Ravens DL coach Anthony Weaver shares thoughts on DL Michael Pierce

Ravens defensive line coach Anthony Weaver discussed DL Michael Pierce

The Baltimore Ravens have been working hard at 2022 training camp to put the disappointing end to their 2021 season behind them. They’ve seen many different players stand out, and some of their new additions have impressed the coaching staff as they get acclimated to their new (or in some cases former) team.

Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver spoke about defensive lineman Michael Pierce after a training camp practice, praising the veteran. He said that he’s a “mountain of a man”, raving about how he’s happy to have him on the team and thrilled he’s in Baltimore with the team.

“Michael Pierce is a mountain of a man. The thing about him – when he puts his hands on you, you can’t help but feel them. Even when I’m doing individual drills, I feel like I’m fighting a bear. _(laughter)So, he’s certainly going to help our team. When you think of him, you think it’s just run defense, but the effect that he has on the middle of the pocket, and making that quarterback throw out of a well, is going to help our edges, too. So, happy he’s here, thrilled to have him. Love him, love him to death.”

Having Pierce back in the organization is good news for the Ravens’ defense. The defensive lineman spent the first four years of his career in Baltimore before signing a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Pierce will likely be asked to replicate the production that former Ravens defensive lineman Brandon Williams left behind, and also be able to rush the passer from the interior.

Ravens CB Kyle Fuller shares feelings about returning to Baltimore

Ravens cornerback Kyle Fuller talks about what it’s like being back in Baltimore

The Baltimore Ravens signed cornerback Baltimore native Kyle Fuller during the 2021 offseason to a one-year contract. The deal comes after the Baltimore secondary was hit hard with injuries during the 2021 season, including multiple players at the cornerback position.

After practice, Fuller spoke to the media and was asked what it feels like being back in Baltimore. He said it feels good, especially being able to be back where he started everything when he was a kid. He also was asked how big of a Ravens fan he was growing up, and said that he was a pretty big one due to the fact that everyone from Baltimore is a big fan.

“It feels good, just to be back home. Doing it where I started when I was a kid. It feels good…I think that everyone from Baltimore is a huge Ravens fan. So, I was pretty big.”

Having depth in the secondary is crucial for Ravens’ defense. Fuller should be able to provide a solid veteran presence while being able to play both on the inside and on the outside, versatility that should be extremely valuable to Baltimore.

Ravens bring in three CBs for tryouts

The Ravens brought in three cornerbacks for tryouts

The Baltimore Ravens went through many different injuries during the 2021 season. One of the positions that was hit the hardest for the team was at cornerback, so the team made sure to improve their depth over the course of the 2022 offseason by signing free agents and drafting prospects that can make an impact both now and in the future.

On Sunday, news came out that Baltimore had tried out three cornerbacks in Ken Crawley, Darryl Roberts and Daryl Worley. The team could look to add one of the three for extra defensive back depth, especially for training camp and the preseason.

Worley, a six-year veteran, has played for eight different NFL teams, which includes a stint with the Ravens during the 2021 season. Worley was signed to the team’s practice squad in December, and in one game with Baltimore notched five combined tackles.

Roberts, another six-year veteran, is also another well-traveled defensive back. Roberts has played for seven NFL teams, most recently with the Washington Commanders. Roberts has notched 223 combined tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery in 73 games played.

Crawley, a six-year veteran, has spent most of his time as a defensive back with the New Orleans Saints. He’s also spent time with the Miami Dolphins, and has totaled 138 combined tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble in his career.

Ravens HC John Harbaugh reveals five stars that won’t play in preseason opener

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh revealed five players who won’t play in the team’s opening preseason game

The Baltimore Ravens have gone through over a week of training camp practices, and are gearing up for their first preseason action of the 2022 season. They’ll face off against the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium, and while both sides have plenty of stars it remains to be seen just how many of them will play.

After practice on Saturday, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was asked about if he’s made a decision on if he’ll play quarterback Lamar Jackson and other stars in the team’s first preseason game. He revealed five names that won’t be suiting up in Jackson, tight end Mark Andrews, outside linebacker Justin Houston, cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Marcus Williams.

