For many NFL players, the period between mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp is a time to get their minds right for the grind that lies ahead. For the Ravens rookies, their dreams have turned into reality. They’re preparing themselves for the first training camp of their NFL careers. But the anxiousness of waiting for camp isn’t stopping them from becoming involved in the community and turning others’ dreams into reality.
“They’ve been tremendous, but obviously, you never take anything for granted,” head coach John Harbaugh stated about the current Ravens rookies. “[Director of player engagement] Harry Swayne’s program has been in effect now from Day One when they got here, right on through every day.”
The rookies still have quite a busy slate before they get some down time ahead of the start of camp in July. They began workout sessions on Monday, and those run through Wednesday. They will also be attending the all-important rookie symposium which begins Wednesday and ends on Friday.
For some of the Ravens rookie class, Monday was a special day. Some players experienced what it feels like to give back to their new city for the first time. The rookies helped out at Helping Up Mission, where they served lunch and spoke to residents of the homeless shelter in East Baltimore.
“It almost brings you back down to reality,” rookie offensive lineman Alex Lewis told the Baltimore Sun about his involvement in the community effort. “It makes you think of the simpler things, especially family. Times like these, there’s a lot of people you can lean on. I know some people don’t have that opportunity, so it makes you really fortunate for what you got.”
The important lessons learned during this time will help shape these young NFL players. While many will pay strict attention to what they show when on the field, it’s off the field where these players can make the biggest difference.
Follow me on Twitter @sportguyRSR