Live from Westminster: Yanda practices, Reed wearing red jersey (no contact)

July 31, 2009 | Luke Jones

7:09 p.m. — The Ravens will practice on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.  Both practices are open to the public.

5:45 p.m. — Domonique Foxworth had a nice play in the afternoon, breaking up a pass intended for Demetrius Williams.

Foxworth signed a huge contract to come to Baltimore, so the expectations are high for the fifth-year player.

5:40 p.m. — Defensive linemen Trevor Pryce and Will Johnson and receiver Marcus Smith did not practice this afternoon.  Pryce had his foot stepped on in the morning and was even carted off the field, but he should be back to practice as early as tomorrow.  Johnson has a right leg issue, and Smith sat out with cramps.

5:25 p.m. — Despite the rain delay, the Ravens did make it outside to the lower field for practice this afternoon.  Several hundred people hung around to watch the workout despite the terrible storm that came through Westminster in the 2 o’clock hour.

There were two major highlights in the afternoon.  The first was Dawan Landry swiping a Troy Smith pass and returning it for a touchdown.  He looks to be 100 percent healthy and has not shied away from contact in the early going.

The second occurred during punt return drills when Ray Rice broke free and was off to the races.  The second-year back figures to be mostly used at running back, but he definitely shows an ability in the return game should he be needed.

2:45 p.m. — I’m currently in the Best Western hotel waiting out a severe storm.  The team is currently conducting a walk-through and is hoping to go outside at 3:15 p.m if the weather improves.  The area is currently under a tornado watch.

2:20 p.m. — Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron spoke to reporters after practice and talked about the progress of Joe Flacco.  He said that Flacco simply needs to focus on the little things that will make him an elite quarterback.

Cameron went on to say that Flacco will be expected to do much more in his second year as starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

As far as any wrinkles in the playbook, the Ravens ran some plays out of the pistol formation, a shotgun look in which the running back lines up behind the quarterback.  The offense ran the option out of this formation a few times.

2:17 p.m. — In case you’re debating whether to come out to Westminster for the afternoon practice, it is currently pouring as I look out the window of the team hotel.  Looks like it will be a wet afternoon, but I’ll be out there giving you all the updates!

2:09 p.m. — Regarding Ed Reed, Harbaugh explained they do not want to take a chance with Reed’s shoulder and neck.

“Ed knows how to tackle.  He’ll pick his spots a little bit that way, but we want to be smart.”

2:06 p.m. — The coach’s best comments were about Terrell Suggs, who did not participate in Harbaugh’s first training camp last season.

“Yeah, ’55′ is in shock right now.  This is his first training camp in awhile, so he’s feeling his way around.  We’ve assigned a couple of veterans to ‘Sizzle’ to make sure he knows where to go and how to get there.”

Funny stuff from the Ravens head coach.

2:01 p.m. — Harbaugh was very impressed with the huge crowd in Westminster to watch the Ravens’ first full-squad workout.

“I don’t know how many [fans] were here, but the place is absolutely stuffed…Guys are excited about that.  It makes it fun to get out here.  We have great fans.  It’s been a good day so far.”

1:54 p.m. — Michael Oher was the starting right tackle with the first-team offense and was very impressive.  At 6-4 and 310 pounds, Oher is a menacing figure and manhandled defenders on several occasions.  His strength appeared to be run blocking, and he will need to improve his pass blocking technique, but that’s just an early observation after the morning practice.

Overall, you can easily see why the Ravens were so enamored with the rookie tackle.

1:21 p.m. — Just a couple injury updates to pass along to you.  As I reported on The Bob Haynie Show, Trevor Pryce was carted off the field, but it turned out he simply got stepped on, according to John Harbaugh.

L.J. Smith failed to practice again, still bothered by a hamstring tweak he sustained on Tuesday.

1:17 p.m. — It was good seeing Dawan Landry out on the field, going live.  His recovery from last season’s neck injury went well, but you just never know how the neck will respond until he starts going live again.  So far, so good.

With Reed not participating in any live contact, Haruki Nakamura lined up at free safety next to Landry in 11-on-11 live situations.

1:13 p.m. — Tavares Gooden looks to be in excellent condition and simply flies to the football.  He lined up as the starting inside linebacker next to Ray Lewis, and he definitely looks like he belongs.  In an early drill, he filled a hole and stood up Willis McGahee at the line of scrimmage.

If Gooden can play with discipline and not overpursue, he’ll be a youthful asset at the linebacker position.

1:10 p.m. — A battle at kicker is rarely an exciting story, but the showdown between Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka will be crucial this summer.  Gano has the early lead, as he was perfect on all of his attempts.  Hauschka struggled, missing two kicks.  Ravens officials tell me the real evaluation between the two kickers will take place during the team’s preseason games.

1:08 p.m. — Former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Al Saunders is here and has sat in on the Ravens’ team meetings.  It’s expected that Saunders will join the coaching staff as an offensive consultant.

It will be interesting to see how involved he is with the Ravens’ offensive game plan.

1:06 p.m. — Willis McGahee is off the PUP list and looks very strong.  One of the highlights of the morning was a collision between him and 350-pound defensive tackle Kelly Talavou.  The running back won the battle.

He and Ray Rice shared time with the first-team offense.

12:50 p.m. — Mark Clayton struggled today, dropping a couple passes and being called for pass interference, pushing off Frank Walker during 11-on-11′s.

Staying with the wide receivers, Justin Harper continues to impress, catching a touchdown pass from John Beck with Domonique Foxworth in coverage.

Freshly-signed wideout Biren Ealy made the catch of the day, snagging a one-handed catch with Lardarius Webb covering.

12:42 p.m. — Ray Lewis spoke to reporters after practice and has shed 15 pounds, wanting to be lighter to maintain speed.

He feels blessed to be in his 14th year with the Ravens and still feels a strong passion for the game.

The defensive line is very deep according to Lewis.  He’s happy to have Kelly Gregg back out there in front of him.

12:36 p.m. — The Ravens have completed their first full-squad practice this morning before a lively crowd at McDaniel College.  It was clear to see Ravens fans were waiting for the big names to arrive here in Westminster.

The big news of the morning was Marshal Yanda practicing.  There had been concerns that Yanda would not take part in training camp while still recovering from the severe knee injury sustained last season against Indianapolis.  Yanda did not participate in 11-on-11 live drills, but he practiced individually with his fellow offensive line mates.

Ed Reed practiced in a red jersey, signaling no contact for the All-Pro safety.  Considering Reed’s shoulder and neck issues dating back to last season, this is not an entirely surprising move.

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