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The Ravens had big-time contributions from a young cast of players this year.
That’s despite not having a full NFL offseason under their belt.
The lockout zapped a major chunk of the developmental process from last year’s rookie class. Even the previous draft class didn’t have the full offseason program because they didn’t join the team until late-April.
Thus, there is major room for growth this offseason in Baltimore, even amongst the team’s starters. The program will begin in April.
One such player is nose tackle Terrence Cody, who lost a large amount of weight lastoffseason, and is now looking to add back some muscle.
“I think it will be big for me to really have that real offseason workout, because I really haven’t had one,” the 2009 second-round pick said.
Cody finished with 34 tackles and started all 16 games in his sophomore season.
“I feel like it would help my game a lot,” he said. “I can get stronger, faster and better. At the same, still learn the defense and learn other positions and prepare myself mentally and physically.”
Another second-round player on the defensive line, Arthur Jones, spent last offseason training in mixed martial arts. While he plans on doing that again, he’ll also be in Owings Mills for the offseason conditioning program, he said.
“I’m excited to get a jump start on everything – take a couple weeks off, then go back to the drawing board,” Jones said. “I think I showed flashes of good things I did this season, but my thing is being more consistent and coming in to be a more dominant player.”
Having a full, uninterrupted offseason should help last year’s rookie class the most.
The group still had major impacts from cornerback Jimmy Smith, wide receiver Torrey Smith and defensive end Pernell McPhee, specifically.
While they will take another step in their development, some of the rookies who didn’t see much time, such as wide receiver Tandon Doss, tackle Jah Reid and running back Anthony Allen, will have their first crack at an NFL offseason.
“There are some more specifics that I need to get down, whether it’s technique-wise or learning the offense more and each position,” Doss said.
“Whatever it takes, I’m going to do it.”
“I think I have a good foundation,” Reid added. “The coaches ingrained as much of the system as they could into me and I improved everywhere – in the book, physically, technique. This offseason I’ll be able to focus on the stuff I’ve learned.”