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John Harbaugh, Ravens Coaches Host Youth Football Camp


John Harbaugh was in the middle of talking to reporters about his camp when a young boy asked the Ravens head coach to throw some passes to him.

"You know what, I think I will," Harbaugh said with a smile and dashed off.

Harbaugh hopped right in, loosened up his arm and threw passes to a seemingly endless line of kids.

It was that kind of day as Harbaugh and the entire Ravens coaching staff hosted their second annual Football Clinic, presented by Under Armour, Saturday morning at the Reisterstown Sportsplex.

The free camp welcomed about 300 elementary and middle school students there to learn football fundamentals, safety, teamwork and more from the Super-Bowl winning staff.

"The main message was that it's a beautiful day, let's have fun," Harbaugh said.

"That's the No. 1 thing for youth sports. My daughter's in it now. They have fun, they want to come back, they're active and moving around, they enjoy each other's company. The other thing is to do it together. Get involved with the team idea, help each other out and make the guy next to you better."

Harbaugh jumped right into his high-energy coaching form starting at 8:45 a.m. He led the kids through jumping jacks and other warm-ups, then brought them in for a talk before heading out to work with individual coaches.

He spoke about making the person next to them better, about plugging into each other to make their collective light shine brighter.

"That's what a team is all about," Harbaugh said.

The kids then went through drills – Ravens style. There was plenty of encouragement, but still no lollygagging, as is usual at a Harbaugh practice. The kids cycled through drills at every position, including throwing passes, running routes, and going through linebacker drills.

Harbaugh and his staff had side conversations with kids, just talking football or about anything. They took some kids under their wing to motivate them.

"You can see the joy in their faces when they do something correctly," Special Teams Coach Jerry Rosburg said. "I think it helps their whole lives. It helps them at school, it helps them at home."

It's also an opportunity for the Ravens coaches to go back to their roots. Many, including Rosburg, used to coach at youth camps before climbing the ladder to the NFL.

"It's really refreshing," Rosburg said. "We all feel privileged to be coaching in the NFL. Many of us started at other levels, and it kind of brings you back. This is a great experience for all of us. I'm not sure who's getting more out of it, them or us."

In addition to the coaching, Ravens Head Physician Dr. Andrew Tucker spoke to the student-athletes, parents and youth coaches about concussion awareness. Ravens Director of Player Development Harry Swayne spoke about life skills and having success away from the field.

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