The best part of the Ravens' attendance report was having fans back at the Under Armour Performance Center. After no fans all of last year, it was a very welcomed sight that Head Coach John Harbaugh and players certainly took notice of.
"It's a different energy just coming out with people screaming and yelling," Harbaugh said. "It's just the way it's supposed to be."
After taking stock of that, reporters always make sure to take the player attendance report, which is particularly notable on Day 1.
Of course, the biggest absence of the day was of star quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, along with running back Gus Edwards.
Other than them, here are the players who were not at Wednesday's first practice:
- TE Nick Boyle (knee)
- TE Jake Breeland (knee)
- OT Ronnie Stanley (ankle)
- OT Ja'Wuan James (Achilles)
- ILB Otaro Alaka (knee)
- CB Iman Marshall (knee)
- CB Anthony Averett
All of those players were expected to still be rehabbing at the start of training camp with the exception of Averett. Harbaugh later said that the fourth-year cornerback has not passed his conditioning test yet.
Averett should take the field soon. It remains to be seen when the others will be back, and Boyle's return from knee surgery has been delayed.
Bradley Bozeman Starts Camp With Some Snapping Issues
The Ravens are hoping that Bradley Bozeman's shift to his natural center position will alleviate the snapping woes that have plagued the team the past two seasons.
Camp didn't start on the right foot, however, as Bozeman sailed two snaps over Trace McSorley's head – one in seven-on-seven work and another in 11-on-11s. After the second one, Bozeman took off the glove he was wearing and tossed it to the side.
"It's the first time in that kind of a setting where it's a little more of a competitive practice. It looked like [removing the glove] helped, so I was happy he did it," Harbaugh said.
"We're chasing perfection with that. We're going to do it under center. We're going to do it in the gun. We're going to do it in the pistol. We have to be perfect. The timing of the snaps is really important. With the way we run our offense, with the ball handling, the plays we run in the backfield, it helps a lot for the snap to be where it's supposed to be. Now, that's a hard thing to chase. Perfection on gun snaps is hard going against the guys you're going against, but that's what we're trying to achieve."
Marlon Humphrey Explains Why He Got Vaccinated
With Jackson and Edwards going on the COVID-19 list, the Ravens' vaccination rate is again a hot topic. Baltimore is actually in good standing with around 90 percent of players full vaccinated.
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey has been one of the Ravens' most outspoken advocates for the vaccine and he explained Wednesday why he took that stance. He said he's been getting information from a cousin that works in a hospital and trusts the guidance of the NFL regarding the vaccine.
"As a worker underneath that [NFL] title, I try to do what I can to fall in line; that makes everything kind of go," Humphrey said. "So, I didn't want anything to hold me back. I didn't want to get the corona[virus] and miss a big game, like last year. That really sucked – watching my guys play the Colts last year.
"I think it's a personal choice for anybody. If you don't want it, you don't have to [get it], but I think everyone should address it as such. You just have to know there are certain things that might hold you back. So, that ultimately comes up to your choice, but different guys have religious things, different guys just don't feel comfortable, different guys have health things. There are a lot of different things that could affect that – whether you can or cannot get it – but like I said, for me, the biggest thing [is] I didn't want it to hold me back, and I felt like from the top up, the NFL has kind of been really pushing it, and I wanted to be a part of that group that got it."
Jackson's good friend, Marquise Brown, said he doesn't have any concern about himself despite two players going on the COVID list at the start of camp.
"For me, no, because I trust every man in the building to take care of one another," Brown said. "When hiccups like this happen, all we can do is rally around that guy, send our prayers and send our support. Hopefully, he'll be back very soon. But for me, I'm just trying to take every step to be safe myself and just come play football."
Defenders Thrilled to Have Tavon Young Back
The Ravens' biggest addition to the secondary this year is the return of nickel cornerback Tavon Young. After suffering a third season-ending injury early last season, Young returned to the field for mandatory minicamp on June 24.
Now Young is back for training camp and looking to get back to his dominant self. It's not just that the Ravens get one of the league's best slot corners back, but his return also allows other players to move back to their natural positions.
"I'm happy to have him back. I can move back outside," Humphrey said. "Me and 'P' [Marcus Peters], Jimmy [Smith] and Tavon – that's a pretty strong four. So, I'm really excited to have him back. I know what he can do on the field, so him getting healthy, him being back out there, it's great."
"When we've got 'Tay' out there, we can do so many different things, and we've got so many different elements," safety Chuck Clark added. "A lot of guys can fill in in different spots, and he just brings a different element to us. So, not having him out there last year, kind of sucked, for real. But having him back out here in training camp – his personality, his character – we love having him back right now."