Welcome to another edition of “Straight Outta Westminster”, a feature that will be seen continuously throughout Ravens training camp. If you don’t understand the pop culture reference, you’re obviously a loser. Staff writer Justin Silberman is a frequent attendee of Ravens training camp at lovely McDaniel College in the lovely town of Westminster, Maryland. He’ll be sharing what he sees and takes out of training camp each time he goes.
What this post will normally encompass is the best performance(s) of the day, the worst, and an additional noteworthy story. You know you’ll always be in for a treat when Justin evaluates players’ performances, as it’s tough to find a more passionate fan. Combined with Joe’s snarky, well-placed editorial notes, it’s basically the best thing you’ll ever read. Enjoy.
Click “Continue Reading” to find out what Justin will pull out of his magical bag of tricks today.
The Good- Chris Carr returned to training camp after a nagging back injury has kept him out of action. Carr worked with the first-team defense most of the afternoon alongside corneback Fabian Washington, also recovering from an injury (Ed.’s Note: Washington’s is a bit more serious, being that he tore his ACL and all). Just a little over a week of training camp has passed, and by far this is the most healthy cornerbacks the Ravens have seen participating in practice. The only cornerbacks now sidelined are Domonique Foxworth who is lost for the season with a torn ACL and Ladrius Webb who continues to recover from his ACL tear he suffered last season in the Week 16 game against the Chicago Bears.
Getting back to Carr, he looked very strong both physically and mentally matching-up against bigger, stronger, and fitter receivers. Carr intercepted two Troy Smith passes in Thursday’s afternoon practice, one of which included him under-cutting a route in front of Marcus Smith, while the other interception came in the end-zone with Carr flying up over the top of rookie receiver David Reed. It was a step in the right direction for Carr and the Ravens, who at this point need all the help they can get in the secondary. While the Ravens wait for Lardarius Webb to recover, Carr could form a very formidable tag-team with Fabian Washington in the Ravens defensive backfield if he keeps playing like he did today.
The Bad- In a nutshell, the Ravens’ first team defense. After allowing reserve running back Curtis Steele to run for first downs on consecutive plays, Head Coach John Harbaugh ripped the team in the biggest outburst thus far at training camp. Harbaugh shouted to the defensive line from the middle of the field, “That is our first-team defense getting their asses kicked! That is our second-team offensive line!” Lets just hope it was nothing but rust and the defense can quickly right their wrongs and put it together like we have all been accustomed to seeing over the past decade. (Ed.’s Note: On the bright side, our second-team offense is looking really good!)
Noteworthy- There was another injury scare today, but it turned out to be nothing serious. Second year offensive tackle Michael Oher was limited in Thursday’s morning session, having his right ankle taped twice during the pratice. Regardless, Oher did not go to the locker room and receive treatment, but remained out on the field and battled throughout the tough practice. When the morning session concluded, he walked off without a shoe on his right foot. Things were looking a bit better when Oher returned for the afternoon session Thursday, where he took snaps with the first team offense and played left tackle. With the Ravens being so banged up already just a little over a week into training camp, they can’t afford to lose Oher, who was such an intregal part of the Ravens’ offensive line last season. This year the Ravens will expect bigger and better things from Oher as he is most likely moving to left tackle, where he will protect Joe Flacco’s “Blind Side”. (Ed.’s Note: Get it? It’s a pun, like the movie. Funny stuff, eh?)