Baltimore Sun

Training camp can’t be ignored

It’s often drudgery, but it’s also make-or-break time for many

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Most veterans despise training camp, and it’s perfectly understand­able.

Players usually live in hotel rooms or dorms with very little contact with family or friends. The food is good — nutritiona­l — but not to the young players, who have spent their college careers dining on fast food. Meetings seem to take forever, but not as long as the practice sessions, which can last for several hours.

Regardless, training camp is “the make it or break it” time for a lot of NFL players, even those who have been in the league for a while.

Here, I take a look at the Ravens who need to have strong training camps not just to make the roster but for the overall success of the team in 2022:

QB Lamar Jackson

It’s not that Jackson has a lot to prove, but he sets the tone. It was never more evident than in OTAs. The offense, especially the passing game, was out of sync when he wasn’t there for the three sessions open to the media, but a sense of urgency developed when Jackson arrived for the three-day mandatory minicamp.

Second-year receiver Rashod Bateman made a habit of dropping one or two passes in practice sessions when Jackson was absent but had hands like glue once he participat­ed. If Jackson doesn’t appear on time for camp because of contract negotiatio­ns, it will be a cause for concern.

TE Nick Boyle

Boyle needs to show he has recovered from a severe leg injury that set him back the past two seasons. He has slimmed down, but blocking was his biggest asset. With rookie tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar sniffing around for playing time, Boyle needs to play well to hold a roster spot.

 ?? KEVIN RICHARDSON/BALTIMORE SUN ?? Columnist Mike Preston writes that it’s not that Ravens quarterbac­k Lamar Jackson has a lot to prove, but that he sets the tone.
KEVIN RICHARDSON/BALTIMORE SUN Columnist Mike Preston writes that it’s not that Ravens quarterbac­k Lamar Jackson has a lot to prove, but that he sets the tone.
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