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Ravens Training Camp, Day 3: Pads On, Intensity Up

July 30, 2016
OWINGS MILLS -- The Ravens' traditional Day Three full-pad debut may not have featured live hitting, but it did include additional intensity July 30.

"The biggest (area where you can tell) is the running game," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "We practice it in (organized team activities), and you always have to be alert.

"… You don't want to get too excited about it, and you don't want to get too pessimistic about it."

As was the case on the camp's opening day, practice was conducted on Field No. 3, the farthest from the building and the one most affected by heat and humidity. 

It appears that most of the on-site camp practices will be held on that field, falling in line with John Harbaugh’s hard-line work ethic.
Here are the Day 3 practice highlights:

-After some early cloud cover and a slight drizzle, the sun broke through about one-third of the way through practice. However, conditions were nowhere near as oppressive as they were on the same field on Day One.

-Active-roster players not practicing included running back Kenneth Dixon (knee), who was hurt on Day One, and tight end Crockett Gillmore (hamstring), who incurred his injury the following day. A new absence was rookie fourth-round receiver Chris Moore (unknown), and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan left practice early for undisclosed reasons.

-Cornerback Jerraud Powers, a free-agent pickup from the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, finally passed his conditioning test -- the last player to do so -- and reported to the field.

-There were no changes to the team's Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list. The six players on it are wideouts Breshad Perriman (knee) and Steve Smith, Sr. (Achilles), linebackers Elvis Dumervil (foot) and Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and running backs Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot) and Trent Richardson (hamstring).

-A few veteran players either had limited or no participation, including right guard Marshal Yanda and kicker Justin Tucker, who could be seen tutoring backup Wil Lutz.

-The Ravens used their last roster spot to sign street free-agent punter Michael Palardy, who is now on his fourth NFL team (Oakland, St. Louis, Carolina). Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg indicated that while veteran Sam Koch's job is secure -- "I think (Koch) is the best punter in the National Football League," Rosburg said -- Palardy's presence will help give the younger return-specialist prospects more repetitions.

-Speaking of returners, some of them wowed the crowd with their occasional circus-like antics. Kaelin Clay attempted to catch a sixth football while already holding five in his arms, and Michael Campanaro tried to snag a seventh while already holding six. Both attempts proved unsuccessful.

-With no hard-hitting, live periods, the hardest hit of the padded practice came when inside linebacker Zachary Orr plowed tight end Dennis Pitta into the ground. Pitta found himself down several times during the practice, but he appeared unscathed. The hit reminded longtime observers of Jamie Sharper's obliteration of New York Giants receiver Ike Hilliard at the end of the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXV.

-Inside linebacker Arthur Brown has shown a lot of determination in this camp. With added size and a bit more speed, he appears more eager than ever, given the short leash he has, not to mention the presumably-open lineup spot next to middle linebacker C.J. Mosley. 

-Veteran cornerback Kyle Arrington was able to easily cover a deep pass for Kamar Aiken and knock it away. Despite a career 12.6-yard per-catch average, Aiken is best used as a possession receiver; while the Ravens, like any team, like to deceive opponents, it doesn't seem practical to send Aiken on deep routes when there are speedsters like Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman that should fill get the lion's share of that role.

-Another strange sight was seeing bulky fullback/tight end Kyle Juszczyk running a deep route, one that was easily knocked away by Arrington.
-Wide receiver Dobson Collins let a quick inside pass hit him right in the chest, but it bounced off him and was intercepted by Sheldon Price. It was one of numerous dropped passes during practice.

-Early in the session, inside linebacker candidate Kamalei Correa made a fine leaping interception in the seam, in which he tipped the ball to himself.
-While the backup quarterbacks were slightly inaccurate on even the shortest routes, Joe Flacco showed them how it was done when he led tight end Maxx Williams beautifully to the sideline for a reception.

-On one occasion, running back Terrance West -- who is having a good camp -- made such a good cut in the hole, it faked out safety Matt Elam, who was lining up for a hard hit.

-Surprisingly, some of center Jeremy Zuttah's shotgun snaps to Flacco were off the mark. Not only that, there were a few more pre-snap penalties during practice.

-The receivers and corners fought to a draw. Cornerback Shareece Wright made a fine leaping interception over Wallace. Meanwhile, receiver Jeremy Butler -- who has not been thrown to that often in camp -- turned around cornerback Will Davis and caught a touchdown pass near the sideline.

-The Ravens will conduct their usual 9 a.m. workout July 31, followed by the first of two M&T Bank Stadium workouts at 7 p.m. Aug. 1 (gates open at 5:30). The stadium practice will be Military Appreciation Day, and all military personnel can enter at Gate B with valid military ID. The first camp off-day follows Aug. 2.

-For the only time in camp, there were no community groups represented at the July 30 practice, as it was a day prioritized for the luxury suite holders.