“Yes, yes, we won’t be playing Lamar [Jackson]. I think you can kind of extrapolate who will play and who won’t, and then there will be some decisions with some guys that we haven’t completely made yet. But certain guys … Like, Lamar is not going to play; Mark [Andrews] is not going to play. Those experienced starters … Justin Houston, Marcus Williams [aren’t] going to play. Marlon [Humphrey] is not going to play – just to give you an example of the guys who aren’t going to play.”

After how many injuries the team suffered in 2021, it makes sense if the team decides to not play many, if any, of their stars and starters over the course of the entire 2022 preseason. While getting reps are important, doing so at the expense of a major injury isn’t worth it for the team or the player.

Mike Zimmer makes an appearance at Bengals training camp

The former Bengals defensive coordinator was in town on Sunday.

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Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer was in town on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and training camp practice itself.

Zimmer, whom fans still have a soft spot over after his tenure in the city, was seen roaming the sidelines of practice. His son, Adam, was brought on by the team this year to serve as an offensive consultant.

A defensive coordinator in Cincinnati from 2008-2013, Zimmer then went on to earn the head coaching gig with the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 and served there until 2021.

Besides Zimmer, Chad Johnson was there hanging out, as was the notable duo of Chris Henry Jr. and Adam Jones.

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Adam Jones and Chris Henry Jr. attend Bengals training camp

Adam Jones and Chris Henry Jr. were some of the notables at Bengals training camp.

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The Cincinnati Bengals had a pair of special visitors at training camp on Sunday.

Former Bengals cornerback Adam Jones showed up to Paul Brown Stadium with Chris Henry Jr., who already has an offer from Ohio State as a freshman in high school.

Jones was there to shoot some footage for his “I Am Athlete” podcast and took the time to stress what the team and president Mike Brown still mean to him.

“Mike Brown saved my life. I owe him forever and forever,” Jones said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I love Mike Brown. Mr. Brown and I have a relationship that is a little different than anybody else’s. The first thing he asked me is, ‘How is Trin?’ He still calls her the Miracle Baby.”

But the real star of the show was Henry, who Jones adopted and continues to help with his college visits:

On an otherwise uneventful day at training camp, the special guests — which also included Chad Johnson and Mike Zimmer — added some intrigue to the situation.

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Titans’ Jack Gibbens earns praise and a nickname from Mike Vrabel

Rookie linebacker Jack Gibbens is picking things up quickly, and that has caught the attention of Mike Vrabel.

One of the Tennessee Titans’ undrafted free agent signings following the 2022 NFL draft, linebacker Jack Gibbens is trying to earn a spot on the team’s 53-man roster in training camp.

While Gibbens had been quiet for much of the first week-plus of training camp, he has made some nice plays in the last two practices, as Terry McCormick of Titan Insider pointed out.

Gibbens had an interception of a pass off receiver Josh Malone’s hands in Friday’s practice, and on Sunday made a nice strip of the ball in goal line period of a pass for rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo to force an incompletion.

Perhaps more noteworthy is the fact that Gibbens has caught the attention of head coach Mike Vrabel, who praised him for the job he’s doing in not only picking up the defense, but helping his teammates, also.

Gibbens has even earned a nickname from Vrabel, who calls him “Dr. Gibby.”

“[Gibbens] said, ‘Coach, I wasn’t in pre-med.’ I said, ‘I know. It’s a joke,” Vrabel revealed after Sunday’s practice.

“Dr. Gibby is smart. He’s picked up the defense extremely well. He’s going to be fun to watch playing in the game,” Vrabel added. “He gets everybody lined up. He knows exactly what to do. He can help other guys. He’s always around the football. That’s kind of what we saw last year watching film at Minnesota.”

Gibbens had an uphill climb in making the 53-man roster upon entering training camp, as the team had three roster locks in David Long, Zach Cunningham and Monty Rice.

