The Ravens players know what’s coming— John Harbaugh is not a happy camper this year. After failing to make the playoffs in 2013, there will be hell to pay this summer in training camp. In the best of times Harbaugh is a believer in breaking down players to build them up in TC. This summer it will be worse than ever.
The team will begin full drills this coming Thursday and it will be happening at full sprint speed.
And you can count on a miserably hot and humid Delmarva summer for the duration.
If the NFLPA union rules did not prohibit Harbaugh from running two-a-day full contact drills, he would do so. He is going to run these guys into the ground as much as he can within the guidelines of the league’s CBA agreement with the players union.
Last year’s official Ravens tee-shirt slogan for training camp quoted Harbaugh (who was quoting Marshal Yanda): “Embrace the Grind”….
This year “Embrace” may be too soft a word—-it’s going to be more like “Hold On For Dear Life”….
Other Harbaugh slogans in the past—- “Ravens football is hustle…Constant hustle,” and “Ability is God-given, prowess is earned”— seem better suited for the Church Lady than for the Ravens serving time in hell in TC this summer.
“When we come out here during training camp, we’re not going to ease into it,” quarterback Joe Flacco said.
“You understand that we’re going to work harder than a lot of teams, and that’s just been the Raven way and that’s been John’s way,” Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda said at the end of minicamp. “With new guys coming in, we try to just tell them this is the way it’s going to be, and we’re going to work hard and we’re going to be more conditioned than most teams just by the amount of plays we run. That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
“With new guys coming in, it’s always a little bit of a shock to them, but they get rolling with it day after day, and then we just bring them along a little bit,” Yanda said. “I try to be a little bit of an encouragement to say, ‘It’s all right. You’ll get through it.’ ”
“Our training camp this year will be more physical than it was last year,” Harbaugh said at the owners meetings in March. “It’s going to be a tough, physical training camp. We’re going to wring everything we can out of every single second.”
So much for the politically correct concept of gradually easing your employees into an increased workload, with incentives of multiple refreshment breaks, neck-and-shoulder massages at their desks, and deferred vacation benefits.
The Ravens are entering a POW Camp of sorts this summer. Maybe it’s a good thing the public will not be allowed to attend the early TC sessions. It sounds like it could get ugly.