Despite getting bounced in their first playoff game a season ago, quite a few Baltimore Ravens appeared none to worried about showing up for a voluntary training session on Wednesday. 11 players, including head coach Brian Billick were not on hand for the session, which was run by defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
Why so many not there? No explanations, but for the most part those that did not decide to practice were star players that likely know the rigors of two-a-days are coming up and just wanted to take the day off. Plus with the head coach at the graduation of his daughter, why not play a little hookey? Some of the bigger names to take a little R&R on Wednesday included Steve McNair, Willis McGahee, Mike Anderson, Jonathan Ogden, Derrick Mason, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs.
While some of the bigger stories this past spring have been about players that have decided to skip the voluntary practices around the league, the Ravens don’t appear to be too concerned about a lot of their star players not being on hand. “We know where our players are,” Ryan told the Baltimore Sun. “This is a voluntary camp, we don’t look down on the people that are not here.”
The Ravens will wrap up the minicamp today, and then the final few weeks off will come up before it all starts for real. Training camp for the defending AFC North Champs kicks off in six weeks. For the Ravens, they know that they have a tough task in week one, with the Bengals in the Jungle on Monday night to start the season. They then host the Jets, who made the playoffs last season, in week two, then the upstart Cardinals in week three. The vets better enjoy the days off now, because the Ravens will surely not sneak up on anyone in 2007.