WHO'S HOT: Mark Clayton adeptly executed a classic, over-the-shoulder catch
behind Calvin Carlyle for a touchdown.
Derek Anderson is looking much sharper with a streamlined throwing motion. Although he's strictly a pocket passer, the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder has a big arm and possibly a future in this league.
Jim Nelson intercepted Anthony Wright in a goal-line situation.
WHO'S NOT: The bootleg still looks terrible, especially when Kyle Boller is running it. He needs to sell the fake better, as do his teammates.
The secondary is struggling to match the speed of Clayton and the other wideouts, especially Fred Stamps and Patrick Johnson.
The team was generally focused, but their attention seemed to waver along with the crowd on a brutally hot day. When practice was ended a half-hour early, there was heavy applause from the faithful who endured a heat index that climbed to 97 degrees.
NEWSFLASH: Ed Reed, the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, left the field and had his leg checked out. He returned to practice, but didn't participate, later indicating that it was nothing serious and that he wasn't injured.
ON THE FIELD: Jamal Lewis took increased work in the backfield and didn't appear to show any ill effects from his first practice in more than a year as his surgically repaired right ankle didn't swell up after working Wednesday.
Trent Smith and Rob Abiamiri both caught quick passes on crossing routes for scores.
Will Demps played inside linebacker next to Ray Lewis in some 46 looks.
OFF THE FIELD: Important personal note: Happy 30th birthday to Samantha, my lovely fiancee.
Former McDaniel College middle linebacker standout Matt Wilchinski, who was recently promoted to special teams coordinator for the Green Terror, took in practice.
Held out of practice: Todd Heap, Musa Smith, Dale Carter, Dan Cody and Adalius Thomas.
BEARD WATCH: In my daily observation on Ravens head coach Brian Billick's new-look, gray beard, it sparks comparisons to country singer Kenny Rogers. As Rogers' "The Gambler" song goes, this season Billick will have to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If it happened the way people say it happened, it's unfortunate. For a player of his stature and caliber, sometimes good people get put in bad positions and sometimes it ends in a bad result. Now, he's probably wondering, 'Could I have done something different to make it come out better?' His coaches are probably wondering the same thing. When you go off your first instinct, things can go wrong. You never want to let a situation to get that way."
Wide receiver Derrick Mason weighing in on the controversy between disgruntled All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens and Eagles coach Andy Reid.
FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE: 10 to 11:45 a.m.
RAVENS FAN LINE: For updated practice information, call 410-261-RAVE (7283).
WEATHER FORECAST: Partly cloudy, slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 90s.
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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