Flacco embracing increased focus on no-huddle offense

August 13, 2012 | Luke Jones

Safety Ed Reed was listed among the Ravens’ inactives in Atlanta, but he surprised everyone watching when he was on the field for the team’s first defensive series.

When asked Sunday what exactly happened, Reed chalked it up to simply wanting to play and to help out his defensive teammates.

“A couple teammates asked me to play and I was like, ‘Cool. I’m not doing anything else.'”

Reed did not record any tackles or pass breakups in his cameo appearance in the first quarter.

Camp highlights

Wide receiver LaQuan Williams continued to turn heads on Sunday with another strong performance as he appears to have a stronghold on the No. 4 spot on the depth chart with fellow second-year wideout Tandon Doss still dealing with a hamstring injury.

The University of Maryland product caught a touchdown from Flacco over linebacker Ray Lewis in a red zone drill. He later caught another touchdown while working with the second offense, grabbing a Tyrod Taylor pass as defensive back Danny Gorrer tried to rip the ball free.

Among the team’s holdover receivers from last season, Williams appears to have made the most dramatic improvement from a year ago. With Torrey Smith sidelined with a mild ankle sprain, Williams worked as the No. 3 receiver on Saturday and had a rare bad day in which he dropped a few passes.

The story was much different in Annapolis.

“Looks like he made a couple of plays,” Harbaugh said. “I told him the last couple of days he forgot to bring his hands to practice. Today he remembered his hands, and he had a nice day.”

Sunday brought much of the same in the kicking competition as Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker was exceptional again.

Both kickers went 4-for-5 in one session as each fell short on attempts from 65 yards — two yards longer than the NFL record — and hit long field goals of 50 yards.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata made arguably his biggest play of training camp on Sunday when he exploded into the backfield on a fourth-and-1 situation and stopped Ray Rice for a huge loss. It’s been a difficult start to camp for the three-time Pro Bowl selection after he injured his hamstring while trying to pass the team’s conditioning test upon reporting to training camp on July 25.

Defensive end Arthur Jones also looked to be more active on Sunday as he delivered a big hit on rookie running back Bobby Rainey and later gave left tackle Bryant McKinnie fits on a couple pass rushes during a 9-on-9 drill.