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Live from Owings Mills: Five Ravens miss final day of mandatory minicamp

Posted on 19 June 2014 by Glenn Clark

OWINGS MILLS — The Baltimore Ravens held their final practice of mandatory minicamp and the final organized team activity before August’s Training Camp Thursday.

Five Ravens were again missing during practice.

OL Jah Reid was again missing from practice due a strained calf that is not believed to be a long-term issue. DL Terrence Cody remained out after having offseason hip surgery-it is hopeful he will be able to return in time for Training Camp.

DL Kapron Lewis-Moore missed Thursday’s session due to a hamstring injury he suffered earlier in the week. WR Kamar Aiken remained out with a leg injury and OL Parker Graham missed practice again an injury that has not been disclosed.

With the team cutting WR Aaron Mellette and LB Adrian Hamilton due to failed physicals, the roster shapes up to be in reasonable health heading into Training Camp.

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Lewis-Moore only new absence during Wednesday’s minicamp practice

Posted on 18 June 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued to have excellent attendance at their second day of mandatory minicamp as only five players were missing from the field on Wednesday.

Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore was not present after leaving practice the day before with what appeared to be a left hamstring injury. He joined defensive tackle Terrence Cody (hip surgery), offensive linemen Jah Reid (calf) and Parker Graham (undisclosed), and wide receiver Kamar Aiken (lower leg) as non-participants on Wednesday.

Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday that Reid’s calf strain continues to improve and that the fourth-year lineman will be ready for the start of training camp. Cody isn’t expected to return until camp.

Running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder surgery) once again took part in individual drills and is on track to be cleared fully by the start of camp in late July.

Asked if he was pleased with the conditioning level of veterans such as Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs who were not present for the previous three weeks of voluntary organized team activities, Harbaugh did not express any specific concerns in getting his first look at them this week.

“It’s hard to evaluate all that, but I’m certainly not disappointed in anybody,” Harbaugh said. “They all look good. If I was going to single a guy out, it would probably be Terrell Suggs. He can give you the numbers, but I’ll tell you this — the numbers were very good. You can tell he’s been working really hard.”

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Rookies try to make strong first impression with Ravens

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Rookies try to make strong first impression with Ravens

Posted on 17 May 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — With most attention on the 2014 draft class as the Ravens gathered for their rookie minicamp this weekend, a number of former college players were trying to take advantage of what might be their only shot to catch on in the NFL.

In addition to working out draft picks, signed rookie free agents, and a few veterans previously on the practice squad or returning from injury, Baltimore invited 22 players to take part in rookie camp to not only fill out a full practice routine but take a look at any potential additions to the 90-man offseason roster. The most notable among them was wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr., the son of the Hall of Famer regarded by most as the greatest wideout in NFL history.

“He is a really good athlete. He doesn’t have his dad’s size, but he sure has his athleticism,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “When you watch him run, he runs a in a real similar way. And the other thing is he has that West Coast offense down. He has probably had that playbook since he was in the cradle.”

The former UCLA receiver is undersized at 5-foot-10 and caught only nine passes for the Bruins before transferring to UNLV for his senior season in which he caught 11 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, making the likelihood of the Ravens signing him a long shot. However, Rice caught several passes on Saturday and took one slant to the end zone during non-contact 11-on-11 team drills.

Of course, watching his father play for years in San Francisco made him familiar with the offensive attack the Ravens will be using under new coordinator Gary Kubiak. The 22-year-old has also dealt with living in the shadow of his father without allowing it to take away from who he is as a person.

“It’s something I’ve been born with since the beginning; I don’t know any better,” Rice said. “You can take it two ways. You can either burden yourself or take it as a challenge. I definitely take it as a challenge. Why not strive to be the greatest? You only get one chance to do this. Why not try to do your best?”

While Rice’s tryout was a feel-good story in an otherwise mundane weekend in which many of the players participating won’t even make it to the remainder of organized team activities, Harbaugh was complimentary of a number of the Ravens’ draft picks including first-round linebacker C.J. Mosley and fourth-round running back Lorenzo Taliaferro. Third-round tight end Crockett Gillmore was one of the most impressive players on the field as he showed good hands in catching several passes.

Mosley was vocal while running the defensive huddle, and most expect him to immediately start next to veteran Daryl Smith in the 3-4 base defense.

