Breshad Perriman called it just “a taste,” but his spectacular, leaping 35-yard grab in tight coverage gave the Ravens and their fans their first true glimpse of what they might have in their 2015 first-round draft pick.
Perriman’s catch was his only one of the day, and was one of the few offensive highlights in the Ravens’ 13-7 season-opening win over the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. But that grab – along with Mike Wallace’s 66-yard catch for the game’s only touchdown – suggested the Ravens have a big-play element they sorely lacked last season.
Drafted to be a plug-and-play deep threat the Ravens badly needed, Perriman instead missed all of last season with a knee injury, then missed much of 2016 training camp with another knee injury. Perriman finally made his Ravens debut in the last preseason game at New Orleans and made two catches.
Perriman didn’t have a huge workload against the Bills, but midway through the first quarter, Flacco found him in one-on-one coverage down the left sideline. He lofted a pass that Perriman caught with a fully-extended leap over Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
“I feel like that was just a taste, just a sample,” Perriman said. “I feel like there’s a lot more bigger things to come. I’m still getting my feet wet.”
Perriman called it “a relief” just be back on the field again and to make his M&T Bank Stadium debut. He said he wasn’t even sure he came down inbounds with the grab until he heard a roar from the crowd.
So almost 16 months after the Ravens made him their first pick of the 2015 draft, Perriman’s first official catch is finally in the books.
“I was so in the moment,” he said. “I knew the day would come. I knew it’s what I’m here to do. … Making the catch, it’s just something I know how to do.”
Flacco, who targeted Perriman twice, hasn’t had much practice with Perriman, but he said he has no hesitation throwing his way.
“I’m taking the shot no matter what,” Flacco said. "I don’t care if he came down with it or not. It was great he came down with it. That’s a 30-yard chunk … Hopefully it will turn into him running by guys and going for a touchdown, just like we did with Mike (Wallace).
“It’s nice to be able to give him chances,” Flacco added. “We haven’t had a lot of time together, but I’m going to trust him to make those plays no matter what.”