Twelve Ravens thoughts following Day 4 of open training camp

August 21, 2020 | Luke Jones

With the Ravens wrapping up their fourth day of full-team practice on Friday, I’ve offered a dozen thoughts, each in 50 words or less:

1. Tempers boiled over toward the end of practice when Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark needed to be separated in a confrontation that resulted in Clark leaving the field. John Harbaugh said he wasn’t sure what prompted the conflict, but he was unhappy about it cutting into practice time.

2. That skirmish followed one between Justin Ellis and Patrick Mekari with the defensive tackle taking exception to how Mekari was grabbing him in what was a shells-and-shorts practice. You expect guys on opposite sides of the ball to mix it up occasionally, but your starting safeties? Not so much.

3. After a superb first three practices, Lamar Jackson was a little out of sync early, but the play of the day was his gorgeous deep touchdown to Marquise Brown as the quarterback escaped pressure and threw on the run. Brown got behind Marcus Peters and the rest of the secondary.

4. I don’t recall many training camps where the defense hasn’t intercepted a pass in an 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 drill through the first four open practices, but Friday brought close calls with Geno Stone almost picking off a throw intended for Mark Andrews and Terrell Bonds nearly intercepting Robert Griffin III.

5. Baltimore continues to bring Matt Skura along slowly as he was again limited to individual work, which feels a bit more notable after the off-day. With the opener a little over three weeks away, you’d assume his participation level must increase soon to be ready to start Week 1.

6. Jaylon Ferguson was back at practice Friday and is the presumed favorite to start at rush linebacker opposite Matthew Judon. However, he’ll face stiff competition from Pernell McPhee, Jihad Ward, and Tyus Bowser, who have all flashed this week and bring different skills to the rotation.

7. The speed of Patrick Queen is a big reason why he was a first-round pick, but how does it measure against Jackson in practice? Queen said he could “probably” hold his own before conceding, “It’s exciting to be in the position that I ain’t gotta play against him!” Rookie honesty.

8. Anthony Averett had a good practice with Devin Duvernay taking the brunt of it. In a 1-on-1 rep, Averett all but ran the rookie’s end-zone corner route for him to force an incompletion. The third-year cornerback later broke up a pass intended for Duvernay in an 11-on-11 period.

9. Friday brought no additional clarity on where Dez Bryant stands after his tryout, but you’d think the Ravens would have wanted to get him on the practice field as soon as possible to start building chemistry with Jackson if he was in their plans. Things can always change, of course.

10. Miles Boykin took a question about Bryant’s tryout in stride by saying it “has nothing to do with me,” but he’s held his own against Marlon Humphrey and Peters this week. As Boykin quipped, going up against Pro Bowl corners in practice should make the games easier.

11. Kenjon Barner left the field early in practice with what appeared to be a left knee injury after a collision during a punt return drill. The veteran is on the roster bubble, but he’s a rare experienced return specialist candidate.

12. You’re used to seeing Harbaugh bring the team together for a huddle to offer a few remarks and conclude practice, but players and coaches keep a little more distance and just raise their hands in the air for the usual “Ravens!” break. That’s football in the midst of a pandemic.