OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In the first day of full contact, the Baltimore Ravens made a lot of progress.
Despite Bryant McKinnie's absence, the offensive line has played well so far in training camp. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said he couldn't remember a camp when the offensive line was settled at the beginning.
Although it's early, rookie second-round pick Kelechi Osemele seemed to not miss a beat, as he took many first-team reps at right tackle. Fourth-round selection Gino Gradkowski also ran with the first-team offensive line as a center.
Other positional battles of note were quarterback, running back and defensive back. Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor are clearly the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks right now. In fact, Cameron said, "I can't remember Joe having a bad practice." Taylor displayed strong mechanics, both in his footwork and his throwing.
Damien Berry and Anthony Allen figure to battle it out for either the third-string running back spot. Whether it was route running, footwork or carrying the ball, both did solid work and seemed hungry for reps.
When the Ravens went to full team workouts, the intensity increased considerably. It was simply louder and more physical when it was offense against defense.
The offense frequently shifted, which was countered by the defense. When the offense would make a play, the defense would make a play of their own. Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin caught touchdowns in the red zone. Right after that, Corey Graham took a Flacco interception to pay dirt.
Courtney Upshaw jumped right into the defense today, making tackles and taking on blocks. He was dinged up at one point and had to come out, but got right back onto the field after a couple of plays.
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said Upshaw is getting better every day. Pees said Upshaw is a good learner and "a good football player." Upshaw displayed impressive toughness this afternoon.
Regarding the other players on special teams, Jerry Rosburg (Special Teams Coordinator) said the coaches will give all of the young guys every chance they can to play on their unit.
The main return man, for now, is Jacoby Jones. When asked what Jones's transition to the Ravens has been like, Cameron answered, "Seamless."
Aside from minor injures and some illegal procedure penalties, the Ravens as a whole looked good. There is a lot of work to do, but all in all, it was a good day where a lot of players got a lot of good things accomplished.