7 Storylines To Watch In Training Camp


Training camp is upon us.

The remaining veterans report Wednesday for physicals and conditioning tests and the team's first full practice will be Thursday.

Here are seven storylines to watch: 

1)      Terrell Suggs' conditioning

One of the first things people will look for is No. 55. Suggs reported to mandatory minicamp last month self-admittedly above his "fighting weight." He said he had a more relaxed offseason in hopes of cutting down on the wear and tear on his aging body. He said he had time to get into shape before and during training camp. How much work will he have to do over the next month?

2)      The wide receiver battle

The best competition at training camp will be at wide receiver Torrey Smith's season-opening replacement as the starter isn't set in stone. Rookie first-round pick Breshad Perriman, Kamar Aiken and Marlon Brown seem to be the leading contenders. There's also a great competition among other wideouts such as Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, sixth-round pick Darren Waller, rookie free agent DeAndre Carter and more for the final spots.

3)      The offense's progress

Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman's offense didn't seem to miss a beat during Organized Team Activities (OTAs) or minicamp earlier this summer. Now they'll likely turn up the intensity a notch, and defenders will be able to make more contact. This is when the offense truly gets tested. Will quarterback Joe Flacco stay as sharp as he was before the break?

4)      The secondary's rebound

As stated earlier, this is the first chance to hit. That means it'll be the first real look at how improved this year's secondary is after a difficult 2014 season. Safety Kendrick Lewis should be patrolling the deep defensive backfield trying to limit the long ball. His playmaking ability will be closely watched. Opposite him, one of camp's better battles between Will Hill and Matt Elam will ensue.

5)      Health updates

Tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) and safety Terrence Brooks (knee) are starting training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Center Jeremy Zuttah (hip) and tackle Rick Wagner (foot) didn't participate in OTAs or minicamp. All four are key players on this year's team, and their progress towards getting back to the field and returning to full speed will be monitored by media and doctors alike.

6)      The rookies' growth

Training camp is huge for every player, but perhaps even more essential for the rookies, who will be experiencing their most trying days to date. Last year's rookie class figured prominently into the success of the season. This year, rookies such as Perriman, tight end Maxx Williams, defensive tackle Carl Davis, outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith and more have a good chance at being called on. This is the time for them to take the next step.

7)      Replacing lost veterans

It happens every year. The Ravens lose seemingly irreplaceable veterans to free agency. This offseason, Baltimore traded defensive stalwart Haloti Ngata to Detroit. That means second-year player Timmy Jernigan will be under the spotlight. The replacement at tight end for Owen Daniels, outside linebacker for Pernell McPhee and wide receiver for Torrey Smith are also key spots to watch.

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