OWINGS MILLS, Md. (WJZ) — The road to a second straight Super Bowl title begins in earnest for the Ravens.
Mark Vivano reports–the first full squad practice took place Thursday.
Now months removed from a Super Bowl championship, a victory parade and ring ceremony–even mini-camps–it’s now back to work full-force for the Ravens. Their first full-squad training camp workout.
The hard work begins in July for teams that want to be in playoff games in January. Summertime training camps are notoriously hot, and the heat of the national spotlight is on the Ravens because they are the reigning champions.
Before you think there’s no pressure on the purple birds, because that trophy is already on the shelf, these players and coaches know–what they did last season does not apply to what they’re trying to do now.
“That’s what always fuels me year in and year out,” said Ravens running back Ray Rice. “Because somebody finds something against my game, they say something about it, and I just try to prove myself right, not the next person. So I just keep working and keep working.”
“You can always do better, especially with this city. This is the league of ‘what have you done for me lately?’ So I don’t want to wrestle those laws. I’m good with those mountains that I’ve climbed, but I’m into climbing more,” said linebacker Terrell Suggs.
The biggest changes on the Ravens roster are on the defense–with the departure of more than half of the Super Bowl starters–including all-time greats Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
A new group of defenders, young and old, is ready to carry on Baltimore’s defensive legacy.
“I just feel like because of the way we work and the way we push each other and the way the older guys bring in the younger guys and teach the younger guys,” , said safety Matt Elam. “And the way we stick together and the way we work together on the field, I feel like that’ll take care of itself. Like I say, we continue to work and improve then the sky’s the limit.”
Of course, the goal of all the training camp work is to win a Super Bowl. No team has won back to back championships since New England did it eight years ago.
One Raven not on the field Thursday–offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie–reportedly because he is over his playing weight.