OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- One week from today, the Baltimore Ravens will have to cut at least 15 players from their current 90-man roster.
By August 27 at 4 p.m. eastern, they will have to be down to 75 players. On Friday, August 31 at 9 p.m. eastern, Baltimore will have to be down to the final 53-man roster they will enter the regular season with.
John Harbaugh addressed how camp winding down takes its toll on players: "The pressure builds. It's getting a little tense."
That said, the Ravens practiced with an efficient pace today. They worked on a lot of third down and goal-line situations. It was a day of solid work from both the offense and the defense.
Rookie Courtney Upshaw and Michael Oher were battling well against each other. Although it's still early, it's looking like Upshaw is on track to make valuable contributions to this team (he's also working with multiple special teams groups).
The kicking battle got a little more interesting today, as Billy Cundiff went 6-for-7 and Justin Tucker went 5-for-6. Cundiff's first 52-yard field goal was blocked by Lardarius Webb, as Webb came flying around the left corner. Cundiff re-kicked from that distance and converted. He also made his final kick from 61 yards out.
When it was Tucker's turn, he missed his last attempt, wide-right (also from 61 yards away), but did encounter a problem with the snap.
The consensus around here is that the Ravens will go with Cundiff because of his experience.
The offense and defense both had a couple of noteworthy plays during team drills. On one play where Ed Reed showed blitz up the 'A-gap', Joe Flacco made an adjustment and hit Anquan Boldin on a quick slant to beat the pressure.
A few plays later, Taylor got sacked by outside linebacker Albert McClellan, despite maximum protection. McClellan, who played middle linebacker during the Ravens win at Pittsburgh last season, could be an unsung hero for Baltimore's defense this season (think of a lighter version of Adalius Thomas).
Finally, the turnover machine that is Omar Brown had another great day, intercepting two passes. One of the interceptions came in the red zone against Flacco. Torrey Smith made three cuts, but Brown still tracked with him throughout the route and made the pick.
The Ravens will practice tomorrow at 11:15 a.m., then hold a private game walk-through on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday's game versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Sergio Kindle and Sean Considine wore red non-contact pinnies for the second straight day.
- Before practice got going, Ed Reed made a field goal from 30 yards, while Bernard Pollard was unsuccessful from the same distance.
- On the second-to-last play of practice, Marshal Yanda got tangled up with Chavis Williams. Both players were slow to get up, but seemed to be okay.
- After practice, running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery said, "There are a lot of similarities with Ray Rice and Marshall [Faulk]." Montgomery coached Rams running backs from 1997-2005, including Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson.
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