in camp, especially going over the deep middle.

Smith, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, hasn’t shown any ill effects. The 6-foot-1 special teams standout has stood out in the red zone along with Harper.

“Marcus looks like he hasn’t missed a step,” Harbaugh said. “He looks maybe stronger. He’s playing better than he ever did before, so he looks really good.”

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