Ravens receivers, led by Steve Smith, have caught several long passes during training camp practices. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees is not happy about it. Denying big plays is a point of emphasis for the defense, and so far, Pees is seeing too many long passes completed.
“One of the things we’ve got to take care of is we can’t give up big plays,” Pees said. “We gave up way too many big plays last year. I think we’ve given up too many so far even in camp in the first three days Joe (Flacco) is a hell of a quarterback, we’ve got a hell of a group of receivers, (but the defense) is going to see that all year though…What we can’t do is get ball up over the top, and I’m a little disappointed in the first three days.”
Cornerback Lardarius Webb (back spasms) missed most of Friday’s practice and all of Saturday’s. But Pees expects the secondary to do a better job, and the Ravens have not decided on their nickel corner behind Webb and Jimmy Smith. Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson are the leading candidates to win the job, but both need to improve. Meanwhile, the safeties are young. Second-year safety Matt Elam will be one starter, opposite either Darian Stewart or Terrence Brooks. Stewart has never been a regular starter and Brooks is a rookie.
Pees said the secondary needed to do a better job of recognizing quickly when a deep pattern was developing.
“For the most part in camp our guys aren’t making mental mistakes,” Pees said. “When we get beat deep, generally it’s your eyes…You let him close the cushion too far and don’t get transitioned out there fast enough. Or you’re looking over here and the guy gets in your blind spot. Generally speaking, it’s usually your eyes.”
Pees hopes his eyes see fewer long passes completed as camp continues.