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A Developing Rapport: Jackson to Bateman

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Rashod Bateman

It felt like a seasonal rebirth at M&T Bank Stadium Saturday night as the Ravens hosted an open scrimmage in front of an announced crowd of 26,417, delighting the masses with some offensive fireworks on the field, and an elaborate firework and laser show following practice.

For the second straight session, Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman performed well. But there were some other performances during the night session that stood out this time.

• Jordan Stout, the rookie punter out of Penn State, started things out on the night, and he was as impressive as the Ravens have touted him to be. He put several punts inside the 5-yard-line, with the ball snapped from the defensive side of the field. When things started out at the 50, Stout dropped one on the 1-yard hash and wowed the crowd as it spun sideways out of bounds. His next punt went out of bounds on the opposite side of the field at the 2.

• Jackson has impressed with his accuracy and zip, but he’s also showing great decisiveness hitting his back step, planting and firing. If he can hit those quick crossers, slants and curls against aggressive defenses this year, this offense could really cause problems. It feels like him and Andrews are nearly impossible to defend on those short timing routes.

• Bateman probably made the play of the day, hauling in a beautiful pass from Jackson that would have gone for a 45-yard gain. Kevon Seymour had good coverage on the play, but Bateman showed every bit of his exciting potential with the catch.

James Proche also got a deep pass off Seymour, but it was a different variety, as Proche beat him badly off the line and was wide open for the long gain.

• It was a good night for the undrafted rookie free agent receivers, as Bailey Gaither, Slade Bolden, Shemar Bridges and Devon Williams all made plays. Williams nearly made the catch of training camp with a one-handed snag in the end zone, but he wasn’t able to come down in bounds. Gaither had a big gain when he shook free from rookie safety Kyle Hamilton for a deep gain.

Jaylon Moore also stood out, making several catches, including one over Robert Jackson that drew a loud reaction from the crowd. Moore impressed some during last year’s camp, as well, and has some interesting skills.

• Rookie defensive tackle Travis Jones stood out on the night, particularly in pass-rush drills. He’s big and athletic and plays with an obvious aggressiveness. Michael Pierce gushed about him after practice, saying that once Jones cleans up his technique, he’s going to be a problem for the league.

Brent Urban had a few nice moments, busting through on one snap for what could have been a sack, and then swatting down a pass a few plays later. Him and Calais Campbell are just large, large human beings on the line.

Tylan Wallace had a nice night, too, notably beating David Vereen for a big gain on one rep.

• Denzel Williams, a rookie corner out of Villanova, has stood out a bit each of the last two practices, and he made a very nice play on a deep pass attempt to Shemar Bridges with a great pass breakup. He’s someone to keep an eye on, I believe.

Marlon Humphrey had a great rep against Bateman on a deep route, using the sideline to give Bateman no air. It showed why he is so good when he is on top of his game.

• Again, Isaiah Likely looked good, hauling in several balls and always looking to explode upfield once he catches the ball. He’s a special athlete, and looks very comfortable hauling in passes.

• You know who had a nice night? Justice Hill. He had a great blitz pickup against Jalyn Armour-Davis, and caught a pass on another play in traffic that looked like he would have juked his way in for a score. Hill is kind of a forgotten man in the running back room, but he has looked explosive the last two days in practice.

Patrick Queen looked very good on blitzes. He would have destroyed one play if they were allowed to hit, and it was just another reminder how good he is running forward.

• The deep pass from Jackson to Bateman will probably get the headlines, but there was another connection in red-zone drills that was equally impressive. Jackson was pressured, got out of the pocket, and fired a bullet to Bateman in the back of the end zone, and the receiver made a nice catch hauling it in. This just looks like a good combination.

Chuck Clark almost made a tremendous interception off a pass from Jackson to Devin Duvernay as Clark showed great range coming over to get his hands on the ball. The two did have a collision that knocked Duvernay out for the rest of the practice, but Coach John Harbaugh said after practice ended that Duvernay only suffered a bruise.

Nate McCrary made a terrific catch on a pass from Anthony Brown — a fade in the end zone with a defender all over him. I wish I could have identified the defender because he was in good position, but I just didn’t have the angle.

• Humphrey showed his patented “Fruit Punch” when he knocked a ball out of Mark Andrews’ hands after a short reception. Humphrey had a good all-around night.

Justin Tucker nailed a 60-yarder off the crossbar. Deja vu, eh?

The post A Developing Rapport: Jackson to Bateman appeared first on Russell Street Report.


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