Tuesday: the second day of the work week and another step closer to Friday. In the life of an NFL player, Tuesday is "the weekend" -- the players' day off from practice and meetings. The Ravens prefer to call Tuesday their day "on" in the community. See how 13 Ravens spent their time away from the gridiron.
The Ravens want to "Keep Gym In School"
What's a better way to kick start the morning than a cup of coffee? How about with a greeting from 600 screaming middle school students? That's how Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, center Matt Birk, tight end Edgar Jones, defensive tackle Brandon McKinney and linebacker Jason Phillips began their Tuesday.
The gym channeled M&T Bank Stadium at kickoff with a palpable energy in the crowd as Ravens cheerleaders and members from Baltimore's Marching Ravens joined the students at NFL Network's "Keep Gym in School" pep rally. Govenor O'Malley was also on hand stressing the importance of physical education curriculum and sharing his belief that the Ravens are Super Bowl bound.
Garnering the loudest cheers from the crowds were Ayanbadejo and Birk who addressed the group.
These Ravens did more than talk the talk, they walked the walk -- or in this case, ran the 40. Following the assembly, selected students from Corkran Middle School participated in a combine style mini-camp. Ayanbadejo assumed the role of QB Joe Flacco, throwing to receivers in training. McKinney challenged students in curl-up a competition as Birk gave tackling tips and demonstrated his speed on the agility ladder. Jones and Phillips also helped lead one of the eight stations participants rotated through.
The students did more than test their vertical leap and showcase their football prowess, they observed first-hand the Ravens', and the NFL Network's, commitment to maintaining an active lifestyle.
Extreme Makeover: Rec Center Edition
Ty Pennington and his crew didn't make their way to Baltimore, but members of the Ravens squad were on hand as the United Way of Central Maryland hosted a makeover event at Medfield Recreation Center. Set-up as a competition between six businesses, including M&T Bank, each participating team overhauled a room.
Tight end Davon Drew, cornerback T.J. Gerard,*linebackerJameel McClain, wide receiverEron Riley, linebacker/defensive endWillie VanDeSteegand cornerbackFrank Walker *lent their handy-man skills to the repair effort and joined the teams in the competition. Their ability to help around the house (or in this case, the rec center) were put to the test as the players split time between building shelving units, painting and helping with some heavy lifting.
Although no Feng Shui was involved, the Ravens also helped with the décor, autographing various aspects of each team's rooms.
A new job for Heap and Flacco?
Ravens tight end Todd Heap and quarterback Joe Flacco swapped the football field for the office and their jerseys with business casual attire. On their day off from practice, the offensive duo "went to work" at Acadia Windows and Doors. No need to worry Ravens fans, Heap and Flacco aren't leaving their day job on the football field.
Heap allowed one business to imagine what it would be like to have the TE and his QB work for them when he auctioned a "Take a Player to Work" visit at his inaugural Todd Heap foundation fundraiser last January. The proceeds will help fund a pediatric center at Franklin Square Hospital.
Although Heap and Flacco didn't spend the day working in the warehouse, they did spend time meeting with Acadia's staff and signing autographs – a tough day at the office.