Ravens Ready To Play 'Real Football'


The preseason is over and the Ravens are going to be in Denver in just five sleeps.

The Ravens landed in Baltimore in the wee hours Friday morning. They got back up and officially turned the page to the regular season, beginning with an afternoon practice. 

According to Head Coach John Harbaugh, work has already begun for the starters preparing for Denver. Now the whole team will shift its focus.

"I wish I [told the team] it was the 24-minute rule," Harbaugh said, contrasting the usual 24-hour rule of putting a game's result behind the team quickly. "[Denver] is right around the corner."

Harbaugh was asked for his assessment of the team as it ended the preseason.

"There's no need for an assessment of where we're at," he said. "We've just got to go get ready to play and be our best wherever we're at. I like our team, I liked our team from the beginning."

All of the team's starters rested for the fourth and final preseason game.

The defense is entirely healthy, barring what Harbaugh called a non-serious personal health issue for defensive end Art Jones. The offense is just waiting for the return of tight end Ed Dickson (hamstring), but he practiced some last week and made good strides.

Dickson is ready to take the next step in his progress of being the team's top tight end.

"The main focus is getting better and I'm ready to do the little things I need to do to help the team," Dickson said. "I've got a big role on offense this year."

"I feel like we're alright. We're getting some guys back that we need back," added cornerback Corey Graham. "We feel good."

The Ravens are just happy to be done with the preseason, in which they went 2-2. The regular season beckons with a primetime rematch of last year's AFC divisional thriller, and a test against the team many pundits see as the favorite in the AFC.

"It's time to play some real football," Graham said.

"We're very excited. This is what you wait for. You can't wait to get the real games started. You can't wait to see what the team is going to be like, see what type of game plan we're going to have and see how this new Ravens team is really going to look."

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