Making matters worse, the Titans drafted linebacker Chance Campbell in the sixth round this year and have two special teams contributors from last season, Dylan Cole and Joe Jones, also competing for a roster spot.

In order to make the cut, it was imperative for Gibbens to stand out as much as possible, and after hearing Vrabel’s comments on Sunday, it’s clear he’s doing just that.

You have our attention, doctor.

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Ravens HC John Harbaugh weighs in on injury scare with TE Mark Andrews

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh weighed in on an injury scare that the team had with tight end Mark Andrews

The Baltimore Ravens are gearing up for their first preseason game of the 2022 on Thursday, where they’ll take on the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. The team has gone through over a week of training camp practices, and are looking to see which players deserve playing time as well as roster spots.

One star who’s role with the team is locked in is tight end Mark Andrews. During Saturday’s practice, the team went through an injury scare with the former Oklahoma star when according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic he appeared to get his foot stuck in the ground and lifted up a divot. However, the pass catcher got right up.

After the play, Andrews didn’t take another snap on the day. Head coach John Harbaugh was asked about the sequence, and joked that he’d seen enough of the tight end.

“Yes, I had seen enough. I had seen enough of Mark [Andrews]. I told Mark … He’s like, ‘I’m fine.’ He’s like, ‘I’ve been practicing my slide.’ Well, it wasn’t one of your better slides. _(laughter)But he’s had so many reps this week. He’s had plenty of reps, and that was really my call just to back him off.”

Baltimore has clearly been taking the cautious approach with their players, which looks to be the right call after an injury-filled 2021 season. There is plenty of optimism surrounding the Ravens in 2022, and it’s much more ideal to have their players at 100% after healing for a few days or weeks from a minor injury as opposed to having them out for an extended period after making a minor ailment worse. Baltimore is committed to trying to find ways to reduce injuries, and holding out Andrews from practice after an injury scare is one of those ways.

Evan McPherson can’t seem to miss at Bengals training camp

Evan McPherson continues to be automatic.

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Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson was one of the stars of the show at Back Together Saturday near the start of training camp when he hit a 65-yarder to send the crowd at Paul Brown Stadium home happy.

That wasn’t too far off from his 63-yarder that did the same to end Bengals OTAs.

But McPherson is no one-trick kicker by any means (remember his bottle trick?). As a rookie, after all, he didn’t just hit nine of his 11 attempts from 50-plus yards, but 28 of his 33 attempts as a whole before nailing all 14 of his attempts over the team’s four playoff games.

It would appear that trend will continue throughout the summer, as various daily camp reports routinely say McPherson has been perfect in all of his official attempts.

It’s the highlight kicks and quotes that get the attention, of course.

“We showed it today. If the situations were right at the end of the half or the end of a game I think we’re comfortable from 68. Around there,” McPherson said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “Indoor it’s more 65-66. Outside you normally have kind of a wind aid. Or hurt. Definitely into the wind we’re not going to try anything longer 62.”

But with kicking, it’s the consistency that continues to impress. Like Ja’Marr Chase’s consistency and possible improvement already, McPherson appears ready to pick up right back where he left off during his sophomore season.

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AFC South news round-up: Colts challenging Pierce, Jags get first HOFer

A look at some of the headlines from last week pertaining to the Titans’ AFC South rivals.

With the first week-plus of NFL training camps in the books, it’s time to catch up with what’s going on with the Tennessee Titans’ AFC South rivals, the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jags made their preseason debut in the Hall of Fame game on Thursday night, a contest they lost to the Las Vegas Raiders, 27-11. However, the Jags did see their top pick flash in the losing effort, and the franchise was also able to celebrate its first Hall of Famer this weekend.

In Indianapolis, the Colts have been challenging their top pick in training camp by pitting him against a former Defensive Player of the Year.

In Houston, the Texans are liking what they’re seeing from their second-year quarterback, who is also displaying strong chemistry with the team’s No. 1 receiver.

Check out those stories and more in our latest round-up of news coming from the Titans’ AFC South rivals.