Video: Ravens QB Joe Flacco leads team onto practice field.
At precisely 5pm, the Baltimore Ravens PR Department escorted the assembled media onto the team's practice fields for the first full squad practice of the 2011 Training Camp. As the coaches and players meandered onto the fields, you could hear head coach John Harbaugh asking his coaches not to start coaching until the full team was together and then the practice would go for the full three hours.
The 5pm start time was due to the requirement that the NFLPA ratify the new CBA and that was the time it was officially announced it was completed and teams were permitted to hold practices. All around the NFL, teams began their first full squad practice sessions and the Ravens would be no different.
The Players left the building and came nto the fields in bunches. I could see QB Joe Flacco as well as returning CB Chris Carr, as well as new safety Bernard Pollard in the #31 jersey, albeit with no name sewn onto the back just yet. FB Vonta Leach, looking stacked and ready to "punch a linebacker in the mouth," sauntered out. The last three players to emerge were OLB Terrell Suggs, RB Ray Rice and ILB Ray Lewis.
Video: Ravens RB Ray Rice enters the practice field
The team started off with Special Teams drills, not looking to make a huge splash with full seed contact right off the bat. One thing began to stand out, and that was the first team taking most of the reps and many of the players who got tons of reps over the past week, were now relegated to observing on the sidelines and wait for their rare opportunities.
More to follow, as Friday's practice will begin at 8:30a.m., mostly because they will have another one Sturday morning, this time the only one scheduled for public viewing, at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the free practice begins at 10 a.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so bring your cameras and sunscreen and get there early to get the best seats along the sidelines.