With their first preseason game a few days away, the Ravens took to Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to continue camp in front of their fans. Here are a few notes from the practice on Monday:
Don’t look now, but the Ravens may have themselves a good ‘ol fashion quarterback controversy on their hands. Fans shouldn’t worry too much however. Joe Flacco’s job is safe. But the backup QB battle may have finally started to heat up as rookie QB Keith Wenning had his best camp by far. At one point, the quarterback out of Ball State threw 3 straight passes of over 40+ yards to receivers down the field.
Tyrod Taylor has had a decent camp of his own, but it’s refreshing to see Wenning stand out. Hopefully fans refrain from the #StartWenning hashtags on social media until the rookie plays a snap in preseason. That being said, it’ll be interesting to see if the rookie can build upon his strong performance. For now, Wenning is simply trying to take it one day at a time.
“I think each day its coming more and more," stated Wenning after practice. "Coach Kubiak has been great with me. They’re trying to push me along as fast as possible. I’m trying to push myself as fast as possible. So each day is a learning process."
Chykie Brown on the rebound
One of the things that stood out during the first week of training camp was how poorly Brown played while relieving injured CB Lardarius Webb. The week was capped with an ejection from Coach Harbaugh after an unsportsmanlike kick of the football following an interception. Since then, Brown has been nothing short of spectacular. Camp at the Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium was no different as Brown was all over the field making plays on the ball. Coach John Harbaugh has noticed the improvement.
“[Chykie] did a great job,” Coach Harbaugh told reporters on Monday. “Chykie in the last week has really come on. I think he’s really calmed down a bit. He’s playing assignment and technique football. And really in that position, you have to play with some patience.”
Let’s get ready to rumble?
The Ravens will have a joint practice with the 49ers for 3 days after their Thursday Night preseason game. Baltimore has done something like this with the Washington Redskins in the past, but never in this magnitude. Both the Ravens and the 49ers will share the same facility for 72 hours. That doesn't include the showdown that awaits at M&T Bank Stadium prior to the camp sessions. That’s a lot of time for players wearing different colors to be around each other. Throw in animosity from a Super Bowl classic that occurred 18 months ago, and you' have the makings for some slight hostility. Jimmy Smith doesn't plan on making the occasion a smooth one.
“I might wear my Super Bowl ring out to practice,” Smith stated jokingly with the media. “Hopefully, Coach Harbaugh’s brother isn't mad at me for that call or non-call, whatever you want to call it.”
Jimmy Smith is referring to the infamous final defensive play of the game for the Ravens when it appeared as though Smith may have held Michael Crabtree and prevented what would have been the go ahead score for San Francisco. Smith also told reporters that he didn't have much experience with joint practices but admitted he has watched some on television.
“I've seen it on TV,” stated Smith. “But every time I've seen it on TV there’s been nothing but fights.”
With these two very proud teams meeting in a few days, a couple of fights aren't totally out of the question.