Logan Payne finding his footing

Despite being signed on first day of camp, six-year wide receiver has been bonding with quarterback Tyrod Taylor

August 07, 2012|By Edward Lee

When the Ravens opened training camp on July 26, they made the decision to cut fullback Jamison Berryhill and add free-agent wide receiver Logan Payne to the roster.

And they didn’t waste any time giving Payne a playbook and throwing him onto the practice field later that day.

Not that 27-year-old Payne is complaining. The six-year veteran who has spent time with the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks said he appreciated the team’s decision to indoctrinate him quickly.

“The best way to learn is to be thrown into the fire,” he said after Monday’s practice at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills. “Just get in there, and it forces you to learn. It forces you to be wide-eyed and listen to everything – in the walkthrough, the install. It’s just repetition, repetition, repetition. And that’s what Coach [John] Harbaughlikes. He likes to run a lot of plays. So after a couple days, you start getting acclimated and you start getting into your playbook as much as you can and you get thrown into the fire and learn as fast as you can.”

In some ways, Payne may be further behind than some of the rookies on the roster because they’ve been practicing with the team since organized team workouts began in May. Payne conceded that he has some catching up to do.

“It really helps having OTAs because you learn the offense and the routes,” Payne said. “So coming into the first day of camp was a little tough. They threw it all at me and expect me to learn all three positions – S [slot], X [split end] and Z [flanker]. I’ve been busting my butt and learning the offense and getting more and more reps.”

Payne appears to have established a rapport with backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. During last Thursday’s practice inside the team’s indoor facility, the pair connected to convert on third down-and-17 and then did it again on third-and-10. On Saturday, one of Taylor’s two touchdown passes in a red-zone drill was caught by Payne, and Taylor targeted him one more time during a full-team exercise.

“As a receiver, that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to develop that chemistry with whatever quarterback is in there,” Payne said. “And the best way to do that is when he comes your way, you catch the ball. You run the right route, you get open, and you make plays for him. A lot of times, there’s a couple of possible places that he can go and if he feels good about you and you’ve been performing for him, he’ll look your way a little bit more. But he’s a tremendous player. He makes it easy. He’s very accurate and he’s got a very strong arm and he’s right on time with his reads and stuff.  So it’s been pretty easy.”

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