After covering the Ravens nearly everyday during their 2010 Training Camp in Westminster, today was the first day that I was able to make it out to Owings Mills to take in one of their 2011 practices. Rather than write a formal story, I thought I’d provide some quick hits that I noticed throughout the nearly three hour practice today.
– The “Smith brothers,” Jimmy and Torrey, were not practicing today. Jimmy Smith is still dealing with a groin injury, but all indications are that he is going to be fine and back practicing soon. The reason for Torrey’s absence is not known, but there doesn’t seem to be any concern there regarding any potential injury with he rookie receiver.
– Cam Cameron seemed legitimately excited when the media informed him of the signing of Casey Rabach. Terrell Suggs when told the same news responded with “Wowzers.” Suggs said Rabach helped toughen him up when Suggs arrived in Baltimore some eight years ago.
-Dominique Foxworth was not practicing today. It took us a while to spot him on the sidelines, but towards the end of practice he was spotted hanging out with the defensive players. Foxworth is not happy with the way his injured knee is progressing, so how often Foxworth practices is something that we will have to keep a close eye on as Training Camp progresses.
-Ed Dickson dropped a couple of easy passes. This was a concern for Dickson last season. With Todd Heap officially gone from Baltimore, it will be interesting to watch how Ed Dickson progresses during camp. If Dickson does not step up and establish himself as a starter, the Ravens may need to go out and look for another option at tight end. On the flip side, Dennis Pitta looked very solid.
-Cam Cameron had very nice things to say about Tyrod Taylor, referring to him as a “special player.” That was interesting to me as I did not think Taylor looked very good during practice. He got caught in the pocket more than once, overthrew passes, and lacked communication at times with his receivers. To be fair, the receivers he was playing with were not always up to standard, but the Virginia Tech product looked more like Troy Smith than a special player to me today.
-Vonta Leach appeared with his teammates for the first time, and he seemed to fit right in. Cam Cameron remarked that it seemed as though Leach had been around for years rather than one day. Leach was very calm and well-spoken when speaking with the media, but he made no bones about the fact that he is a different animal when he takes the field. Leach caused laughter among the media when he made it abundantly clear that he had no intentions of being a running back, perhaps an indirect dig at Le’Ron McClain.
-Chuck Pagano spoke to the media for the first time as defensive coordinator, and he displayed a passion and energy that we did not see from Greg Mattison the past two seasons. He spoke about the “very easy transition” that he’s made into the coordinator position, and he seemed legitimately excited to lead this group of Ravens on the defensive side of the ball. Pagano did not talk for long, as Suggs came up and gave Pagano a hug while relieving him of his media duties, something that Pagano was surely grateful for.
Luke Jones will be back out here at The Castle tomorrow, so continue to follow us on Twitter and check WNST.net for live camp updates as the Ravens inch closer to their first preseason game of the 2011 season.