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After holding a brief three-day minicamp that featured 26 Ravens last week, the early reviews suggest that the players are staying in shape regardless of the NFL lockout.
Towson University was the site of Baltimore’s players-only workout, and the Ravens in attendance were run through a conditioning-focused regimen.
“I’m impressed with everybody here,” linebacker Jameel McClain told reporters. “For people to come back after not seeing them and everybody’s in good shape and everybody’s running around, I’m definitely impressed.”
At this point one year ago, teams were convening for minicamps and Organized Team Activities, which have the benefit of supervision to meet specific goals.
But the work stoppage, which has been in place since early March, challenged players to work out on their own during the offseason.
Without the watchful eye of a coach, Ravens running back Ray Rice understands how teams could worry about their charges.
“It’s different in terms of not being at the facility, but it’s no different in terms of how I work,” said Rice. “I’ve always been a guy who comes in to training camp ready. I know how to train my body.
“That’s the biggest concern, I’m sure, that people have. You don’t really know who’s working, who’s not working.”
The veterans in attendance polled their teammates to see if more sessions should be in order and the players voted in favor of more group activities.
Rice thinks that would be a good thing.
“It’s one of those situations where we can only control one thing, and that’s being ready,” he said. “This is the time where it ain’t training camp, it’s not minicamp, but this is getting together as a team to prepare.
“Everybody’s been working. It wasn’t an easy workout. We did a lot of strenuous drills to where we were working, smart work.”