Ravens to resume passing camp

OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens' skill players return to the practice field today for a final passing camp intended to hone their knowledge and timing. Factoring in the absence of linemen to disrupt passing lanes, neither the offense or defense focuses much on actual results in terms of bragging rights. It's more of a classroom exercise than an evaluation period. "There's a lot to accomplish," quarterback Chris Redman said.

"We're still in our installation and we're getting our timing and routes down. "When there's not a defensive line and offensive line around, I think the pressure really goes on the quarterback and receivers. It's to our advantage and we've got to push our completion rate up real high."

During the Ravens' first two minicamps following the draft, that has been the trend: Redman, first-round pick Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright have cleanly directed spirals into the hands of Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap and Co.

With the additions of veteran receivers Frank Sanders and Marcus Robinson to go with returning starter Travis Taylor, a majority of the time has been spent gaining familiarity with the different personnel.

Both Sanders and Robinson have eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau. And for those new players, it's all about studying the playbook.

"When I wake up in the morning, I write something down each day that I need to work on in practice," said Robinson, the former Chicago Bears standout who signed a one-year contract this spring. "I try to pick little things to work on, then when I go home I cross off each line that I got done. I think it helps a lot."

For a passing offense that ranked 27th in the league last year by averaging 177.9 yards a game, it's a new phenomenon to hear players talk openly about having enough depth and talent to reverse those numbers.

"I think we have the guys in place to make us an offensive threat," Sanders said.

As for the incumbents like Redman, they realize they still have a lot to learn, too.

"Really to be a good quarterback, you need to go out there and play," said Redman, who's in competition with Boller. "It's not like I have been starting for four years."

Entering last season, Redman had thrown just three passes in NFL games since being selected in the third round out of Louisville in 2000. Redman started six games last fall, passing for 1,034 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions before aggravating a back condition that was eventually addressed with a surgical procedure.

He completed 97 of his 182 passes for a 53-percent completion rate. Redman's interception percentage of 1.6 per contest would have ranked second in the AFC if he had enough passing attempts.

"I'm starting to get a comfort level," Redman said. "I think my accuracy is really coming back. Right now, I think we're just trying to find out who we are and define our team. "Training camp will be here soon, so we have to be really sharp in our game. Complacency is something we try not to do at all."

Aaron Wilson writes for The Carroll County Times.

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