Veterans Turn Out in Droves for Voluntary Camp

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The Ravens definitely were happy with their turnout for the first voluntary Organized Team Activity (OTA) of the offseason.

In fact, it was one of the most well-attended in recent years.

Of course, the usual selection of rookies and young prospects were there, but the Ravens essentially filled out both the offensive and defensive starting lineups on the second day of their passing camp.

The only players that were absent were outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who still has not signed his franchise tender, and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who went back to school to take classes.

"I think it's good," said head coach John Harbaugh after Tuesday's practice. "Obviously, it's exciting, the fact that guys want to be here, but it's not surprising. Our players love football. They're a bunch of guys that love ball, they're competing with one another."

Harbaugh pointed to the fact that some defensive players – namely linebacker Ray Lewis – have been playfully talking trash with quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson, a sign that the players are loose and enjoying their time in camp.

"There's loud talk out there, they're getting after Hue a little bit on defense, so that's fun," Harbaugh continued. "But, there will be situations when guys can't be here too, they've got things coming up in their life.

"We kind of expect everybody here every day, but I think our guys want to be here. They want to be a part of what we're doing, because they like football."

The veterans that showed included many veteran players that typically don't show up for the voluntary camps, such as defensive tackle Trevor Pryce, running back Willis McGahee, safety Ed Reed and Lewis. All of those Ravens normally choose to work out with their own private trainers.

This time, it was a show of solidarity with Harbaugh, not to mention a positive influence on those rookies and young Ravens in attendance.

"It says we're committed to trying to get back to where we were," said Pryce. "I think it is more along the lines for the young guys to see us so they don't think we're above the team. Like I told my coach, I am like Eddie Murphy. You got 48 hours then I'm a ghost. Let's solve this murder mystery then I got to go.

"Coach Harbaugh wanted us to show our faces. I don't think he minds one way or another. It is more important for him that the younger guys see us and know that this is important to us."

The Ravens will continue with their voluntary passing camp until Thursday.

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