Ravens head to training camp to avoid injury

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn’t want another round of injuries to derail the season.

So he completely revamped the way the team goes through training camp and practices.

Starting later in the afternoon, more stretching and developing the more physical aspects of the practice are all part of the plan.

“We kind of revamped the practices,” Harbaugh said. “Especially the first four or five training sessions, we’re kind of going to weave our way into certain elements of the team, trying to incorporate a lot of the movement of football, trying to reduce our timing as much as possible. The challenge is guys have to go full speed on the airwaves, and that’s a bit of a challenge.

“So you have to put yourself in that frame, mentally, where you’re going full speed ahead. So we were pushing them a bit to do that, because it’s a bit more difficult without a defense there. I thought that they did a good job with that.

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Ravens coaches have put together a presentation for players outlining the benefits of the changes. Football coach Sam Rosengarten outlined the different parts of the day that should be spent on mental stability, nutrition, strength training, fitness and training.

Coaches also balanced the benefits of training in the afternoon versus the morning. When players trained early and jumped right into football, there was a lot of risk of soft tissue injuries.

Players bought into the new concept.

“I know a lot of study has gone into everything, but when we came back, even into OTAs and off-season conditioning, it seemed like there was a big change in the way we were doing things. So , this search and everything continued.” said cornerback Marlon Humphrey. “It’s a little bit different, but I like it. It’s good for me because I never really – in high school, I spent football, I [ran] right into the track, then the summer track.

“So it was like… It makes sense. A lot of times, football guys, we just want to be tough, and I like the science behind it so far, and I think it’s going to work really well.”

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Richard V. Johnson