“The first impression is that he seems very comfortable in a defense,” Harbaugh said. “He understands the game very well. He’s been really well-coached, obviously, down [at Alabama]. That was a big plus coming out.”

Harbaugh made it clear that there was no time to ease the rookies into action with the draft taking place two weeks later this year.

The mental preparation of learning an NFL system understandably takes time, but the physical rigors of playing at the next level were felt by the rookies immediately, according to the head coach.

“We go right at it as much as we can,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not real football. It’s not tackling and all that, but we try to throw a bunch on them mentally and really physically as well in terms of the running. Lorenzo Taliaferro told me that he had never been so sore in his life without hitting. I said, ‘Yeah, we run a lot in the NFL.’”

Lewis-Moore ready to show he belongs

The Ravens selected Notre Dame defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore in the sixth round of the 2013 draft fully knowing that his rookie year would essentially be a redshirt season after he suffered a torn ACL in the national championship game that January, but they’re hoping to reap the fruits of that long-term investment beginning this season.

Now 16 months removed from the injury and taking part in this weekend’s rookie camp, Lewis-Moore is out to prove why he was a well-regarded NFL prospect and to find his place in the defensive line rotation.

“I don’t have to relearn too much. We’re all football players and the game comes back to us pretty quick,” said Lewis-Moore, who briefly practice on a limited basis for a three-week period last season. “The first practice, I was a little rusty with my technique, but the afternoon practice was better. It’s going to be really competitive.”

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman collected 40 tackles and six sacks in his senior season to help lead the Fighting Irish defense to the national championship game against Alabama.

Other veteran players taking part in rookie minicamp included tight end Matt Furstenburg, wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard, quarterback Nick Stephens, and lineman Cody Larsen, who were all members of the 2013 practice squad.

Injury report

Fourth-round defensive end Brent Urban (offseason ankle surgery) and sixth-round wide receiver Michael Campanaro (hamstring strain) were present but did not participate in Saturday’s practice.

Third-round safety Terrence Brooks was excused from the team as he and his fiancée welcomed the birth of their son on Friday, but Harbaugh complimented the former Florida State defensive back’s work from earlier in the week.

The Ravens coach also said that left guard Kelechi Osemele (back surgery) was participating fully in the offseason training program and that running back Bernard Pierce (shoulder surgery) should be ready to go by the start of training camp.

“[Bernard's] been allowed to move around a little bit, but we just can’t risk him falling on it right now and getting a setback,” Harbaugh said. “So, you’re probably looking at training camp for him, which shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t get a setback.”

Two more draft picks sign

The Ravens announced the signings of second-round defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and Urban to their rookie contracts on Saturday afternoon.

The only draft picks who remain unsigned were Mosley and Brooks despite the draft only being completed last weekend.

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Jimmy Smith, Daryl Smith miss practice on Wednesday

Posted on 06 November 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Returning to the practice field to intensify preparations for Sunday’s meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens were without two defensive starters on Wednesday as cornerback Jimmy Smith and linebacker Daryl Smith were absent.

The third-year defensive back left early in the Week 9 loss to the Cleveland Browns with what was described as a groin injury by head coach John Harbaugh. Smith was feeling better on Monday, but his status will be monitored over the course of the week and veteran Corey Graham would start in his place should he be unable to play against the Bengals.

Meanwhile, the starting inside linebacker was absent during the portion of practice open to media with a thigh injury. Smith finished Sunday’s game with nine tackles and a sack despite picking up a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness.

Wide receiver Brandon Stokley (groin) was also absent from practice on Wednesday as was left guard Kelechi Osemele (back), who will be placed on injured reserve at some point this week.

Fresh off reinstatement following an eight-game suspension, second-year cornerback Asa Jackson was practicing and appears to have a good chance to be activated for Sunday’s game with Jimmy Smith currently ailing. The Ravens have a roster exemption that expires Monday before they must either place Jackson on the 53-man roster or waive him.

Rookie defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore also took the practice field for the first time as a member of the Ravens after he was selected in the sixth round of April’s draft and began the season on the non-football injury list while working his way back to full health. A Notre Dame product, Lewis-Moore tore his ACL in the BCS title game last January and now begins a 21-day window in which he can practice before the Ravens either place him on the 53-man roster or send him to season-ending injured reserve.

