Rashaan Melvin stands out in secondary during Ravens' final open training camp practice

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Rashaan Melvin was the Ravens' best player on the practice field Tuesday.

Setting the scene

The Ravens' final open training camp practice at the Under Armour Performance Center began at noon — adjusted from the planned 10 a.m. start. The team was in jerseys and shorts, and at around 2:15 p.m., shed their helmets and concluded practice with a walk through.

Melvin Island

With cornerback Lardarius Webb still absent, Rashaan Melvin stepped into the first-team defense and produced one of the most impactful defensive performances of training camp. He batted down several balls in red zone and goal line drills, including passes intended for receiver Steve Smith Sr. He jumped a route in the flat run by rookie tight end Nick Boyle at the goal line, too. Overall, Melvin was the best player on the field Tuesday.

Not easy for everyone

The one major blemish on Melvin's day was a jump-ball touchdown caught by Smith in the end zone, a play the 5-foot-9 Smith needed to essentially launch himself off Melvin to make. On the next attempt, 6-6 rookie receiver Darren Waller needed no such help to reach above fellow rookie Tray Walker to complete a similar pass.

Third-down pressure works

A set of third-down blitz plays caused Ravens quarterbacks to throw plenty of passes into traffic. On the opening play, Melvin collided with receiver Michael Campanaro in mid-air on a throw forced by the pressure. Cornerback Jimmy Smith intercepted the next pass, and Melvin nearly picked off the next one. Undrafted rookie safety Nick Perry finished the series of plays with an interception of his own.

Pirouetting punt returners

The candidates to return punts for the Ravens have had to do some interesting things this month. Earlier in camp, they had to see how many balls they could catch at once — cornerback Asa Jackson caught one with five footballs in his hands. This time, they had to toss a ball up in the air, do a full spin, catch the incoming punt, then catch the ball they had to throw up. All of the participants had trouble, but Campanaro was the first to complete the task.

A rare miss

New automobile pitchman and longtime kicker Justin Tucker took a break from splitting the uprights to clang one ball off the uprights. The miss came with backup quarterback Matt Schaub holding from 48-yards out, proving just how important the primary group of Tucker, holder Sam Koch, and long snapper Morgan Cox are.

Temper, temper

Either wide receiver Kamar Aiken or cornerback Kyle Arrington took things too far on a running play late in practice, leading to both of them throwing punches and needing to be separated. As is typically the case, safety Will Hill was the voice of reason and quelled the dispute.

Many happy returns

Safety Terrence Brooks (knee) was activated from the physically unable to perform list and practiced for the first time this training camp, while guard Robert Myers (concussion) and Jackson (knee) returned after missing extended time with their injuries. Campanaro returned after missing Monday, as did receiver Darren Waller, who left early Monday. Wide receiver Marlon Brown (back, hamstring) participated slightly more than he has since returning last week.

Injury report

Guard Kelechi Osemele (Achilles), cornerback Lardarius Webb (hamstring), guard John Urschel (concussion), wide receiver Breshad Perriman (sprained knee), tight end Maxx Williams, outside linebacker Steven Means (groin), and tackles Jah Reid and Darryl Baldwin all missed practice. Jimmy Smith, who is coming back slowly from season-ending foot surgery, came to practice late.

Overheard

"You've got to catch that, Boyle. This ain't the CAA" — a fan to Boyle, the rookie tight end from Colonial Athletic Association school Delaware. Boyle, taking increased snaps in the absence of Williams, had dropped a pass near the end zone in the early seven-on-seven drills.

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