Hamilton has made a strong first impression on his new coaching staff and teammates, but that hasn’t stopped him from being a lightning rod for criticism, particularly in reference to one specific video from Saturday’s stadium practice that went viral on Twitter.
In the video, Hamilton gets absolutely toasted by recently-signed former USFL wide receiver Bailey Gaither who runs right past the rookie safety for an easy score.
It certainly wasn’t the highlight of Hamilton’s summer, but it also shouldn’t define his performance in training camp to this point either.
But in the unjust, impulsive world of social media, Hamilton became an easy target for many cheering for his downfall. The 21-year-old wasn’t going to let one bad rep ruin his summer, however.
The next time that Hamilton stepped on the field for Monday’s practice, he made sure to remind the Ravens and everyone else just how talented he is.
Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton is quickly putting Saturday’s practice behind him
Hamilton made sure to put any talks of his issues in coverage to bed with his best practice to date on Monday. He started off by winning his one-on-one matchup with fellow rookie Isaiah Likely.
The rookie safety followed that up with an impressive showing in full-team work, first blowing up a Tyler Badie before breaking up passes intended for Likely and Mark Andrews.
It was an all-around excellent practice for Hamilton who received some praise from his head coach, John Harbaugh, later in the day. Harbaugh came to Hamilton’s defense and even referenced the viral Twitter video.
“Someone gave the opinion that he’s a limited guy, he’s got to play in the box, because they saw him try and cover a guy that ran like a 10.4 (in the) 100-meters. I don’t know. We’re not going to match him up against a 10.4 100-meter guy, but he played man today pretty good as you saw. He’s going to be pretty versatile and he’s going to line up in a lot of spots.”
Harbaugh certainly has a point. The Ravens aren’t going to ask Hamilton to match up one-on-one against guys with Gaither’s speed. They’re going to put him in a position to excel — and that includes playing him in a variety of different roles.
Kyle Hamilton’s versatility is what makes him the special talent that he is. Ignore the knee-jerk social media reactions. He’s the real deal, and he’s proving that this summer.