Since Jackson and Lewis-Moore aren’t currently on the 53-man roster, they did not appear on Wednesday’s injury report.

Coach John Harbaugh had no new information on the pending return of tight end Dennis Pitta, who could potentially return later this month from the dislocated hip he suffered in late July.

“I don’t know exactly [when he will be ready],” Harbaugh said. “When we talked about that time frame, that was a long time ago. Everything I’ve been told is that he is on schedule, but it’s still pretty vague and generic. We are getting close to that date. I’m interested to hear when he can start practicing again. I’ve been asking that question [and] haven’t gotten a yes yet. He’s closer than ever, obviously, and I have my fingers crossed — just like everybody else does.”

Meanwhile, the Bengals were without inside linebacker Rey Maualuga (knee) and left tackle Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related) on Wednesday.

Here is Wednesday’s official injury report:

BALTIMORE
OUT: G Kelechi Osemele (back)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Jimmy Smith (thigh), LB Daryl Smith (thigh), WR Brandon Stokley (thigh)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: WR Marlon Brown (finger)

CINCINNATI
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: LB Rey Maualuga (knee), DT Devon Still (elbow), LT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: RB Giovani Bernard (ribs), LB Mike Boley (hamstring), TE Jermaine Gresham (groin), G Kevin Zeitler (hamstring)

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Ravens move McClain, Lewis-Moore to reserve lists to trim roster to 75 players

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Ravens move McClain, Lewis-Moore to reserve lists to trim roster to 75 players

Posted on 27 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Needing to trim their roster to the required 75 players by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, the Ravens placed linebacker Jameel McClain and defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore to reserve lists for the start of the regular season.

As expected, McClain was moved to the reserve physically unable to perform list as he continues to recover from a spinal cord contusion suffered last December. Coach John Harbaugh said last week that the sixth-year linebacker would likely start the season on the PUP list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks before he could begin practicing.

Defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore will begin the season on the reserve non-football injury list as he continues to rehab his surgically-repaired knee after tearing his ACL in the BCS title game with Notre Dame in January. The defensive lineman was drafted in the sixth round of April’s draft with the expectation that he wouldn’t be ready to play by the start of the regular season — if at all in 2013.

McClain has undergone periodic magnetic resonance imaging to determine how well his spinal cord is healing, but he has yet to be cleared by contact. Harbaugh previously indicated that McClain would have another MRI before the Ravens potentially moved him to the reserve PUP list.

“We’ll just keep taking the MRIs, and when the MRI is clear, then he’ll go,” said Harbaugh, who rejected the notion that McClain has been ruled out to play this season. “The MRI will be clear. There’s no question that at some point in time it will be clear. It’s just impossible to tell the time frame.”

McClain took part in some spring workouts on a limited basis as he and the Ravens maintained optimism that he would be cleared in time for the start of training camp. In early June, the Ravens signed veteran linebacker Daryl Smith, which was perhaps an indication that their optimism had waned over McClain’s prognosis.

Under the rules of both the reserve PUP and non-football injury lists, a player has a three-week window to begin practicing at the conclusion of the first six weeks of the season. From the point that the player returns to practice, he then has an additional 21-day window before the team must return him to the 53-man roster. If the player is unable to return to practice at the conclusion of the first three-week window or to the active roster by the end of the subsequent 21-day period, he must be placed on season-ending injured reserve or released.

The Ravens started Tuesday with 77 players on their preseason roster and moved McClain and Lewis-Moore to their respective reserve lists, which means neither player will count toward the 53-man roster limit at the start of the regular season. General manager Ozzie Newsome and Harbaugh must make final cuts by Saturday at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, the Ravens parted ways with tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, offensive line Ramon Harewood, wide receiver Tommy Streeter, running back Damien Berry, wide receiver Rashaad Carter, guard Jack Cornell, linebacker Bryan Hall, tackle David Mims, cornerback Moe Lee, defensive end Will Pericak, linebacker Meshak Williams, and wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard of Towson. They also placed injured linebacker Adrian Hamilton on IR with a wrist injury.

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Ravens assigning numbers, handing out contracts to rookies

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Luke Jones

With the Ravens welcoming their new batch of rookies to Owings Mills for their mandatory minicamp this weekend, they got down to business with signing some of their 10 draft picks from the Class of 2013.

