OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Much of the focus at the Baltimore Ravens' organized team activities this week was on wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
Perriman, the team's first-round pick in 2015, missed the entire season with a knee injury. That robbed the Ravens of a legitimate downfield threat and also played a key part in the team's disappointing 5-11 finish.
Perriman is finally healthy and is competing with veteran Mike Wallace for the starting spot opposite Steve Smith. Perriman said Wallace has served as a mentor throughout the OTAs and that he has a lot to learn from that type of veteran leadership.
"I feel like a kid in the candy store. I'm very happy. I don't even think about (the knee) anymore," Perriman said. "I feel much stronger. I went through a lot last year and it made me a better player and a better person."
If the Ravens can stay healthy, the team will enter the season with one of the most potent offenses in franchise history. In addition to Perriman and Wallace, Chris Moore is another legitimate downfield threat at wide receiver.
"We've had years when we couldn't back anybody up," head coach John Harbaugh said. "It's hard for me to see the speed all of the time in some of these drills. I'm like, 'How fast are they really moving?' Then I go ask the (defensive backs) and they say, 'They're moving really fast.' And that makes me feel good about it."
Smith, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles last season, put off retirement for a year and could make another huge impact. After Smith went down, Kamar Aiken took over the starting role and had the best season of his career. Each of these players will serve as viable options for quarterback Joe Flacco, who is recovering from knee surgery.
After that group, Michael Campanaro, rookie Keenan Reynolds, Chris Matthews and Jeremy Butler will likely be fighting for two available spots. Their ability to play special teams could help their chances.
At tight end, the Ravens added veteran Benjamin Watson, formerly of New Orleans, to the fold. Crockett Gillmore, last year's starter, appears to have recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and could play another big role on the offense. Second-year player Maxx Williams appears ready to take another big step in his development. If Dennis Pitta is healthy enough to play, Baltimore might have the best group of tight ends in the NFL.
--Tight end Dennis Pitta is determined to get back on the field and make an impact after fighting back from a devastating hip injury.
He participated in OTAs this week and did not appear to have any setbacks. Pitta hasn't played since Sept. 21, 2014, after suffering a hip dislocation and fracture for the second time in as many years. Last month, Pitta restructured his contract to remain with the team. He is not worried about injuring his hip.
"I feel really good physically out there," Pitta said. "Obviously, I haven't played football for a while, so there (are) some things I'm getting back used to, but overall I can't complain. I feel great out there and I feel like I'm running like I want to and like I used to, so it's very encouraging."
When healthy, Pitta has been one of the team's most effective playmakers for quarterback Joe Flacco. In 50 career games, Pitta has caught 138 passes for 1,369 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also had four receptions for 26 yards and a touchdown against San Francisco in the 2013 Super Bowl.
Pitta was able to practice with the Ravens for three weeks during the 2015 season, but doctors never gave him the OK to play in a game. He hopes to be a difference-maker this season.
"He looked good," Harbaugh said. "I think it's hard to really evaluate and make a comparison. If you're asking for a comparison from what he was when he was playing to what he is now, he's removed from football for a couple of years and this is nothing."
--Former Ravens running back Ray Rice spoke to the team's rookies Wednesday at the OTAs to discuss some of his difficult life lessons that sidetracked his career.
In 2014, Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league after a video surfaced of him apparently assaulting his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator. Just hours after the footage was made public, Baltimore terminated Rice's contract.
After eventually being reinstated by the league, Rice was not able to find a new team and has not played in the NFL since the incident.
The Ravens said in a statement: "Rice, who played for the Ravens from 2008-2014, delivered an important message that included his story, both the good and the bad."