Darting outside toward the right corner of the end zone, veteran wide receiver Brandon Stokley experienced a feeling of déjà vu.
During his first practice since signing a one-year contract with the Ravens, Stokley beat cornerback Corey Graham on an out pattern for a touchdown reception from Joe Flacco. It was a familiar sequence, as Stokley also scored against Graham during the Denver Broncos' AFC divisional round double-overtime loss to the Ravens in January.
“It felt good to get out there and run around again and catch a ball. I felt a little rusty,” Stokley said. “I haven't been in an organized team activity since the playoff loss to the Ravens.”
Lining up at slot receiver with the first-team and second-team offense, Stokley, 37, got in and out of his cuts quickly and caught the football smoothly. Stokley frequently consulted with offensive teammates to obtain information about his assignments.
Absorbing the terminology of the playbook is the primary goal right now for Stokley, who famously caught a touchdown during the Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV victory over the New York Giants.
“Yeah, it's very difficult,” said Stokley, who caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns last season for the Broncos. “You've got to study really hard and get yourself up to speed. The other guys are further ahead because they've had all the offseason work. I've been here a day. They know the whole playbook. So, they're working with me. I'm trying to catch up as much as possible, but that's the problem with not being around in the offseason.”
The Ravens will likely work Stokley in slowly and try to get him to the point where he can handle a package of plays Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons at M&T Bank Stadium.
"Whatever the coaches decide," Stokley said. "I'm ready to go, but that's their decision."
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Stokley does have some familiarity with the system having played for Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell with the Indianapolis Colts.
“The system isn't easy to learn, but it was great that he was able to get out there and do something for us,” Caldwell said. “I’m not going to evaluate him on his first day. We know what he can do, and I think he’ll have an opportunity to show that as the week goes on.”