In the second edition of the Hey Rookie! blog, BR.com caught up with a few fledgling Ravens and talked about their thoughts coming off a three-day rookie camp. We've heard from the coaches, now here's an update from three of the players…
Quarterback Joe Flacco
"Rookie camp went well for me. It was good to have some time to work one-on-one with the rookie receivers. It's important to make sure we are all are on the same page. That is definitely a huge part of the game, but first we have to get the offense down. Then, we can work on the timing.
"That's why having the rookie minicamp now rather than a month ago was huge. It works out to our benefit, because we can go out and concentrate on those things instead of where to line up. We already knew where to line up, so it was more just going out there and running the offense.
"Now it's time to take what you learned on the field back home. But, I think the last thing you want to do is take a couple of weeks off and try to get back into it. You could get overwhelmed. You just have to stick with your pace the whole month, and that's what I'm going to do. I'll make sure I look at it every night so I can keep my base of knowledge and grow each day, and then work from there.
"I will take a day or two off - maybe the Fourth of July - but other than that, I'm going to stick with it and do the best I can to come back here prepared.
"Training camp is going to be coming soon, and I'm ready to throw the shoulder pads on and see the speed that everyone plays with. I'm a tough guy, and only tough guys can get through training camp. I've mentally prepared myself for it for a long time. It's going to be fun."
Running Back Ray Rice
"For me, I think camp went pretty well. Just getting together will all the rookies and getting individual coaching time without other guys being here really helped us out. That time really helped us grow in the game and learning different systems.
"I do feel it was better having camp on the back-end. We kind of were thrown into the fire when we first got here. It was learning on the run. But after you learn it, it kind of all slows down. This time around, it wasn't new to us. Our practices went pretty fast and smooth. It wasn't as much teaching as it was going out there and working.
"I'm comfortable more with the offense now than when I first came in. I still have a couple more weeks left of studying, but I want to come into training camp knowing that I have a steady knowledge of it. We're going to have some time off, so it's important to keep your conditioning and stay in your playbook. You might be on your own, but you can still do some good work.
"Once training camp hits, I just hope to show the coaches that I can play and be a playmaker. I can do different things. I can run the ball, and I can catch. I'm just trying to expand my role a little more on special teams and just keep working. That's what I want to show them - that I am able to play the game.
"I want to be a guy that when I'm put in the game, I won't be a letdown. I want to be the guy who provides the spark to this team.
"See you at training camp."
Linebacker Tavares Gooden
"I really believe this rookie camp helped us out, getting some one-on-one time with coach Mattison and coach Ryan. We're really just running the defense and learning the [coverage] drops. Learning the defense came earlier, when the vets were here, so now we could just tighten that up.
"It's been good for me, because I think now that I know the defense and know where to go. Me and my coach talked about getting that pre-snap read, trying to fine tune that so you can read the run and pass a little faster.
"The offense played well against us, too. I think my speed helps me out a lot if they go to different personnel. If they go to three wide receivers, I can actually cover down. I know how to play man-to-man. Playing at Miami helped me out as far as that. The biggest thing is playing zone because Miami played a lot of man-to-man.
"Thinking back to when I first got here, I was in awe a little bit. We have a bunch of guys from Miami here, so it's just fun to go out there and see those guys fly around.
"It's a little difficult to adjust to life in the pros, but we've got a lot of great vets on this team. I talk with Ray [Lewis] a lot. I'm doing a lot of things with him and learning how to be a pro, and that's the main thing. That's the real 52 teaching me how to be a pro.
"I hope I can take that into training camp."