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Ravens Expect Tough Training Camp


John Harbaugh doesn't believe in doing anything halfway.

The Ravens returned to Baltimore for the start of training camp this week, and the head coach made it clear that they will hit the ground running when they take the field for their first full practice Thursday afternoon.

"We will start practicing full speed, and they're going to need to be ready for it," Harbaugh said when the team broke from its last offseason practice in June.

The Ravens – and specifically Harbaugh – have a reputation for their tough practice regimen. Rules in the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement place limits on practice time and the amount of full-contact work, but the Ravens take advantage of all they're allowed to do within the rules. 

Players have talked about the challenging training camp atmosphere in the past, and the expectation is that this year will be even more intense.

"Our training camp this year will be more physical than it was last year," Harbaugh said at the owners meetings in March. "It's going to be a tough, physical training camp. We're going to wring everything we can out of every single second."

As the Ravens head into their seventh season under Harbaugh, the veterans have grown to expect and embrace the atmosphere he fosters on the practice field. 

"When we come out here during training camp, we're not going to ease into it," quarterback Joe Flacco said.

An important part of the routine now is to make sure that the rookies and veteran newcomers know what awaits theme once camp begins.

"You understand that we're going to work harder than a lot of teams, and that's just been the Raven way and that's been John's way," Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda said at the end of minicamp. "With new guys coming in, we try to just tell them this is the way it's going to be, and we're going to work hard and we're going to be more conditioned than most teams just by the amount of plays we run. That's the way we've always done it."

Harbaugh's mindset is even evident from the custom-made T-shirts that he sports on the practice field. He regularly wears shirts that display mantras such as "Ravens football is hustle. Constant hustle," and "Ability is God-given, prowess is earned."

The motto in 2012 was "Embrace the grind," which was born out of a speech Yanda made to the team.

"With new guys coming in, it's always a little bit of a shock to them, but they get rolling with it day after day, and then we just bring them along a little bit," Yanda said. "I try to be a little bit of an encouragement to say, 'It's all right. You'll get through it.'

"I've been doing it for years now. You just bring it with you and keep rolling."

With Training Camp a few days away, take a look back at some of the former Ravens who have endured the grind of Ravens camp over the years.

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