Ravens happy with new direction of strength, conditioning program

OWINGS MILLS — Almost one year ago, the Ravens decided to part ways with Steve Saunders, the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

The Ravens replaced Saunders with Scott Elliott, who had just completed his fourth season in Baltimore and second as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

It’s a move the Ravens are happy with because the team is relatively healthy going into the postseason. Baltimore will play Houston on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in the divisional round at M&T Bank Stadium.

“In the end, looking back on it in terms of making the choice to stay in-house and to go with Scott and the rest of the staff there … we have a great group with [assistant strength and conditioning coaches] Ron [Shrift], Anthony [Watson], Kay [Buskey],” Harbaugh said. “All three do a fantastic job and [football performance coordinator] Sam Rosengarten, who I put in that category as well, from a performance standpoint. But Scott led it, and it was really an evolution of what we’ve been doing.

“We felt we were doing a lot of great things in the weight room. We felt like we had a very good program, and I have a lot of respect for Steve Saunders. He worked really hard and did a heck of a job and made us a strong and in-condition football team.”

Saunders joined the team in 2016 and was promoted two years later. In 2021, the Ravens had 25 players on injured reserve, which prompted former Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon to criticize Saunders on social media.

Harbaugh suspended Saunders for a month in 2020 after he reportedly was not wearing a mask required by the NFL’s Covid-19 protocols.

However, there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings between Saunders and Harbaugh, who praised the former coach.

Elliott originally joined the Ravens as a coaching analyst in performance. Before working in Baltimore, Elliott was the owner of The Summit, a full-service fitness facility in Lawrence, Kansas.

He has been a solid fit in his new position.

“Scott stepped in, and in maybe a little bit of a tough circumstance, right? And [he] just handled it gracefully and aggressively and did a great job. He’s one of the stars of the season – not just Scott, but the whole group I just mentioned before. That weight room is one of the stars of the season for sure. They’ve just done phenomenal.

“The guys love going in there; they work really hard. I think it’s very comprehensive in what we do, and I’m in there. I’m in there every day with people, maybe not [lifting] quite as much weight as some of the guys. But I think it’s just a great environment that we have in there.”


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