Baltimore Sun

Roman lauds Jackson’s throwing, work ethic

- By Matt Cohen and Ryan McFadden

Ravens offensive coordinato­r Greg Roman has been impressed with quarterbac­k Lamar Jackson so far at training camp — even just shaking his hand.

Jackson is more muscular, and Roman says the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player looks like a different person. That has extended to his passing, too.

“He’s throwing it better than I’ve ever seen him throw it,” Roman said after Friday’s practice. “He’s really worked hard in the offseason, and its showing.”

Jackson, who’s representi­ng himself in contract negotiatio­ns as he enters the final year of his rookie deal, has not thrown an intercepti­on in the first three days of practice. He completed his first seven passes in 11-on-11 drills Friday and 12 of 16 in total, though he did not show the same emphasis on downfield throws as he did Thursday.

Jackson also threw a perfect pass to tight end Mark Andrews in tight coverage during a one-on-one matchup against rookie safety Kyle Hamilton. Through the first three days, he’s completed just under 70% of his passes.

Powers takes the lead in left guard battle:

Roman said guard Ben Powers has taken the lead in the training camp battle to start at left guard, but he emphasized that it’s early.

“We won’t be too hasty to cast judgement,” Roman said.

Powers, a fourth-year guard, has the most experience, starting 12 games last season and 19 of 30 regular-season games in Baltimore. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick started both of the Ravens’ playoff games in 2020.

Tyre Phillips has been the other main competitor for the starting spot. Phillips, now in his third year after being drafted in the third round in 2020, started five games last season, three fewer than his rookie year.

Ben Cleveland, a third-round pick in 2021, had figured to be part of that competitio­n as well, but he has yet to pass his conditioni­ng test and remains on the nonfootbal­l injury list.

Injury report: Tight end Nick Boyle missed Friday’s practice after sitting out roughly 30 minutes of Thursday’s session. He spent time talking to trainers and stretching, but eventually came back at the end of practice to run a few plays with the offense. There was no reason given for his absence.

Defensive lineman Calais Campbell and safety Marcus Williams also did not practice Friday, although it’s likely both received veteran days off.

Running backs J.K. Dobbins (knee) and Gus Edwards (knee), outside linebacker Tyus Bowser (Achilles tendon), left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle), cornerback Marcus Peters (knee) and safety Ar’Darius Washington (foot) have yet to return from the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Stadium practice sold out: The Ravens announced all 40,000 passes for Saturday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium have been claimed.

Parking lots open at 5 p.m., gates open at 6 p.m. and practice starts at 7 p.m. There will be fireworks at 9:15 p.m. For those traveling to the stadium, the ramp from southbound I-95 to southbound MD 295 (Exit 52) will be temporaril­y closed.

Former DE Wolfe retires: Former Ravens defensive end Derek Wolfe announced Friday that he’s retiring from the NFL after signing a one-day contract with the Denver Broncos.

Wolfe’s announceme­nt comes a month after he reached an injury settlement with the Ravens, ending the defensive lineman’s tenure in Baltimore after just 14 games.

Wolfe, who missed all of last season with hip and back injuries, said in June that he underwent his second hip surgery in five months.

During Wolfe’s retirement video, which was posted by the Broncos, he did not mention his short tenure in Baltimore. Wolfe spent eight of his 10 seasons in Denver.

“Time for a new beginning,” he said.

Wolfe, 32, was drafted by the Broncos in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft. The former Cincinnati standout totaled 299 tackles and 33 sacks in 108 games for the Broncos while helping them win the Super Bowl in the 2015 season.

Wolfe signed a one-year deal with the Ravens in 2020 and played eight games that season, recording 51 tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack while grading as one of the best run defenders in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

After signing a three-year, $12 million contract extension in March 2021, Wolfe said he hoped to build on a strong debut season in Baltimore. But he suffered an apparent back injury in training camp last year, was designated to return in late October from injured reserve and was never healthy

enough to come back.

 ?? KARL MERTON FERRON/BALTIMORE SUN ?? Greg Roman, left, is impressed with Lamar Jackson.
KARL MERTON FERRON/BALTIMORE SUN Greg Roman, left, is impressed with Lamar Jackson.

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