Training camp has arrived and that can only mean one thing: football season is just around the corner. The Baltimore Ravens took the field at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland today for the first day of training camp.
All reports out of the first full-team practice seemed to be positive, especially the injury report. Only two players are missing a somewhat substantial amount of practice time as of right now. Marshal Yanda was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a shoulder injury, but according to head coach John Harbaugh, the two-time Pro Bowl guard is “looking good”. Yanda is limited to only walk-throughs with the team and is not able to participate in regular practices. Jameel McClain is the only other Ravens player to be put on PUP due to a back injury related to a spinal cord issue. McClain will not be back on the field until he is fully healed and cleared by the team doctors.
With the exception of Yanda and McClain, all Ravens players reported to training camp today healthy and ready to work.
Lardarius Webb has had a question mark next to his name for quite some time after sustaining an ACL tear last October. But Webb was out on the field with the team today, participating in some drills, individual work, and 11-on-11 scrimmages. As for his full return, the team expects Webb to be ready by the season opener in Denver.
Some red flags went up when wide receiver Jacoby Jones failed a conditioning test on Tuesday, but there is no reason to worry about his current physical state. Jones took the test again on Thursday morning and passed.
When asked about having to take the conditioning test again, Jones joked, “I took it just about how I took the ACT. Eventually I passed.”
Jones is focused fully on training camp and staying healthy after failing the test. The wide receiver-slash-return specialist knows he has to step up this season and be a leader for some of the younger receivers in addition to excelling in every position he plays.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it,” Jones said about his multiple roles on the football field. “If they want me to pass the water out, I’m going to be the best water boy in the world.”
Terrell Suggs is another player on the Ravens’ roster that is drawing a lot of attention at training camp, but not for any negative reasons. Suggs is projected to be the leader on the Ravens’ defense this season, and now that he’s coming off of an injury-filled season, he is ready to make up for everything he missed out on last year.
Suggs believes he is nowhere near ready to hang up the cleats. In his mind, he is “entering his football prime”. The 11-year veteran believes that he has a lot to contribute to the team this season, starting with a leadership mentality. He is taking training camp more seriously than he has in the past.
But don’t worry, Suggs is still going to be that player that you love to have on your team but would hate if he was on any other team.
“I’m still going to be Sizzle and I’m still going to have fun,” Suggs guaranteed. I’m always going to be Sizzle, and you can always count on that. I didn’t have that opportunity last year and I’m just kind of taking it in.”
With the first day of training camp under the Ravens’ belt, they can only look to improve from here. The first day back on the field is always rusty, but the it seems as though the only way is up in Baltimore. With a healthy team out on the field and a number of veterans like Lardarius Webb, Jacoby Jones, and Terrell Suggs ready to step up this season, it is reasonable to say that the Ravens are looking good after the first true evaluation of the upcoming season.