Ravens Dial Back Altered Training Program Hoping to Prevent More Injuries

WR Rashod Bateman

After last season's onslaught of injuries left the Ravens out of the playoffs, Head Coach John Harbaugh sat down with his player performance staff for four hours, hammering out every detail of their strategy.

They talked about practice schedules, training camp schedules, OTAs and more. But it all starts with how they train and condition when players first arrive.

The revised plan began to roll out this week with the beginning of the voluntary offseason program. It's only been three days, but so far, players are taking notice and liking the tweaked approach.

"[The coaches and organization] are conscious of the injuries we've had. In my opinion, you can't do the same things over and over again and get a different result. You're just going to be insane," fullback Patrick Ricard said. "I think it means you can believe in the process more because you know that the coaches and the organization are trying the best to take care of us."

So far, the changes mostly seem to be dialing back the workload. Ricard said drills that would typically be 10 to 12 reps have been dropped to eight to 10.

"It's not shocking the body," Ricard said.

Linebacker Josh Bynes is entering his 12th NFL season and has been with five different teams. He's seen many different approaches to offseason conditioning.

"Sometimes you go head first right into it and you don't want to do that and tear guys down – especially a guy like me that's been playing for a long time. You want to build those layers up," Bynes said. "It's taking it one day at a time and building it up layer by layer. I think Steve and his staff are doing an amazing job right now getting after it."

Step inside the Ravens' first day of the voluntary offseason program as players reported for workouts in the weight room and practice field.

Shawn Hubbard

Team Photographer

Of course, injuries will happen in football and over the course of the season. The Ravens had their fair share of bad luck last year. But the organization spends a lot of time and money in trying to minimize the risks and frequency.

Saunders didn't outline every tweak to his program, saying the same principles remain. He feels a major help will simply be that they're in-person this offseason as opposed to training virtually the past two years.

"This is really a critical time of the year to lay the foundation for next season and we haven't had it for a long time," Saunders said. "I think we're just really excited to have everybody back.

"Philosophically, the program still stands on its own merits. We can just make little tweaks. We don't know what these guys have been doing [since the season ended]. Let's take a step back and spend a little more time on the evaluation process, add little tweaks."

Related Content