Today was Club Seat Season Ticket Holder Day at the Baltimore Ravens Training Camp, up at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. Club Seat Season Ticket Holders received a special invitation and credentials to a small set of bleachers on the 50 yard line at Training Camp, front and center to see the Ravens practice just two days after the opening the exhibition season with a 16-15 victory over the Tom Brady & Randy Moss-less New England Patriots.
I got there extra early, as the only other time I've been to Training Camp earlier this season, I arrived at the beginning of practice, had to park in East Schlabuckyville, walk 20 minutes to the fields and stand ten deep along the edge of the field. This time I arrived almost 45 minutes prior to practice, parked right next to the fields and grabbed a seat at the top of the bleachers on the 50 yard line. The players straggled out, with the rookies trying to impress. The defense ran some drills right in front of me (see photos below). Finally the offense came over from the far field and ran some quick pass patterns, with quarterbacks Kyle Boller, Troy Smith and Joe Flacco each taking turns (more photos below). All the wideouts took their turns as well, including Derrick Mason, who limped off the field Thursday night in the game against the Pats, so it was good to see him back on the field. Yamon Figurs burned the defense and made a couple of over the shoulder grabs on deep passes. He looks to get more reps and perhaps even chances once the games begin in September. Rookie Marcus Smith seemed to have hands of glue, catching everything thrown his way.
It was nice to see Samari Rolle back on the field, although he was taking it easy since his return to camp following the sudden death of his father. Wide receiver Demetrius Williams and tight end Daniel Wilcox ran some individual drills as they return from nagging leg injuries suffered last season.
It was actually a lot more disappointing than I expected, as the Ravens choose to run their full offense vs. defense drills on the far field, away from the bleachers filled with the areas reserves for players' families, VIPS, Club Seat Ticket Holders and the disabled. Those late arriving fans who had to stand along the ropes over at the secondary field were treated to the better views and saw the full team drills, while those of us who arrived early and grabbed the so-called better seats in the covered bleachers ended up SOL.