One common theme during the interview portion of today's minicamp was that the players are simply focused on playing football and getting better. No concern over contract negotiations, awards, or what other teams are doing. Life around the Under Armour Performance Center is all about football and improving.
Marshal Yanda has a massive contract and possible free agency looming over his head. Having played every one of his eight seasons with Baltimore after being drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Yanda is just focused forwards.
I’m not much for words. We’ll do our talking in September when the games count. Obviously, that’s running the football and protecting Joe [Flacco], so I’m not getting into that. We’ll let the pads do the talking.
I’m focused on the mandatory minicamp right now and stuff like that. We’ll worry about that when the time comes. But right now, I’m focused on getting better as a football player and stuff like that. I’m not too worried about it. We’ll get it done when we get it done. I’m not too worried about it.
The same for linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Both had great seasons last year personally and the accolades began to pour on for both of them. But you won't really see either of them looking to achieve their personal goals. For them, it's all about the team and what the Ravens as a unit can do.
Suggs: Let’s just play football. Let’s start by winning some games in the division. We’ll go there, and then we’ll trickle down to the personal stuff.
Dumervil: I matched my career [high last year with 17 sacks]. Just like ‘Sizz’ [Terrell Suggs said], you try to win games, you try to win championships. To me, there’s nothing more important, because you can have the stats and accolades, but if you’re sitting home, it really doesn’t do any justice.
It says a lot about the Ravens organization that veterans like Suggs, Yanda and Dumervil are all focused on getting a ring rather than raking in huge piles of money or getting a Pro Bowl nod. The entire organization, from owner Steve Bisciotti to the coaches to the players understand that this is a special team they have put together and if they focus on the long road ahead, there are Super Bowl rings with their names on them.