Har­baugh com­mends Ravens for ‘phe­nom­e­nal’ prac­tice in ex­ces­sive heat

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— The U.S. Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is­sued an ex­ces­sive heat warn­ing through­out Maryland for Satur­day.

But that did not stop the Ravens from turn­ing in a qual­ity prac­tice Satur­day morn­ing.

“Today was a good one. Today was a tough one,” line­backer Al­bert McClellan said. “This day here showed a lot of peo­ple’s char­ac­ter – who’s will­ing to work and who’s not will­ing to work. Today we re­ally found out who’s got it and who needs to con­tinue to work.”

The Ravens took the field at the Un­der Ar­mour Per­for­mance Cen­ter at 8:45 a.m. Prac­tice was sched­uled to end at 11:15, but wrapped up about 20 min­utes early.

“In my three years here, that prob­a­bly was the tough­est prac­tice that we’ve had,” line­backer Zach Orr said. “We knew it was go­ing to be a tough prac­tice, coach talked to us about it yes­ter­day. We’re just re­ally proud of how the team came out and went af­ter it. I felt like we got bet­ter. It’s easy to get bet­ter when you first come out here for camp, but these are the days where you re­ally build your foot­ball team.”

Tem­per­a­tures were in the 90s dur­ing prac­tice but Ac­cuWeather listed the RealFeel as 104 de­grees. The heat in­dex neared 110. A cloud­less sky of­fered no re­lief from the re­lent­less sun.

OWINGS MILLS

To make mat­ters worse, the Ravens prac­ticed with small numbers. The team had just three tight ends on the field Satur­day (Ben Wat­son, Darren Waller and Nick Boyle).

Head coach John Har­baugh said it be­came im­por­tant to mon­i­tor the play­ers.

“We mon­i­tor. That’s the main thing, you mon­i­tor in­di­vid­u­als. The train­ing staff and re­cov­ery and per­for­mance coaches re­ally keep an eye on all that. The train­ing staff did phe­nom­e­nal with that. And we give them more time in be­tween pe­ri­ods and more wa­ter breaks,” he said. “It’s not as tough when you have your full numbers, but we were down wide re­ceivers and tight ends today and those guys do a lot of run­ning … We re­ally had to watch those guys, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and ev­ery­body’s still breath­ing.”

Har­baugh said wide re­ceiver Kaelin Clay in­jured his foot dur­ing prac­tice, but it was un­re­lated to the heat.

Like Orr, Har­baugh was also im­pressed with the qual­ity of work the Ravens put in de­spite the heat.

“It was hot. I re­ally com­mend the guys,” he said. “The numbers were low over­all for the prac­tice. The guys that prac­ticed just did a phe­nom­e­nal job – it was a fast prac­tice, it was sharp. I think it’s one of the things that you look for in train­ing camp.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Ravens line­backer Al­bert McClellan takes part in a drill dur­ing Satur­day’s prac­tice. Play­ers par­tic­i­pated de­spite ex­ces­sive heat at the Un­der Ar­mour Per­for­mance Cen­ter.

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