BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens welcomed their veteran players to training camp on Wednesday. First round draft pick Breshad Perriman has been in Owings Mills for a week. He spoke to the media for the first time on Wednesday. Losing Torrey Smith to the San Francisco 49ers created an opportunity to step in and be a starting receiver opposite of Steve Smith Sr. Perriman is certainly a candidate to be the guy but there are a few others that would like that role as well.
The first order of things for Perriman is to learn the playbook. A fast receiver isn’t fast if he doesn’t know where he is going. Perriman said that he has made a tremendous amount of progress when it comes to learning the playbook. Needless to say, he spent plenty of time getting better acclimated to the playbook over the off season.
There have been some grumblings about Perriman being a raw prospect. He is aware of his areas for improvement and attacked them during the offseason. The biggest question that many raised about Perriman focused on his catching ability. One of the big contributors to dropping the football is being fatigued. Fatigue makes it more difficult to focus, which causes a receiver to not do the basic things such as look the ball into the tuck.
Perriman said that cardio, which will help reduce fatigue was a big time focus for him as he trained for the season. “The main point of my training for the most part was fighting fatigue. I feel like when you get tired, your mind starts wandering and things could start to get less consistent.” Perriman said.
Playing in the NFL requires a lot more attention to detail. Everyone is fast and everyone has extraordinary ability. It’s the little things that make the difference. Getting into his stance properly is an area of improvement for Perriman. He acknowledged that he didn’t place an emphasis on that in the past.
“My dad would always talk about how your stance is so important. I go back and look at college film now and see my stance and say; ‘wow that’s pretty bad.’ It will help me a lot.” Perriman continued; “Your stance is what helps you fire off of the ball. The stance starts it all. It plays a vital part of being a good receiver.”
Working with Ravens receivers coach Bobby Engram helped Perriman find balance in his stance. This creates a more explosive release at the line of scrimmage. Coach Engram has helped Perriman become more powerful off of the ball.
Defensive backs in the NFL play a lot differently from the ones that Perriman faced in college. There is a lot more press at the line. For that reason, the young receiver will need to continue to work on beating the press. The defensive backs also make it harder to get open. They can read a receiver and predict their routes. They are also a lot faster.
The differences jumped out to Perriman immediately when he first went against NFL defensive backs. “For the most part, the speed of the game really surprised me. I didn’t realize that they would be that fast.” Perriman said. “The way that everyone gets to the ball in the NFL is very fast and how they try to strip the ball is a lot different.”
Running better routes is something that Perriman has worked on and will allow him to utilize the speed that he has been blessed with. He said that he has been working on his technique, specifically getting in and out of his breaks.
From the sounds of it, Perriman seems to have an idea of what will help him become a better route runner. “I wanted to work on just dropping my weight. Some people say that I am a bigger receiver and it’s supposedly hard for us to bend. I don’t use that excuse for myself so I’ve been working on dropping my weight more so that I could focus on coming in and out of my routes faster.”