Gover­nor Ho­gan vis­its Ravens train­ing camp

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— The Bal­ti­more Ravens had a note­wor­thy vis­i­tor at­tend the team’s fi­nal train­ing camp prac­tice prior to their pre­sea­son opener.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan made an ap­pear­ance at the Un­der Amour Per­for­mance Cen­ter Tues­day morn­ing, two days before the team faces the Carolina Pan­thers. Dressed in black Ravens ap­parel, he sur­veyed prac­tice from the side­line and in­ter­acted with fans before mak­ing his way to mid­field to de­liver a mo­ti­va­tional speech to the players.

“We had a good day to­day. Gov. Ho­gan was here which was a lot of fun,” Ravens head coach John Har­baugh said. “He had some good words for us. I think he could be a good coach.

“He did an ex­cel­lent job [and is] a re­ally lik­able guy. He was over there with the fans and get­ting pic­tures and ev­ery­thing. It was neat to see.”

It marked the second sum­mer that the Mary­land gover­nor met with the Ravens. He also gave a mes­sage to the team last Au­gust while in the midst of bat­tling an ad­vanced stage of non-Hodgkin lym­phoma.

Ho­gan, who tweeted Tues­day he “had a great time at Ravens camp to­day,” an­nounced in Novem­ber he was com­pletely cancer-free fol­low­ing five months of chemo­ther­apy.

“We saw him last year when he

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was in the mid­dle of his fight,” Ravens kicker Justin Tucker said. “Know­ing any cancer sur­vivors who have come through here and had a chance to speak with us, and peo­ple I know in my own life—my own grand­mother on my dad’s side, she passed away from cancer—the mes­sage is al­ways ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Some­times the only thing you can do is fight and fight and fight.”

The Ravens will take the field Thurs­day to face the Pan­thers at M&T Bank Sta­dium hop­ing to re­bound from a dif­fi­cult 2015 sea­son. Bal­ti­more placed an NFL-high 20 players on sea­son-end­ing in­jured re­serve, in­clud­ing eight starters, and ended the year with a 5-11 record.

“It was re­ally cool to see him, [and for him] to come back this year and share that mes­sage of not giv­ing up when things get tough,” Tucker said. “I mean, we ex­pe­ri­enced a pretty rough patch last year. 2015 was a rough patch for us as Ravens, but what I’m tak­ing away from his mes­sage to­day is, what’s in the past is in the past and it can only serve to make us stronger.”

Ho­gan also made an ap­pear­ance dur­ing last year’s reg­u­lar sea­son. He at­tended the Ravens’ home opener last Septem­ber against the Cincin­nati Ben­gals to raise cancer aware­ness.

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

GOV. HO­GAN

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