OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson brings added energy to the Ravens' practice.
The coaches and players feel it and feed off it.
Jackson practiced for the first time this year with the team at mandatory minicamp and was impressive.
“He looked good, he looked good," coach John Harbaugh said. "It was his first practice, and he looked good, and he was into it. He’s physically in very good shape; I thought his arm looked really good. You can see he’s been throwing a lot, and you can see he’s in great physical condition. So, it’s great to have him out there. It kind of boosted everybody’s spirits a little bit, too.
"And he’s a competitor; he’s mad about some passes here and there, and the DBs [defensive backs] were happy about some passes here and there. But it was good to see it, and he threw some great balls. So, it was fun.”
Jackson threw tight spirals throughout the practice and had more zip on the ball. He found his favorite target, Mark Andrews, for several completions.
Andrews was impressed by the performance.
“He looked great, man," Andrews said. "You can just tell [by] his energy, just how he feels. I think he’s extremely confident. And the more he’s out here, just running the plays, being around the guys, we’re just going to get better and better. It was awesome to see my guy, for sure.
"He was in the huddle, commanding the huddle, getting the guys right. He threw a lot of great balls, a lot of great balls right off the defender’s head. He looked really, really good.”
Jackson apparently is not going to let his contract situation become a distraction. He also was not hampered by the ankle injury that forced him to miss the last four games last season.
“I think everybody knows Lamar … He’s the one that drives our team," Andrews said. "He’s ‘QB1,’ and the energy around him being here just lifts everybody up. Obviously, I have an incredible amount of respect for [Tyler Huntley] ‘Snoop’ and everything like that, but it’s great to have Lamar here.”
Jackson also had solid chemistry with his wide receivers, most notably Rashod Bateman, who caught a touchdown pass in red-zone drills.
"I was really excited to have ‘8’ back out there," cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. "I told the trainer to give Lamar some water today, he needed it, I think. So, I’ve been messing with him a little bit, but I think that having ‘8’ back is great. We got some great work in during OTAs without him and everything."
Defensive end Calais Campbell added: "I don’t think there was ever a doubt for me. I talked to him, and I know that he’s the ultimate pro. He prepares and handles his business the way that he’s supposed to. For being a young guy like he is, he’s so mature, and he understands how to do things the right way. I think people go through … everybody has agents and advice, and they do things that work for them.
"To each their own. But I feel like, just my perspective on Lamar and how he handles himself, he’s an ultimate pro. Obviously, he still has a lot to learn. We all do. But, when I’m around him, I’m always very, very impressed [with] just the way that he carries himself.”