The drama of rookie contracts has largely been eliminated since the introduction of a new system with the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011, so signings have become mere formalities with holdouts and delayed negotiating now things of the past. The contracts of drafted rookie players are set at four years — first-round contracts contain an option for a fifth season — with rookie free agents receiving three-year contracts. While contract figures aren’t slotted with a fixed amount, each team is given a rookie cap figure by which to abide.

According to The Sun, the Ravens have reached four-year agreements with fourth-round fullback Kyle Juszczyk, fifth-round offensive lineman Ricky Wagner, sixth-round defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, sixth-round center Ryan Jensen, seventh-round wide receiver Aaron Mellette, and seventh-round cornerback Marc Anthony.

In addition to handing out contracts to six of their 10 draft choices, the Ravens officially assigned jersey numbers to each player and can be seen below:

S Matt Elam – No. 31
LB Arthur Brown – No. 59
NT Brandon Williams – No. 98
LB John Simon – No. 47
FB Kyle Juszczyk – No. 40
OL Ricky Wagner – No. 71
DE Kapron Lewis-Moore – No. 67
C Ryan Jensen – No. 77
WR Aaron Mellette – No. 80
CB Marc Anthony – No. 36

The Ravens have also issued No. 51 to troubled linebacker Rolando McClain, which will lead many to wonder whether we’ll actually see the 23-year-old linebacker suit up in Baltimore. The second-round selection of Brown certainly clouded McClain’s future even more than it already was following an arrest two weekends ago.

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Ten thoughts on Ravens’ 2013 draft picks

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Ten thoughts on Ravens’ 2013 draft picks

Posted on 28 April 2013 by Luke Jones

Because I refuse to put a grade on a draft that needs a couple years in order to truly be evaluated, I instead offer a thought on each of the 10 selections the Ravens made in the 2013 NFL Draft this weekend.

Some are serious, others are not, and you can guarantee you won’t find a silly letter grade attached to any of them.

1. Round 1 – S Matt Elam, Florida
Thought: The Ravens are over the moon for Elam, but you do wonder if his propensity for the big hit will draw untimely penalties in the same way Bernard Pollard would.

2. Round 2 – LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Thought: No one will ever be Ray Lewis, but Brown’s skill set provides the Ravens with a complete linebacker who’s strong in pass coverage, something they were severely lacking.

3. Round 3 – DT Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern State
Thought: It’s great that the 335-pounder can walk on his hands, but that act of athleticism is too reminiscent of Kyle Boller being able to throw a football through the uprights while on a knee at the 50 for me to really care.

4. Round 4 – DE John Simon, Ohio State
Thought: The Jarret Johnson comparisons have already been made, but did Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer mean “John” or “Simon” when he said he’d name his son after the new Ravens outside linebacker?

5. Round 4 – FB Kyle Juszczyk, Harvard
Thought: General manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t dismiss the idea that the Ravens could keep both Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach and Juszczyk on the 53-man roster this year, but it wasn’t a ringing endorsement of the idea either.

6. Round 5 – OL Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
Thought: The Ravens technically drafted a left tackle on Saturday, but Wagner’s feet aren’t quick enough for the position at the next level, meaning he’ll likely find a home at guard or right tackle with the Ravens.

7. Round 6 – DE Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame
Thought: Still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the BCS title game, Lewis-Moore is one to watch for 2014 after being a co-captain and four-year starter for the Fighting Irish.

8. Round 6 – C Ryan Jensen, Colorado State-Pueblo
Thought: Raise your hand if you had never even heard of Colorado State-Pueblo — who brought back football in 2008 after a 24-year hiatus — let alone this offensive lineman prior to Saturday afternoon.

9. Round 7 – WR Aaron Mellette, Elon
Thought: You’ll continually be reminded he’s a seventh-round pick from an FCS school, but it’s difficult not to be intrigued with the 6-foot-2, 217-pound frame and eye-popping production (210 catches and 30 touchdowns in the last two seasons).

10. Round 7 – CB Marc Anthony, California
Thought: You have to feel good for Anthony making it to the NFL after putting up with years of jokes about Cleopatra, Jennifer Lopez, and being a Grammy award-winning singer.

