OWINGS MILLS – The Ravens take the field Thursday morning at 10 for their seventh practice of training camp. Here’s the buzz surrounding the team as they take the field:
- Back to football, not underinflated footballs:
Ravens coach John Harbaugh got in front of the Ravens’ role, or non-role, in “Deflategate” by being forthcoming with his answers at Wednesday’s press conference.
As a result, the focus has returned to the field, at least until the next report or revelation. No team needs off-field distractions. Regardless of what people believe happened, Harbaugh helped diffuse a storyline that could have lingered longer over camp.
- When should you start to worry about WR Breshad Perriman’s absence?
The rookie receiver has missed the last five practices with a knee injury. Harbaugh sounded Wednesday as if Perriman would miss a few more days.
I think Perriman’s absence is unfortunate, but not critical – yet. But if he doesn’t return to practice before the preseason opener (Aug. 13) against the Saints, I’d start to worry. The Ravens need to be careful with their first-round pick, but Perriman also needs to be taking reps and building chemistry with Joe Flacco. No other receiver on the roster has Perriman’s speed, and that’s an element the Ravens need in their offense after losing both Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones.
- Did the Ravens really upgrade themselves at backup quarterback with Matt Schaub?
Schaub has thrown the most interceptions during practices. Interceptions were a major problem for Schaub with the Texans. Meanwhile, former Ravens backup Tyrod Taylor is battling for the Bills’ starting job, and is certainly more mobile and less turnover-prone that Schaub.
Harbaugh has been a huge supporter of Schaub, and defended him again Wednesday.
“I feel great about Matt Schaub as a backup quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “Tyrod Taylor was just the kind of backup quarterback we wanted. Why? Because he’s a good player (but) a totally different quarterback than Matt. Matt is a heck of a backup quarterback, because he’s a good player, and we feel comfortable Matt can win for us.”
It will be interesting to see how Schaub looks during preseason games. But the Ravens will keep their fingers crossed that Flacco’s phenomenal durability continues. He has never missed a start in seven seasons.
MORE RAVENS: Wednesday Practice: Ravens WR continues to stand out