TOWSON, Md. (AP) – Instead of idly dwelling on the frustration caused by the NFL lockout, a large group of Baltimore Ravens assembled Tuesday for an informal workout at Towson University.
Twenty-seven players attended, including quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and wide receivers Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. The workouts are scheduled to continue for the next two days and are closed to the general public. Tuesday’s workout was the only one open to reporters.
Including Smith, the team’s second-round draft pick from the University of Maryland, a total of four rookie draft picks participated — wide receiver Tandon Doss, quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back Anthony Allen.
“It was a great workout,” Rice said. “We’re at our own pace. We got in quality work. Nobody wants to waste their time. We can control one thing and that’s being ready. It’s not training camp and it’s not minicamp, but it’s the team getting together for one reason and that’s to be prepared.”
Mason said he’d be surprised if the labor dispute is resolved anytime soon.
“You have to be patient,” Mason said. “Nothing is going to get done in the next month. Realistically, if something gets done before July, I would be surprised, probably even August. Hopefully both sides will surprise a lot of people and work things out.” During the workout, Flacco and the receivers didn’t seem to have issues with timing and the majority of passes were completed. But there was no pass rush to speak of and the defense wasn’t attempting to knock down throws in an attempt to avoid injuries.
“The biggest thing about getting out here right now is working with these young guys,” Flacco said. “Guys that are missing out the most right now are the young guys. They’re able to get in and have a guy go over the playbook with them and come out here on the field and get a real feel for how to run the routes.”
Flacco, Rice and Mason also plan to spend some extra time with the rookies after the workout to help them absorb the playbook.
But the Ravens’ starting quarterback says he’s being careful not to overload the rookies with too much information.
“We’ll definitely spend some time together and go over some basic stuff, so they can get a grasp on it,” Flacco said. “It’s not that easy to just look at papers and teach yourself a playbook. We’re not going to kill these guys.”
He said the rookies can expand their knowledge of the playbook once they understand the basics.
“I want them to walk away from this with an understanding of how we call our routes and can they recognize where they’re going to line up and which route they’re going to have from that,” Flacco said.
Allen, a seventh-round draft pick from Georgia Tech, was intent on getting a copy of the Ravens’ offensive playbook.
“I want to get in here and start studying,” he said. “It’s kind of like going into a test and studying the night before. I’m going to see it today. I got about 75 cents on my card to get some copies at Kinko’s. I’m going to try to get as many copies as I can.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)