What would possess a 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive tackle to sprint nearly 60 yards after a diminutive running back in humid 85-degree weather when he really doesn't have to?
And do it while wearing a thick sweatshirt under his jersey?
Trevor Pryce did just that in the Ravens' Organized Team Activity (OTA), tearing down the field after rookie Cedric Peerman who got free on the left sideline and got to the 5-yard line before Pryce touched him.
This was the same Peerman that ran a 4.45-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine this year. While Peerman may have cooled his jets towards the end of this particular run, it was impressive all the same to see Pryce catch up with his much-smaller teammate.
It was all in the name of breaking a heavy sweat.
"When I work out in Denver, I don't sweat as much because of the weather," Pryce said with a laugh. "When I come out here, I put on as much clothes as I can so I can break a good sweat in the humidity. It is evil, but it's also necessary."
The feat was just one example of Pryce's freakish athletic talents – and of his high level of conditioning at this point in the offseason.
"If I told you what I was doing training-wise, you wouldn't believe me," Pryce told a group of reporters after hitting the showers on the sweltering day. "I don't think there are many running backs as fast as I am. Willis [McGahee] is pretty damn fast, but if they have to cut and you're running full-speed, you'll eventually catch them. I do a lot of stuff, but that's for me to know and you guys to guess."
It is no secret that Pryce holds himself to high physical standards. But, he goes about it in a much different way than most professional players.
Last season, he outlined an intense regimen overseen by Denver Nuggets strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess that pushed him to exhaustion running with a weighted vest, swimming and cycling.
Pryce, 33, is also an avid soccer player that participates in a competitive league when he is at his home in Denver.
Perhaps that is why he has been able to maintain his steady output through 12 seasons. Some have criticized Pryce for having a rough season last year after only netting 4.5 sacks, but he roundly refutes those accusers.
"I didn't have the same amount of sacks, but I had the same amount of quarterback pressures. I wasn't as lucky," he explained. "When I had all those sacks two years ago, a lot of them were just me falling on my back and reaching my hand out. There is a lot of luck involved. I can't control sacks. I can control if I pressure the quarterback, but there are lot of other things that have to happen."
The Ravens certainly believe Pryce can return to his 2006 form, when he boasted a career-high 13 sacks.
"Trevor is an elite defensive player in this league," said head coach John Harbaugh. "At one time, I think he was the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL – he's that kind of a talented guy. Plus, Trevor knows how to stay in great shape. Trevor does a lot of training here, but he does a lot of training on his own.
"Nobody's in better shape than Trevor. He'll come in here for 48 hours, as he says, then he'll get out of here. But, when you see it, you see the work he's done. We expect Trevor to be an elite defensive lineman."
As a veteran leader, Pryce isn't asked to do much in the voluntary camps. He typically stays for two of the four days, seeing a reduced workload on the field while brushing up on new defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's defense.
When he does get those plays in practice, however, Pryce wants to go all out – most of the time in a sweatshirt.