From Ravens training camp: Day 1

July 21, 2008 |

Before Coach John Harbaugh can even pull into the parking lot here at the Best Western to begin training camp, he is greeted by a welcome sign outside of the team hotel.
All is quiet around here at 7:53, there are only two of us from the media here and none of the players have reported as of yet. Ravens linebacker’s coach Greg Mattison is sitting here in the lobby enjoying the continental breakfast while he reads the sports.

This will be a running blog as the day goes on, so keep checking back for updates.


So for those with any concerns about Joe Flacco and his contract situation, worry no more. Joe will report to camp later this afternoon and will sign his contract and then along with Ozzie Newsome meet with the media at 2 p.m. Coach John Harbaugh will talk at 2:30.

Haruki Nakamura wins the award for being the first to report when he walked through the doors at 8:45. Haruki said he has a deal with the Ravens and woke up so excited this morning that he went over to the facility and jumped in the hot and cold tub. Haruki said that he got goose bumps driving over here just thinking about what this is going to be like and he is so excited to get going. He was wondering around the lobby of the hotel and said he is like a kid at school on the first day.

Players are expected to start to come in later this afternoon, as they will begin physicals around 3 p.m. So far, Haruki Nakamura is the only guy here when he reported around 8:45 a.m. and checked into the team hotel. Haruki said he was going to his room to read and study his playbook. Haruki was kind enough to join Drew on the Comcast Morning Show for a few minutes this morning.
Congratulations to Marisol Renner of the Ravens public relations department, as her and her husband welcomed their second son to their family this past weekend.


The new sheriff in town has arrived. Coach John Harbaugh walked through the front door at the Best Western to begin his first camp as a NFL head coach. Speaking of Coach Harbaugh, I hope the people here at the Best Western did not put a lot of time into putting Coach Harbaugh’s name on the sign outside, because I have a feeling it will be coming down soon. Coach Harbaugh is so much about the team, that he is not a big fan of his name out on the Best Western sign. On one side it says Welcome Coach John Harbaugh, on the other side it reads Welcome Ravens, W.I.N. The W.I.N. is the acronym for something Coach Harbaugh stands for What’s Important Now.
The injured vets are scheduled to come in today also. These are the guys that finished the season on injured reserve. Here are the players that finished the year on injured reserve: Prescott Burgess, Dan Cody, P.J. Daniels, Todd Heap, Chris McAlister, Trevor Pryce, and Samari Rolle.
Patrick Carter a wide receiver from Louisville just checked into the team hotel.


So guys are starting to report to camp now as Joe Flacco, David Hale, and other members of this rookie class have started to check into the team hotel. It is funny watching these guys walking in to the hotel with no idea of where to go or what to do when the walk in.

Here in the lobby of the team hotel, they are starting to set up for the press conference later this afternoon with Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome. There has been no word on Ray Rice or Tom Zbikowski signing with the team.


Sorry for the long delay, but between lunch and waiting for the Joe Flacco press conference and then to listen to Coach Harbaugh equaled the delay. More on that later, but Ozzie Newsome announced all the draft picks have agreed to deals and will be in on time.
PJ Daniels and Prescot Burgess have both arrived here at camp.

Listen for P.J. and Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh’s presser on the Rob Long Show.

Trevor Pryce has arrived here at Ravens camp. Trevor was one of the injured players who were asked to come into camp, although it was voluntary. That is a good sign of his commitment to the team for him to show up that early.
Dan Cody and Dan Wilcox have also been seen here at the hotel. Demetrius Williams came into the team hotel with a walking boot on his lower left leg. I am guessing he will not be ready to go as they start camp. Dan Wilcox will probably also be a guy who will not be ready to start when they practice and be on the physically unable to perform list.

Here is what Joe Flacco had to say today when he was asked about being the starting quarterback by the end of camp “I’m going to go out there and act like I am, just like everybody else should do. I want to go there and play the way I’ve always played football, and expect myself to play. I want to go out there and prove to everybody, prove to the coaches, most importantly, and myself and my teammates that I can play, and obviously at the end of training camp we’re going to find out.”

The other two quarterbacks on the team have arrived here at the Best Western as Kyle Boller and Troy Smith have both arrived here at the facility within the last 10 minutes.
Had a minute to catch up with Dan Cody who said he is healthy and ready to go. Dan was unaware that one of his friends Jeremy Shockey had been traded to the New Orleans Saints. Jeremy and Dan both share the same agent in Drew Rosenhaus.
Here is a n interesting quote from John Harbaugh about starting a rookie quarterback, “I think that’s factored into the equation, the fact that he’s a rookie and he hasn’t played an NFL game before and his long-term development. We have to factor that into the equation. That probably weighs against him. But if, all of those things are being considered, if he’s the best guy and gives us the best chance to win, he’ll be the guy.”

Trevor Pryce just returned from his yearly training camp shopping trip to Target. Trevor usually goes to target to buy pillows and other supplies for his room here at camp.

So as the first day of camp is coming to an end, the Ravens have all of their draft picks signed and ready to go tomorrow when they hit the field at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow for the first practice and then an afternoon practice at 3:30 p.m. Just as a reminder, the practices will roughly run between two and two and half hours. Keep in mind that tomorrow it will just be the rookies and quarterbacks here as the whole team will practice for the first time Friday.
Here is schedule for tomorrow and the rest of the week:
Tuesday: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • veterans report on this day, but will not practice
Thursday: closed to fans and media
Friday:  8:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.


So as I am preparing to leave for the afternoon in walks a 6’9 Jared Gaither which was a total surprise. Jared appears to have dropped some weight and looks to be in good shape. It is a tremendous sign for a young guy who has had a shaky off-season to be in on camp early and show a commitment to being the starting tackle for this team.