Owings Mills-The drama concerning Ravens LT Bryant McKinnie continued Saturday, as McKinnie was again absent from team workouts in the team’s first full-pads practice at the Under Armour Performance Center.
However, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel as McKinnie told WNST Saturday night that he will be reporting to practice Monday and will end his holdout from training camp.
“All is good,” McKinnie told WNST in a text message. I had a little accident a few days ago. I’ll explain later.”
McKinnie, who joined the Ravens last season, had yet to report to Owings Mills after being required to arrive to the area on Wednesday. This marks the third day of practice that he will miss, and under the new collective bargaining-agreement rules, he is subject to more fines by the team for his absence.
As reported by Yahoo! Sports, McKinnie had already been fined 30,000 for not showing up for practice, and would have been subject to continued fines of that amount per day that he is not in uniform.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron shrugged off McKinnie’s absence, saying that the first few days of training camp never have a set offensive line in place.
“You just let these things play out,” Cameron said. “The season’s not starting tomorrow.”
But would Cameron love to have a player of McKinnie’s caliber in camp learning with his teammates? Absolutely.
“”[He] filled an unbelievable role for us last year, and was a big part in giving us an opportunity to win.”
If he were to miss the first preseason game, he would be subject to a missed game-check of 188,000 dollars.
Webb returns to Practice
Corner back Lardarius Webb returned to the field Saturday after missing Friday’s session. He was excused by head coach John Harbaugh due to a personal matter. He was actively participating in practice, fielding punts in the opening special teams of practice.
Not present were DT Haloti Ngata (hamstring), tackle Ramon Harewood (ankle), LB Terrell Suggs (Achilles surgery), DE Pernell McPhee (knee), KR David Reed (ACL Surgery), C/G Justin Boren (undisclosed), and T Jah Red (calf).
Defensive coordinator Dean Pees was not worried about his regulars missing training camp practice, as he described the scenario of giving some of the younger guys like Arthur Jones and rookie DeAngelo Tyson opportunities to learn the playbook and execute on the field.
“”Even if Pernell was back, I don’t think it would affect his number of reps. We’re getting a lot of players in,” Pees said.
Reid was spotted in street clothes near the practice field, and during the special teams portion of the practice, CB Jimmy Smith did leave the field with an undisclosed injury.
He walked off the field under his own power, and it appears to be a recurrent cramping issue as Smith battled the same issue Friday at practice.
New Ravens CB Corey Graham was the star of Saturday’s practice-most likely getting some opportunities at both the nickel and corner spot with Jimmy Smith’s departure from practice.
He grabbed two interceptions off the Ravens QBs, including a pick-six off Joe Flacco in which he ran past the Ravens quarterback as he chased him down the field holding the ball out.
His second interception came on a fade route from backup Tyrod Taylor intended for WR Jacoby Jones.
As the ball sailed past Jones, Graham came down with a one-handed grab and got quite the cheer from the few Ravens fans nearby.
Graham, a Pro-Bowl special teams ace with the Chicago Bears, may just fit in with this Ravens defense much like Brendon Ayanbadejo earned more playing time, says defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
“One of the things about Corey is his versatility,” Pees said. “We played him at the corner and the nickel spot, and I’ve also taught him to learn the backup safety. You never know how things are going to go down the road, how many make the cuts, and who’s going to be here. You’ve always got to have those guys who can be flexible.”
Another guy who Pees said makes his job easier is Albert McClellan, who can line up a defensive end, outside linebacker, and had some inside reps last season.
McClellan is another Ravens defender who had an interception-this time grabbing a ball bobbled by Jones, and he returned the pick to the house-earning himself a water break through several of that session’s drills.
Pees was also asked about his linebackers post-practice, especially guys like 2nd round picks Sergio Kindle and Courtney Upshaw who are going to be tasked with filling the void left by Terrell Suggs as he rehabs his injured Achilles tendon.
“I think Sergio’s made a lot of progress,” Pees said of Kindle, who is fighting back from a head injury sustained after a fall his rookie season. “Basically he’s had a lot of time off, and that’s tough…with an injury.”
“He really had a heck of a practice yesterday, and I’ll have to watch the film. I think he’s come a long way here in the last few weeks.”
Despite Upshaw suffering a right shoulder stinger after sustaining a hit from RB Bernard Pierce, he did not leave the practice field.
“He plays like an Alabama kid,” Pees noted. “He comes ready to play. He’s a football player. He’s going to play hard. He learns well in the classroom.”
Hear from Cam Cameron, Dean Pees, and Jerry Rosburg in the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net!