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Ravens Rookie Isaiah Likely Can Be Game-Breaker

Rookie tight end has been solid.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens rookie tight end Isaiah Likely's stellar pass-catching skills in training camp translated into the first preseason game against the Titans.

Likely had an exceptional reception over two defenders for a 22-yard gain. He finished with 4 receptions for 44 yards.

However, he still needs to work on some of his fundamentals. 

Likely had a couple of holding calls that nullified first downs. He needs to work on his overall blocking skills. 

"The one play where he had the five jukes … The one juke was good. The next four were unnecessary, but I told him, ‘It’s good to see you can do them. That was good,'" coach John Harbaugh said. "The holding penalties, you just have to understand on the edge … All of our holding penalties were out on the edge, and that’s where it gets called tighter. 

"You just have to understand that, and he’ll have to learn that. But, he stepped up and played really well. He has a lot of talent, and he keeps improving every day.” 

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Likely adds an edge to the Ravens' offense through his physical, play. He also likes to dominate opponents and let them know about it.

“It’s really just being consistent, and just really repetition, repetition, repetition," Likely said. "Once you build repetition and once you have consistency, every play is going to be the same as what it was in practice because you’ve been practicing all week, all month and when you get to the game, it’s just second nature to you.” 

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Likely could also be a force inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He was dominant during the red-zone drills at training camp and he will inevitably become a favorite target for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

One on play Likely beat safety Geno Stone for a touchdown near the middle of the end zone.

On the next play, he outran rookie linebacker Diego Fagot and just kept his feet in bounds. Fagot protested that Likely was out-of-bounds and got an earful from the tight end. 

"Isaiah looked really good in his red zone drills," Harbaugh said. "He had two back-to-back touchdown catches there against tight man coverage, and he was gassed. He was fighting through the heat, he was really winded and he still came up and made the play. That was impressive.”