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Taking a look at new Ravens from Draft Day 3

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Taking a look at new Ravens from Draft Day 3

Posted on 27 April 2013 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Ravens added seven new players on the final day of the 2013 NFL Draft.

In the 4th round (129th overall pick), the Ravens selected Ohio State DL John Simon. Here’s a look at Simon from the Buckeyes’ 2012 win over Nebraska…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPAWU1Oc1iw

And a look at the OSU pass rusher from their 2012 win over Penn State…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpCJe4Djy_w

And here’s Simon campaigning to get on the cover of the EA Sports NCAA Football video game…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_jCllrixIk

We saw Brandon Williams’ arms Friday night, his new teammate’s are pretty impressive as well.

Simon received high praise from OSU coach Urban Meyer (courtesy of Eleven Warriors)…

Also in the 4th round (130th overall), the Ravens selected Harvard FB/TE Kyle Juszczyk. Here he is in action from Senior Bowl week…

And an overall career highlight package for the Crimson H-Back…

Juszczyk shared his excitement via Twitter…

Where he had previously shared his disbelief about how much someone was charging for his autograph…

In the 5th round (168th overall), the pick was Wisconsin OL Ricky Wagner. Here’s a look at Wagner from the Badgers’ 2011 loss to Ohio State…

In the 6th round (200th overall), the Ravens went with Notre Dame DL Kapron Lewis-Moore. Here’s Lewis-Moore’s performance in the Fighting Irish’s 2012 win over USC…

Based on this magazine cover, I think we can guess Lewis-Moore has a pretty good personality…

He also seemed quite upbeat despite ACL surgery after the Orange Bowl…

Lewis-Moore had a fun interaction with ESPN’s Rick Reilly…

In the 6th round (203rd overall), the Ravens brought Colorado State-Pueblo Center Ryan Jensen to the team. Here’s a highlight package from the 2011 season…

The CSU-Pueblo team did a “Harlem Shake” video last year…

Jensen Tweeted out a photo earlier this month of a quote that you might be familiar with as a Ravens fan. It’s one of John Harbaugh’s favorites…

In the 7th round (238th overall), the Ravens selected Elon WR Aaron Mellette. Here’s a career highlight package for Mellette…

And some highlights from the Phoenix’s 2012 loss to North Carolina…

Someone is going to have to let him know that his hat (and any friendship with Duke’s Ryan Kelly) is now completely unacceptable…

With their final 7th round pick (247th overall), the Ravens selected California CB Marc Anthony.  We were all thinking the same thing.

Turns out it was a different guy.

Here are some highlights from Cal’s 2012 loss to Stanford…

Hear from Simon, Juszczyk, Wagner, Lewis-Moore and Mallette in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net.

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Ravens selected Notre Dame DE Lewis-Moore with first sixth-round pick

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Ravens selected Notre Dame DE Lewis-Moore with first sixth-round pick

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens continued adding to their front seven with the selection of a second defensive end in Notre Dame’s Kapron Lewis-Moore in the sixth round on Saturday.

Lewis-Moore tore his ACL in the BCS national championship game against Alabama, which could equate this to the Ravens taking a long-term chance on the hefty defensive lineman. At 6-foot-4 and 298 pounds, the Fighting Irish co-captain has the prototypical size for a defensive end in a 3-4 system.

Only speaking to the Ravens briefly at the scouting combine in February, Lewis-Moore admitted surprise when he received the call from general manager Ozzie Newsome while he was out buying a sandwich.

“Me and my agent — we were still pretty hopeful late round, but in the middle of the sixth, I was kind of losing a little hope,” Lewis-Moore in a conference call. “I was just like, ‘Hey, let me just go get a sandwich. Whatever happens, happens.’ Obviously, the phone started going off. I saw the Baltimore area code, and I was like, ‘Whoa!’”

He was a four-year starter at Notre Dame and finished his career with 180 tackles, 12 sacks, and 22 tackles for a loss.

Considering his status remains in doubt for the 2013 season, Lewis-Moore is in a good spot with the opportunity to learn from veteran mentors on the defensive line such as Haloti Ngata, Chris Canty, and Marcus Spears. His body of work at Notre Dame suggests he could be a factor in the future, but it’s difficult to overlook the fact that he’s sustained knee injuries in each of his last two seasons at Notre Dame.

 

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