Live from Westminster: Oher signs, Mason placed on reserve/did not report list

July 29, 2009 | Luke Jones

11:54 p.m. — As I’ve discussed earlier—both in the blog and on the training camp reports—the delay in Oher’s signing was likely based on the slotting system that exists for signing draft picks.

With the 21st pick (Cleveland’s Alex Mack) and the 28th pick (Buffalo’s Eric Wood) signing contracts already, it gave some basic parameters for the Oher deal to get done.  Oher is only the sixth first-round pick to sign a contract.

We’re still waiting to hear the official terms.

11:02 p.m. –  John Harbaugh’s statement to the Ravens’ official site about the signing of Michael Oher:

“We knew Michael wanted to be here.  He said that many times.  Ozzie [Newsome] wanted him to be here, and his agent [Jimmy Sexton] wanted him to be here too.  The agent wanted to make sure he did the right thing by Michael, and we wanted that.”

10:48 p.m. — With the signing of their first-round pick, the Ravens have become one of the first teams in the NFL to sign all of their 2009 draft picks.  Others to sign all of their picks include Chicago, the New York Jets, and Pittsburgh.

10:01 p.m. — The Ravens just announced that they’ve signed Michael Oher to a five-year contract. More to come…

6:03 p.m. — A reminder that tomorrow is a team administrative day as the veterans get settled into Westminster.  The team’s activities are closed to both the public and media, so we won’t get our first look at the entire team until Friday.

Several of the veterans reporting today came out to the field during the afternoon practice to greet coaches and teammates.  These players included Ed Reed, Haruki Nakamura, Jarret Johnson, and Marcus Smith.

5:57 p.m. — Marshal Yanda and Ben Grubbs were working out individually, hitting the hand-held pads after practice.  Yanda is still wearing a bulky brace on his surgically-repaired knee but looked good getting out of his stance.

5:55 p.m. — I learned this afternoon that Joe Flacco did not miss a single offseason workout.  It’s definitely an impressive feat for the starting quarterback and has to make Ravens fans feel good.

5:53 p.m. — There were no apparent injuries in the afternoon, though I did see Demetrius Williams having his right leg stretched out by the training staff in the closing minutes of practice.  It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an injury, but it’s something to keep an eye on come Friday morning.

5:48 p.m. — The Ravens have wrapped up practice for the day.  The four workouts over the last two days were very similar, resembling what you see during OTAs.

The defensive players spent quite a bit of time working on alignments, using trash cans as offensive linemen.

Mark Clayton shined during 7-on-7 drills, reining in a pair of nice catches with Fabian Washington all over him.  The Ravens’ new No. 1 receiver by default has been very consistent in the first two days of workouts.

The coaching staff really seemed to be working on Washington this afternoon.  The starting cornerback has been recovering from neck and shoulder issues dating back to last season.

Justin Harper, continuing to impress, hauled in another long throw from Troy Smith.  As I mentioned in the morning, he has easily been the best of the lesser-known receivers including Eron Riley and Jayson Smith.

2:19 p.m. — Harbaugh talked a little bit about the death of former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.  The two coached together for a decade in Philadelphia.

The Ravens coach expressed sadness, calling Johnson a “football dad” of his.  Harbaugh believes Johnson was a defensive pioneer and suggested there should be a coordinator wing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Harbaugh reminisced about Johnson’s desire for his players to tackle like “an arrow through snow” and mentioned how many techniques that the Ravens use are methods taken from Johnson.

2:00 p.m. — I predict that Lardarius Webb will quickly become a fan favorite here in Baltimore.  He met with reporters after practice this morning and told a story about media relations director Chad Steele giving him some fashion advice and suggested the rookie defensive back cut his hair—he has long dreadlocks.  Webb replied that he wanted to wait until all of the kids were wearing fake dreadlocks in honor of him.

Harbaugh expects Webb to be a huge part of the Ravens’ special teams but also said the team will have to limit his reps, depending on how much he plays on defense.

1:43 p.m. — More and more veterans are beginning to file in, as I just saw Ray Rice and Trevor Pryce walk through the lobby of the Best Western.  Other players making an appearance include Haloti Ngata and Haruki Nakamura.  I did learn that several players living in the area checked in this morning but will not return to Wesminster until their physicals at 3:00 p.m.

12:07 p.m. — Veterans are set to report this afternoon for their physicals at 3:00 p.m.  I just saw Haruki Nakamura walk through the lobby not too long ago.

Though veterans will be here this afternoon, they will not participate in this afternoon’s practice.  The public’s first chance to watch the entire squad will be on Friday morning.

11:47 a.m. — The wide receivers worked on ball control by carrying a football attached to a bungee cord.  The players started at the goal post and had to carry the ball to the goal line while maintaining control of the ball.

11:40 a.m. — Some of the highlights of 7-on-7 drills included a long completion from Joe Flacco to Justin Harper and a long touchdown pass from Troy Smith to Harper.

The Ravens’ seventh-round pick in 2008, Harper spent the entire season on injured reserve with a knee injury.  At 6-3 and 215 pounds, Harper has good size, but he will need to showcase his ability to coaches to stick on the regular season roster.

Today’s showing was a good start.

11:23 a.m. — The tempo of the practice was similar to yesterday with the players dressed in shorts and no full-go contact taking place.

It was interesting seeing Harbaugh instruct during the special teams portion of practice.  He demonstrated the proper technique to use as a gunner on punts.  Even if you’re not familiar with the head coach’s pedigree as a special teams coordinator in Philadelphia, it was clear to see where his roots lie.

11:19 a.m. — The only injury to report really dates back to yesterday.  L.J. Smith tweaked a hamstring and was held out of morning practice as a precaution.  He did not participate in drills and stood on the sideline without a helmet.

John Harbaugh did not seem concerned with the injury.

11:12 a.m. — Regarding the 10 players placed on the active PUP list (tackle Lou Saucedo was waived last night), rookie tight end Davon Drew and defensive tackle Lamar Divens practiced this morning after passing the pre-camp conditioning test.  Both players participated in the morning workout.

Willis McGahee initially came onto the field with helmet, indicating there was some chance of him practicing this morning.  However, he soon returned to the training room and came out to the field without his helmet.  He participated in some individual drills and worked on his conditioning, but he is not allowed to participate in team drills, as per the rules of being on the PUP list.

11:07 a.m. — The morning practice has concluded, and the biggest news to come out of Westminster is the announcement that the Ravens are placing Derrick Mason on the reserve/did not report list.  The designation comes as no surprise since Mason announced his retirement over two weeks ago.  Mason has not filed any paperwork with the league office, leaving the door open for his return.

With Mason on this list, it means he will not count against the current 80-man roster limit but is eligible to return to the team at any time.  The Ravens still hold onto the veteran receiver’s rights.

Comments on Facebook

Comments are closed.