Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Observations at Ravens minicamp Day 1
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Here are some thoughts from the first day of the Baltimore Ravens' minicamp, where the heat index reached 100 degrees on Tuesday afternoon:
Joe Flacco looks more and more comfortable with his footwork every week. He was fluid in running a cone drill off to the side. His throws, however, were erratic. He was picked off again by cornerback Jimmy Smith, who returned it for a touchdown. Flacco's best pass was one that was zipped to Torrey Smith in between three defenders.
Ravens cornerback Deji Olatoye runs through drills during the team's first day of mandatory minicamp.
There was a lot of talk of safety Terrence Brooks starting as a rookie. But the third-round pick appears to have dropped on the depth chart behind Matt Elam, Darian Stewart, Omar Brown and Jeromy Miles. Brooks was running in the defensive backfield with safety Dexter Moody. No one should jump to conclusions because it's still a long way until the season begins.
One cornerback to keep an eye on is undrafted rookie Deji Olatoye. He was rotated in with the first and second team defenses and can play a big role on special teams. Olatoye is from North Carolina A&T, but his college career began at Colorado where he was teammates with Jimmy Smith.
Ryan Jensen rotated between right guard and right tackle on the second team. He practiced mostly at right tackle for the first two weeks of offseason workouts before taking all of his snaps at guard last week. Jensen's versatility is a big plus for the Ravens. He did learn how much he has to improve when Terrell Suggs ran over him in a team drill.
The wide receivers had trouble holding onto the ball. Deonte Thompson, Jace Davis and even Torrey Smith had drops. Smith's came in the final two-minute drill when he ran wide open over the middle. He tried to catch the ball with his body instead of his hands, and the ball ricocheted off his midsection.
Only four injured players didn't participate in the start of mandatory minicamp: defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip), offensive lineman Jah Reid (calf), wide receiver Kamar Aiken (leg) and offensive tackle Parker Graham (undisclosed). Reid will "definitely be ready for training camp," coach John Harbaugh said. Backup running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder) participated in individual drills. Harbaugh said wide receiver Aaron Mellette and linebacker Adrian Hamilton, both of whom were waived Tuesday, failed physicals and could return in training camp.