Williams catching up fast

Demetrius Williams was barely a step ahead of Evan Oglesby, so he created some separation. The Baltimore Ravens' rookie wide receiver elevated high above the flailing cornerback to haul in a long sideline spiral from quarterback Steve McNair. At 6-foot-2, 197 pounds, the fourth-round draft pick from Oregon capitalized on his superior size and athleticism.

Williams' acrobatic effort Saturday morning was met with loud approval from the estimated 4,250 fans attending training camp at McDaniel College.

For Williams, it was a continuation of the series of diving catches and sharp routes he demonstrated during the Ravens' rookie minicamp.

However, it was his most notable impression since he began working with the entire team Friday.

Along with top draft pick Haloti Ngata, Williams was absent from all of the Ravens' full-team minicamps because of an NFL-NCAA rule that prohibits rookies from attending offseason practices until their school year is concluded.

"He's still learning," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "He's on a curve that no one else is just because of the time he missed. So, he's got to be swimming right now, but you can see the physical abilities that he has."

Williams is competing with Devard Darling and Clarence Moore to be the Ravens' third wide receiver. After catching 162 career passes for 2,660 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Ducks, he has designs on contributing immediately in the NFL.

"That's why I'm here," Williams said. "I came here to show people what I can do and help this football team win. Whatever they need me to do, I want to show the coaches and my teammates that they can always count on me."

‘EXCELLENT': If Billick's mood is truly an accurate barometer of how his football team is performing, then the Ravens took a major step forward during their second day of camp.

One day removed from saying the opening practice "sucked," Billick was effusive about a much crisper workout.

"The tempo was better," Billick said. "We understood what we needed to get out of it. This morning was excellent."

Speaking of Billick, his interview session was two seconds longer today than Friday's 2 1/2 minute press conference.

CROSS-TRAINING: Return specialist B.J. Sams has designs on increasing his value to the team.

So, he's doubling as a reserve defensive back and returned an interception for a touchdown.

"For B.J. to be able to help us in that disaster situation, it just gives you that depth because you know he's going to be that returner," Billick said. "It's just a huge asset."

TRAINING ROOM: Rookie nickel back David Pittman tweaked his hamstring and is considered day-to-day.

Wide receiver Tres Moses sprained his ankle and it's unclear when he'll return.

Defensive tackle Justin Bannan was hampered by foot blisters on a hot day.

Running back Jamal Lewis (hip flexor) didn't practice along with Moore (hernia). Both players are on the active physically unable to perform list, but Lewis is expected to practice Monday.

It's unclear when Moore might return after undergoing two offseason hernia surgeries, although Billick expressed hope that he might participate Monday.

When asked if he thought he would practice Monday, Moore replied: "I hope so."

QUICK HIT: Rookie Cory Ross -- the 5-foot-6, 201-pound scatback from Nebraska -- dropped a punt during the morning session, but is akready making a positive impression with his elusiveness and skills.

Ross rushed for 2,473 career yards for the Cornhuskers, catching 71 career passes, including 43 catches and three touchdowns as a senior.

"I'm very impressed with him, just the overall knowledge of the game, the little things he's done," Billick said.

SCRIMMAGE 411: The Ravens' scrimmage against the Washington Redskins at noon next Saturday at FedEx Field is free to the public, but there's a $25 parking fee. The Ravens didn't charge for parking at last year's scrimmage at M&T Bank Stadium.

For fans who are interested in sitting in a reserved area designated for Ravens fans, they can contact the Ravens' ticket office at 410-261-7283.
 

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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