‘He’s going to be very versatile’ – The Mercury News

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was baffled by a line of criticism as he came out of the team’s Saturday evening practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

First-round pick Kyle Hamilton couldn’t keep up with rookie free agent Bailey Gaither during a one-on-one coverage drill, an omission that drew much attention as fans and analysts, one of training camp’s most widely watched Dissected practice to go.

“Someone opined that he’s a limited man who got to play in the box because they saw him trying to cover a guy who ran like 10.4-[second] 100 metres,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “We’re not going to match him against a 10.4 100m man, but he played the man” [coverage] Today is a great day, as you saw.”

Harbaugh doesn’t usually bring up outside criticism of his players, so he can downplay them, but Hamilton’s negative assessment based on some practice plays has particularly misled him. The rookie concluded in a more subtle way on Saturday night, closing down a block to jam an outside run and creating confusion for the offense with his presnap position.

“He’s going to be very versatile; he’s going to play in a lot of different places,” Harbaugh said, going out of his way to put the rookie’s performance in a wider context.

This was always the selling point for Hamilton, whose 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame sets him apart from his fellow defensive backs in more ways than one. Where he can cover more ground and have more impact at the line of scrimmage than a short defense, he is probably less suited to blanket a quick slot receiver.

Hamilton took the criticism with good humor, noting on Twitter that he was “being fried on this app.”

The former Notre Dame All-American has spent the first week of training camp adjusting to the pace of the NFL and learning how to make the most of the practice reps gained behind starting safaris Chuck Clark and Marcus Williams.

“I make a new mistake every day, and I’m trying to fix it,” he said. “A lot of this game is mental. You have to lock in, tune in to the sideline, know what calls are going on there and just try to get mental rep. I still get a decent amount of rep.” Definitely getting a good workout, but people keep me updated with how they’re playing it, how [starters] playing it, and I try to come in and emulate what they’re doing. So I guess it’s been cool, even though I’m not technically [starter],

The Ravens used their first pick on Hamilton, despite the fact that they already had two starters at safety, creating a potentially awkward situation with Clarke, one of the most respected players on defense. . The current starter has not spoken to reporters since the draft, although he has been a generally reliable presence in workouts and drills.

Meanwhile, Hamilton made first impressions on teammates and coaches during OTAs and mandatory minicamps, but defensive coordinator Mike McDonald said he is working to regain his momentum in training camp.

MacDonald noted last week, “The thing with Kyle is I don’t think he’s gone from where he was in the spring.” “Sometimes it happens to rogues; They dip a little and need to be held back. I keep saying the word trajectory, but he keeps on learning, keeps on communicating. He is a very quick, very smart player, obviously plays fast. He can cover a ton of ground. We have great players there too. Therefore, he has to make his way on the field. ,

The fretting over Hamilton’s one-off performance touched on a broader point about training camp. Individual fights between pass catchers and defensive backs are the most engaging components of the practice. It is easy for fans to burst out when a wide receiver takes a competitive catch or to gasp when a defender stumbles. But these moments provide limited insight to a player’s overall performance.

“This is one of those exercises where the defense is wearing ankle weights,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no rush of passes. There’s no one in the quarterback’s face. They have a little more time to throw; they’re not under pressure, which they will be. It’s a zero-man type of scenario, so it’s the hardest.” Is [defensive backs], if one [defensive back] Wins there, it’s a beautiful moment.”

Precision, Week 1

Titans @ Ravens

Thursday, August 11, 7:30 pm

TV: Ch. 11, 4

radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


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