Ravens top players show up for first voluntary minicamp

OWINGS MILLS — A number of the Ravens’ top players, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, newly signed running back Derrick Henry and inside linebacker Roquan Smith, participated in the voluntary strength and conditioning program this week at the Under Armour Performance Center.

The players said the attendance underscores the commitment to overcoming last season’s disappointment in the AFC Championship Game and going even further this year.

“It shows the leadership that’s here and the type of leaders that [Smith] and Lamar are,” Henry said. “You watch them from afar and see their body of work and the consistency they play with. Then, you see them here putting the work in, that speaks volumes for the team.”

The strength and conditioning program is just Phase 1 of an offseason regimen culminating with training camp in July.

The players performed speed drills, weight training, and stretching over the three days under the guidance of strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Elliott.

Eliott was encouraged by the offseason conditioning of the players, especially Jackson. It allowed him to move quickly into the more advanced phases of the drills.

“We want to be the strongest team in the NFL and, yes, in Week 1, but in December and then even beyond,” Eliott said. “December football means the most, but that’s what carries us into the playoffs. So that is the baseline for our core philosophy. So what we’re doing now – when I say structural balance – [is] we’re really trying to … I look at these guys as skyscrapers, in the sense of, they’re larger than life, so with that – with a skyscraper – you’ve got to dig down deep, [and] you’ve got to have a foundation that supports that.

“So you can talk injury prevention, you talk performance, [and] you can talk all these things, but what it comes down to is what we do out here, and especially in the weight room, makes them the best version of themselves out on the field. That’s what it all comes down to.” 

Smith, the leader of the defense, was eager to get back to work after the Ravens lost in to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game. Although the Ravens have a new defensive coordinator in Zachary Orr and several new young starters, Smith is confident the team can make another postseason run.

“I’m happy to be back. You all know what our goal is,” Smith said.

Other important offseason dates:

Rookie Minicamp

After the NFL draft from April 25h-27th, the Ravens will host a rookie minicamp during the first weekend in May.

Other Organized Team Activities (OTAs)

  • Week 1: May 20, May 22-23
  • Week 2: May 28, May 30-31
  • Week 3: June 3-4, June 6-7
  • Mandatory Minicamp: June 11-13


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