Late For Work 5/24: How Did Ravens Look In First Open Practice?

Flacco precise and focused, Jones has mix of speed and size, Pollard setting the tone, more.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 9:12 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

How Did Ravens Look In First Open Practice?

With the veterans and rookies getting together this week for their first voluntary organized team activity (OTA) of the offseason, the Ravens’ AFC championship loss is becoming more of a distant memory.

Thursday’s session offered media their first look at the team practicing since the end of last season. Pulling in the observatations, impressions and opinions from those in attendance, we get a pretty good picture of how everyone looked.

Joe Flacco looking precise and focused: “QB Joe Flacco looked good in three-step drop drills before throwing laser-precise passes to his newest target, WR Jacoby Jones, who was signed following his release from the Houston Texans,” wrote USA Today’s Jamie McCracken.

“If the [contract] situation is bothering Flacco, you would never know it,” added The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec. “He has said repeatedly that he’s letting his agent handle his contract talks and if an extension happens, it happens. He’s not consumed by it, and it won’t take away from his primary focus, which is gaining a rapport with a relatively new receiving corps.”

“Oh, man, that guy, he sits in the pocket and works his progressions so well,” said Flacco’s newest receiver Jacoby Jones. “He knows what everyone is doing, and he makes sure you know what you’re doing. He’s a good quarterback.”

First impressions of Jacoby Jones: “Jacoby Jones brings a nice mix of size and speed to the receiver mix.” – @GerrySandusky

Jones talks about his transition from the Houston Texans to the Ravens with CSNBaltimore.com, saying he’s so excited that he wishes the season was already here.

Absent players: Only people not there were R.Rice, R.Lewis, H.Ngata, T.Suggs, M.Birk. E.Reed and Asa Jackson. … Jackson still finishing school at Cal Poly. Cary Williams (hip) and David Reed (ACL) present but not participating.” – @jeffzrebiecsun

Bernard Pollard setting the tone: “SS Bernard Pollard, who inked a three-year extension earlier this month, kept the enthusiasm loud throughout practice, barking out calls and setting the tone for a defense that was missing many prominent faces,” wrote McCracken.

Filling in for the injured Terrell Suggs: “Courtney Upshaw was working at the SAM linebacker spot vacated by Jarret Johnson today. Kruger was at Suggs’ old spot. Could change though. …  Terrell Suggs has a doctor’s appointment in mid June at the start of minicamp, then will begin rehab after that, says John Harbaugh.” – @Ravens

“Top draft pick Courtney Upshaw has incredible quickness for a player his size. Coaches rave about his smarts.” – @GerrySandusky

Kicker situation, Cundiff’s confidence: “Rookie kicker Justin Tucker hasn’t been signed to the roster following minicamp tryout. So, Billy Cundiff is the only kicker on the roster.” – @RavensInsider

Asked what his confidence level will be like the next time he steps up for a crucial kick, Cundiff replied: “I think it’s as high as it’s ever been.”

Competition for left guard: “Kelechi Osemele worked a lot with ones at guard while Jah Reid played some tackle, but Reid indicated he played a bunch at guard yesterday.” – @RavensInsider

“Osemele still has to work on his technique in switching from college tackle to NFL guard. But he definitely looks the part,” added ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “At 6-foot-5, 333 pounds, Osemele is a space-eater on the interior.”

Tommy Streeter needs work: “6th rd pick, WR Tommy Streeter needs a lot of work on catching the ball–not a good sign for a receiver.” – @GerrySandusky

Tackle Bryant McKinnie looking in shape: “McKinnie, who is listed at 360 pounds, doesn’t appear to have packed on additional pounds since last season,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Matt Vensel. “The voluntary workouts have helped and McKinnie, who rotated with Michael Oher and Jah Reid at tackle on Wednesday, is using the workouts to refine his technique, too. … The Ravens picked up a $500,000 roster bonus on McKinnie in March, but team officials wanted him to be in better shape than he was a year ago. He looks to be heading in the right direction.”

Elite RB Money? Not Going To Happen

It’s time for the daily Ray Rice contract negotiations update. Small tidbits continue to pop up here and there, but most reveal little relevant news.

The latest comes from ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio (per PFT.com), who put the gap between the Ravens and Rice in stark terms.

While talking with a Ravens senior official about Rice’s reported desire for Adrian Peterson money, or at least Chris Johnson money, the official replied to Paolantonio, “That is simply not going to happen.”

The report doesn’t come as a huge surprise, especially considering many pundits are already predicting that Rice will get less money than Peterson and Johnson, but perhaps more than LeSean McCoy and Arian Foster.

Peterson: 7 years, $36 million guaranteed
Johnson: 6 years, $30 million guaranteed
McCoy: 5 years, $20.76 guaranteed
Foster: 5 years, $20.75 guaranteed

“There’s probably no NFL running back who can expect to get that, especially considering that both the Titans and the Vikings have to be having second thoughts about those contracts now,” wrote PFT.com’s Mike Florio. “Johnson had by far his worst season after signing that lucrative contract last year, and Peterson had his season end with a torn ACL.”

Yanda Second-Best Offensive Lineman In Division

Ravens right guard Marshal Yanda is the second-best offensive lineman in the AFC North, says Hensley, as he continues to rank the players at each position in the division this week.

That’s not too shabby considering the AFC North blogger is lumping centers, guards and tackles into one group.

The AFC North Top 5 offensive linemen in descending order: tackle Joe Thomas (Browns), Yanda, tackle Andrew Whitworth (Bengals), center Maurkice Pouncey (Steelers) and guard David DeCastro (Steelers).

“[Yanda] was the best right guard in football and he continues to get better each season,” Hensley wrote. “What you admire about Yanda is his ability to fight through numerous injuries while allowing few sacks (two last season).”

Quick Hits

  • Trent Dilfer, Mel Kiper, Gary Horton and Matt Williamson projected the power rankings for the 2015 season. That’s right – no typo there – the 2015 season. The Ravens were listed at No. 10. “No team consistently delivers as much value,” Kiper wrote. “Ozzie Newsome is a Hall of Famer … in the front office, too. The Ravens face some big personnel losses on defense coming soon, but few are better equipped to move on.” [ESPN]
  • deemason85: Unless the nfl go back to those big thigh pads and knee pads then u r doing it for nothing! The pads that nike will make in pants is a joke! [Twitter]
  • BryantMckinnie: A rookie O-lineman said 2 me 2day, he been watchin me play n the league since he was n middle school. U should have seen the look on my face [Twitter]
  • Ravens: FYI, Art Modell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith were out at practice today. [Twitter]
  • _KIDRaven_ [rookie Asa Jackson]: Mannnnnn…. Not being at OTAs is really ruining me. I can’t even sleep knowing my boys is out there gettin it in….I guess patience is key. … To all the raven fans wondering y I’m not at otas, there’s a weird rule where u can’t report until after ur school lets out for summer. Cal [Twitter]

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