Here are my observations from the evening's practice. This was just one isolated practice towards the beginning of training camp, so take these observations with a grain of salt.
C.J. Mosley: This dude is awesome as advertised. He quickly diagnoses run plays, was in the backfield multiple times, and he was even effective when he rushed the quarterback. He stood out in every way possible—and for all the right reasons.
Arthur Brown: Brown played quick and instinctive.
Pernell McPhee: McPhee was impressive coming off the edge. He was in the backfield for a couple of sacks.
Terrell Suggs: T-Sizzle must have paid for a time share in the backfield—he lived back there. That being said, he needs work on fielding punts.
Chykie Browm: He may have made a couple of plays breaking up passes, but he still struggled. He is picked on by quarterbacks on a regular basis.
Jimmy Smith: Smith was curiously working one-on-one with secondary coach Steve Spagnuolo. They worked off to the side focusing on Smith’s footwork while keeping inside leverage. Smith would backpedal, turn to the inside—but rolling away with his back to the quarterback— and then mocked trailing a receiver on an inside route. Smith needs more repetitions with this type of footwork. When this drill was done with the whole secondary, you could tell Smith was over-thinking this and not moving instinctively. This made me think about one of the comments made about Smith during the draft process. It was noted that he wasn’t challenged much by opposing teams because of his talent compared to others at the college level. So in reality, he was getting by mostly on raw talent and he didn’t need to rely on technique. It still appears that Smith’s technique needs refinement so that it can match his wealth of physical talent.
Haloti Ngata: He looked quick, light on his feet, and energized.
Darian Stewart: Stewart made a couple of nice plays while playing centerfield.
Matt Elam: Other than the pick thrown right to him from Joe Flacco (reminiscent of his pick of Matthew Stafford last year in Detroit), Elam wasn't too noticeable on the night. Good thing he avoided owner Steve Bisciotti’s golf cart on the return.
Deji Olatoye (undrafted free agent DB): Olatoye played well. He had good closing speed and seemed to be able to find the ball. If the Ravens don’t sign another DB and he continues this type of play, Olatoye may play himself onto the roster. At worst, he will be a surefire practice squad candidate.
Asa Jackson: Jackson was aggressive and played fast.
Joe Flacco: Flacco seemed slow in his decision making, and he made curious decisions because of it. In addition, he can still be off target in ball placement on the easier throws and this was on full-display last night. Not one of his best practices.
Ray Rice: Rice looked quick, elusive, and he was cutting on a dime.
Bernard Pierce: If Pierce can stay healthy, offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's rushing scheme is a good fit for this one cut, downhill runner.
Justin Forsett: Though not big by any means, Forsett is bigger than I expected. He is also quick and shifty, as he made a great reception from the slot and burned to the end zone. However, he needs some help in pass protection.
Lorenzo Taliaferro: Taliaferro is a tall, big, powerful looking back. He is an intriguing prospect.
Jeremy Zuttah: This dude is athletic, great in space, and he will excel on screens and pulls.
Eugene Monroe: I am not sure if he was always the culprit, but Flacco was consistently pressured from the blindside—numerous times by Suggs, a couple of times by McPhee, and possibly once or twice from Elvis Dumervil (not certain if it was Dumervil).
Rick Wagner: I didn't notice Wagner throughout the night, and that might be a good thing.
Marlon Brown: The reported OTA and early training camp drops continued last night.
Owen Daniels: The reported early training camp drops continued last night.
Kyle Juszczyk: Juice will most certainly catch balls this year. His blocking has improved.
Torrey Smith: The play of the night.
Steve Smith: His excellent hands and speed were on display last night. He made a great catch in the end zone over rookie undrafted DB Tramain Jacobs. I still think Smith may be miscast as a slot receiver (avoid comparing his skill-set to Anquan Boldin), and I still think he has the speed to beat people over the top.
Michael Campanaro: The rookie is really quick and has good acceleration. He had a nicely Chykie-contested drop in the end zone that he could have caught (though it would have been a great catch), but he was lethal in the return game.
Gino Gradkowski: Gradkowski still struggles mightily.
Special Teams: Either the kickoff return team is awesome or the kickoff coverage is brutal. Or it's training camp and there are players that are playing that won’t be playing once the season starts. I couldn't tell.
Justin Tucker: He’s good—really good.