Michael Campanaro has waited long enough for a chance like he'll get Thursday night against the Saints.
The rookie wide receiver has spent the last few months adjusting to life in the NFL, trying to prove himself during limited opportunities in practice and preseason games. After playing sparingly in the first three preseason contests, Campanaro will see plenty of action when the Ravens wrap up the preseason in New Orleans.
"I'm just kind of excited to let loose," Campanaro said. "This is going to be my first chance to play a lot in a game and get into a rhythm and just get a lot of opportunities. I'd just say I'm more anxious to get out there and play."
Campanaro, a seventh-round pick, is in the midst of a tight competition at wide receiver. He's coming off his best performance of the preseason where he caught two passes for 24 yards against Washington, and his hope is to build off that game so he leaves no doubt he deserves of a spot on the 53-man squad.
"I'm just looking to go out there and play a great game," he said.
The Ravens traditionally carry six receivers into the regular season – the final numbers under Head Coach John Harbaugh have ranged from four to seven wideouts – and Harbaugh has not indicated how many he plans to keep this year.
Torrey Smith, Steve Smith Sr., Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown are considered roster lockers, leaving Campanaro, Deonte Thompson, Kamar Aiken and Jeremy Butler fighting for the final couple spots.
The competition is still tight as they head into the final game.
"It is bunched up, so it's still very competitive because all those guys are doing so well," Harbaugh said. "Nobody's dropped out of the race, and I think they're all proving they can play."
The receivers all bring different skillsets to the table, and Campanaro is the most unique of the bunch. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound target is the smallest player on the team and he has a knack for working the middle of the field as a slot receiver.
"He pretty much gets open, all the time. And he catches the ball," Harbaugh said. "He's done a really good job. Those are the things you want to see him do in real life. You want to see those things in the game, when the bullets are flying and you have to convert a third down and everything is on the line football-wise. That's what you hope for. I'm very confident he can do that."