Ravens prepared for passing camp

OWINGS MILLS - Accelerating the learning curve for several Baltimore Ravens resumes at today's passing camp. Bereft of bulky lineman to obscure passing lanes, the offensive concept behind a four-day passing camp is to develop timing and precision while their defensive counterparts work on coverage schemes. It's also something of a classroom experience as the coaching staff implements more of their playbook in this voluntary camp.

"My main goal for these guys is to take the next step," Baltimore quarterbacks and receivers coach David Shaw said. "We installed a good portion of our offense, but still a small portion and everybody did a good job of picking it up.

"Now, we're going to add on top of that. So, the hard part is to learn new things, but not to forget the things we put in last time."

Rookie quarterback Kyle Boller spent the majority of his time since the first minicamp traveling to appearances in Orlando and Los Angeles, giving the first-round pick plenty of time on airplanes to study X's and O's.

Boller admitted to being somewhat nervous during his first NFL setting, and it showed at times. While he showed off considerable velocity, he also forced several throws and missed some of his reads.

"There's still an awful lot for me to learn," Boller said. "I plan on getting it all down, but it's a lot to absorb. The key is having a good memory. It's got to get to the point where I'm reacting on the field, not thinking about what I should be doing and wasting time."

Not wasting any time demonstrating his continuing recovery from back surgery is starting quarterback Chris Redman. Redman, who went 3-3 as a starter last year with 1,034 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions, was impressive at the full-team minicamp.

His increased flexibility and lack of pain has led to better technique, accuracy and arm strength.

"The thing for Chris is just to stay focused on himself and his improvement," Shaw said. "He is going to have a different progression than Kyle because Kyle has a lot more to learn. "Chris did a great job last minicamp. Now, he needs to sustain that. Chris knows these plays, too. He knows them backward and forward."

Besides the preoccupation with quarterback, expect the Ravens to spend this passing camp experimenting with different defensive combinations in the secondary.

Also, it's a time for rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, the 10th overall selection from Arizona State, to keep working on his adjustment from college defensive end.

Meanwhile, the Ravens' quarterbacks are Redman, Boller, former Dallas starter Anthony Wright and undrafted rookie Grant Noel.

General manager Ozzie Newsome and Ravens coach Brian Billick haven't ruled out the possibility of adding a veteran to the quarterback equation after June 1, the beginning of the NFL fiscal calendar and traditionally a time of year when franchises cut players.

"We could add someone, but, right now, we want to evaluate the players we have," Newsome said. "We don't want to take away from young players' repetitions in practice because they need to get that work."

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