Defense steps up with the pads on
After offseason, Odafe Oweh emerging as pass rusher
Over the first four days of Ravens training camp, the balance of power in practice had tipped toward quarterback Lamar Jackson and the offense. Completions came easily. Stars excelled. Things went swimmingly.
Then the pads came on Monday, and the defense came to play.
“First day in the pads, about what you’d expect,” coach John Harbaugh said afterward. “Guys working hard; they were into it. Energy and effort was really high. Execution was spotty, which you’d expect, first day in pads. For some reason, it’s always like that. So you’ve just got to keep getting better every day.”
Monday’s defense was better than Saturday’s, which Jackson dissected in the Ravens’ open practice at M&T Bank
Stadium. But Monday’s offense, which was without wide receiver Devin Duvernay (thigh) and offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James (undisclosed), also looked as discombobulated and out of sync as it has all camp.
The first time Jackson dropped back in an 11-on-11 drill, he had to scramble.
The second time, his short throw to wide receiver Rashod Bateman was broken up by cornerback Kyle Fuller. The first-team offense trudged off the field after a short
Connections did not improve when Ravens receivers and defensive backs moved to one-on-ones, which almost always favor the offense. Fuller blanketed wideout James Proche II, one of the Ravens’ best route runners, on the first throw. Over the next five to 10 minutes, most of the team’s wide receivers and tight ends
the entire 2022 season. Robinson said was behavior “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”
The league has until Thursday at 9 a.m. to file a written appeal. The NFL Players Association released a statement on Sunday night saying they stand for Robinson’s ruling and hope the league does the same.
Harbaugh, meanwhile, praised the Ravens’ zero-tolerance rule for domestic abuse allegations, which was put into place after former running back Ray Rice was arrested and charged for assaulting his then-fiancée in 2014.
“We stayed away from that particular situation when we drafted players and signed free agents,” Harbaugh said. “That’s [owner] Steve [Bisciotti’s’] decision, and I’m glad we have that policy.”
In 2018, however, the Ravens kept cornerback Jimmy Smith after he was suspended four games after the NFL found evidence of “threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors” toward a former girlfriend that “showed a pattern of improper conduct.”
If Watson’s suspension stands, he won’t play until the Browns’ Week 7 matchup against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 23.