Observations from camp

A number of veterans are being held out of today's practice, including linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and running back Ray Rice.

All are watching practice from the sidelines, giving some of the younger guys a chance to take the bulk of the reps.

With Rice out, running backs Jalen Parmele and Ricky Williams have taken most of the carries, with both showing some burst between the tackles. Williams, who in his prime was known as a speedy runner, displayed some pop in his blocking skills, while Parmele has shown above average vision on a number of his runs.

Wide receiver James Hardy continues to miss practice. He's still on the sidelines without pads and it's clear his injury-prone history is something to take into concern. With the Ravens acquiring deep threat Lee Evans from Buffalo, Hardy had better hope he heals quickly and can display the talent he's capable of. Otherwise, his spot on the roster could be as uncertain as his ailing hamstring.

My colleague wrote a piece the other day on rookie Pernell McPhee, who is having yet another solid day on the practice field. McPhee is quick off the ball and got the better of guard Ben Grubbs in some drills, finding himself in the backfield not long after the running backs received the handoffs.

I've only been able to cover a few practices so far, but today's the first day I've seen quarterback Joe Flacco really air the ball out. It amazes me how effortless he's able to make even a 50-yard bomb, but his passes are continually crisp and on point. Again, it's only training camp, not a game in Pittsburgh, but it's encouraging to see his throws have so much zip on them.

Other than that, there's nothing major to report. Fortunately for the Ravens, this is one of the healthier training camps they had in a number of years, which, of course, they'll look to continue as they prepare for their game against the Chiefs on Friday.

Coach John Harbaugh is set to speak in about a half an hour, so we'll report what the head man has to say following today's practice...

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