Harbaugh gives Ravens a rest

Street Talk Harbaugh gives Ravens a rest

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WESTMINSER — On the ninth day, the Baltimore Ravens rested as coach John Harbaugh canceled practices originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon and this morning at McDaniel College.
Following eight consecutive days of grueling two-a-day practices, the players were given some unexpected time off.

Harbaugh insisted that his decision wasn’t influenced by the growing tide of injuries since launching training camp last week at McDaniel College.

"We have not built in any predetermined days off for a reason, because we want guys to u nderstand that they don’t have a day off," Harbaugh said. "They have earned it. These guys have worked hard morning after morning. They need the rest.
 
"We need to get them off their legs. We need to get them into the tub, get them home with their wives and kids for 24 hours. I’m proud of them. I’m really happy with the way they’ve worked."

If the Ravens hadn’t taken the time off, their first scheduled day off was Aug. 8 following a preseason road game against the New England Patriots.

The Ravens will reassemble today for a 3 p.m. practice and hold four practices between Monday and Tuesday before traveling to New England on Wednesday.

Harbaugh said there has been an ebb and flow to how he has orchestrated his first camp as a head coach.

"I think we’ve kind of tapered off through camp," he said. "We push forward and pull back. Certainly, you’re not going to be sprinting going into the game.

"We consider the game to be another practice. So, we’re not trying to go into this game with our legs being 100 percent fresh. It’s not going to happen. It’s an exhibition game."

Harbaugh’s goal throughout camp has been to break down his players physically and mentally, testing their will to try to build their resolve for the upcoming season.

"Our guys are doing what they need do at this stage, which is, with their legs pretty much shot, they’re fighting through every practice and they’re paying attention to te chnique and detail," Harbaugh said. "That’s how you develop that muscle memory when you’re fatigued. If you can do it when you’re fatigued, you certainly can do it when you’re fresh."

 
The decision to give the players a break was greeted with enthusiasm and speed as they hustled out of the team hotel to various destinations.

Rookie running back Ray Rice said he had a flight to catch, intending to travel home to New York to visit family.

"We’ve been putting in work, so this is really a nice surprise," Rice said. "I’m going to enjoy it, then get right back to work and concentrate on football."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson

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