Breshad Perriman impressing Ravens in OTAs
The early reviews are in: The Baltimore Ravens are really high on Breshad Perriman through one week of OTAs.
The wide receiver is entering his third year as a pro, but only his second as a healthy option for Joe Flacco. With Steve Smith retired and Mike Wallace the only other notable wideout to warrant receiving targets, Baltimore needs a big year out of its former first-round pick. According to the man himself, the Ravens will get one.
“I feel like my concentration level is at a pretty high level right now — an all-time high,” Perriman said Thursday, per the Baltimore Sun. “Right now, I’m just going out there, and when I’m on the field, I’m not thinking about anything but football.”
The wideout added that his chemistry with Flacco is improving and that the two are in a good place right now. Perriman boasted a similar optimism last week when he said that he was “expecting a huge year” for cheap jerseys and himself.
“Yes, I’m back. No restrictions,” Woodhead said, via the team’s official website. “I’m just playing football now. I haven’t been thinking about needing to do stuff to rehab it because I’m healthy now. It’s exciting to get football going.”
Woodhead suffered the knee injury on Sept. 18, the second game of the 2016 season. After eight months, the pint-sized pounder says he’s going full-throttle.
“I feel really good,” Woodhead said. “I feel pretty similar [to before the injury], man, I really do. There may be a few days when I feel like there’s some rust, but I’ve been doing stuff. When you get hurt, you’re training more.”
The Ravens could ease the 32-year-old along this offseason, but he should be fine come training camp. With question marks in Baltimore’s backfield, Woodhead could be in for a big year. He should already be the primary pass-catching back. As an underrated red-zone runner, Woodhead could become the Ravens’ lead rusher in 2017.
Perriman earned the third-most targets on the Ravens last season and started just one game. With Steve Smith Sr. retiring and Kamar Aiken leaving in free agency, Baltimore needs Perriman to morph into the No. 1 receiver.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been waiting for this moment all along,” Perriman said. “I’m expecting a huge year from me, to be honest with you.”
While Perriman started just one game, he played in all 16 contests last season, a big goal for the wideout after missing his entire first season with injury.
“That was big,” Perriman said. “I felt like all along I could stay healthy. The injuries that happened my rookie year were freak accidents. I never thought of myself as injury-prone. My goal was to stay healthy and it happened, and I want to build on those wholesale jerseys this year.
“I fell a little short [of my overall goals], but I won’t fall short this year.”
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When general manager Ozzie Newsome eschewed adding a receiver in the draft, he noted that most times the answer is already on the roster — using last year’s linebacking sensation Zach Orr to illustrate his point. While adding a veteran at some point, like an Anquan Boldin, is possible, the Ravens pass offense needs Perriman to make the leap in Year 3.
“I’m not as tense,” Perriman said of his confidence entering 2017. “I’m going out there and playing free, playing faster. And catching wise, I feel like my hand-eye coordination has gotten incredibly better.
“I know how much potential and NFL jerseys I have. I’m just ready to put it all together. It is going to come together.”
The Ravens’ pass-catching corps looks extremely bland on paper. Behind Perriman and Mike Wallace sit Michael Campanaro, Chris Matthews, Chris Moore, Kenny Bell, Kennan Reynolds, Vince Mayle, a gaggle of undrafted free agents at receiver. The tight end crew of Dennis Pitta, Benjamin Watson (returning from season-ending injury), Crockett Gillmore, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle and Darren Waller offer solid, reliable targets, but no one that tips the field.
The best shot for the Ravens to find dynamic plays in the passing game is Perriman morphing into the downfield playmaker he was drafted to become in Baltimore.