Camping Monday Morning

The first day of full pads, like the first snow of winter, or the first Bengals arrest of the off season, let’s you know the time is now.

Few rookies expect to make much of an impact this season, but the one that must make his presence known is defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Good news Ravens fans Ngata showed from the first 11-on-11 drill of the morning he has every tool to rule the line of scrimmage (caveat: I know it’s only July, he’s just a rookie, and there’s a long way to go but..).

On one play Ngata tossed Adam Terry around like a toy poodle leaving last year’s massive 2nd round pick to try and pick himself up off the grass. The next play saw Ngata blow by Terry, then simply engulf running back Musa Smith. Ray Lewis celebrated with Ngata like they just stuffed the Steelers on 4th and 1.

Just about every team in the league lines up with a huge defensive tackle. But few of them possess the explosiveness to match their own girth. The knock on Ngata is a supposed penchant for taking plays off. I talked with Aaron Fentress, a reporter from the Oregonian that covered Ngata in college,e and he dismissed that claim thanks to ignorance. On plays where Ngata seemed to do nothing his job was to drop a few yards into coverage. Not much of a role for a 340 pound man so naturally he looked a little lost. And if Ngata does dog it at all during a game, Ravens linebacker Bart Scott says the huddle will be a lonely place. The players police any transgressions like that themselves and Ngata would have to pay a price.

Another rookie of interest is wide receiver Demetrius Williams. Again, plenty of tools. He can flat out burn down the sidelines and has the hands to go make plays. And best of all, he seems to own no fear of contact, in fact he encourages it. A very different attitude than that of Clarence Moore. Look for Williams to win the job as 3rd wide receiver.

One last thing, GREAT BALLS OF FIRE IT’S HOT!! Fortunately the Ravens will continue to practice a little earlier until the heat breaks with session one beginning at 8:15 A.M.


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