The Ravens canceled both of today's practices and will give the players a day off, which is fantastic, because I'm not a huge fan of standing outside trying to take notes in the pouring rain.
I was planning on getting in 18 holes today with the "day off", but mother nature apparently didn't like that plan too much. Fantastic.
Immediately following Thursday's preseason opener against the Panthers, head coach John Harbaugh made note of a few aspects that he wasn't too pleased with in the Ravens' 17-12 win.
One of the main areas that Harbaugh singled out was the Ravens' pass protection, as the offensive line allowed six sacks and had a hard time containing the Carolina front-seven.
So how did the Ravens end their first practice back in Westminster after the win over the Panthers?
They ran one-on-one offensive line vs. defensive line drills for upwards of 25 minutes.
In an ego-testing, pad-smacking battle, Haloti Ngata squared off against Ben Grubbs, Terrell Suggs battled Michael Oher, and Paul Kruger went up against Oniel Cousins as the linemen made an attempt to get to/protect the quarterback.
"That's a great drill," Harbaugh said yesterday. "[Offensive line coach] John Matsko does a great job with our guys, and he makes the point, 'How do you really learn how to pass block?' Well, you pass block in a situation like that, one-on-one, which is the toughest possible situation for the offensive line.
"And our guys can rush. Our guys really challenge those guys. Our defense's job right now is to get better rushing the passer, but also to make our offensive line a better pass-protection unit. That was a big emphasis today, as you saw."
At first, the drill involved just the O-line and D-line, and the rest of the team continued to work on position-specific drills on a side field. After about 10 minutes, the entire squad walked over to the linemen, and circled around them to watch the action.
It made for a pressure-packed 15 minutes for the big guys, who had their teammates there shouting encouragement, and also doing a little ridiculing when someone would get burned.
A few highlights included Jarret Johnson celebrating his 29th birthday by dominating Cousins, and getting a few "Happy Birthday, Double" shouts from his defensive teammates, Suggs and Oher going back and forth, and Antwan Barnes blowing by anyone that was in his way.
Harbaugh scheduling this drill for the first session back on the practice fields after the Carolina game was no accident. He saw an area that needed improvement, and immediately got to work on fixing it.
"You always take what you think you need to work on and you emphasize it the next practice," Harbaugh said. "You're always chasing the thing that you need to get better at. Obviously, we feel like we need to get better at [pass protecting] right now, so it was a big emphasis and it will be a big emphasis."