Day 1 of Minicamp
Time to shine for the rookies, both drafted and undrafted as the Baltimore Ravens rookie minicamp kicked off on Friday at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills.
Head coach John Harbaugh along with his coaching staff will finally get a chance to see just how the new additions will perform in actual football activities.
Entering new surroundings can be tough for rookies, however it’s a welcomed challenge for new defensive end Timmy Jernigan.
“It’s been a busy week, but it’s what I expected,” Rookie second-round draft pick Timmy Jernigan stated to the media after his first day of practice.
“That’s what comes with being a pro. I’m ready for whatever is pretty much thrown at me.”
Seventh-round draft pick wide receiver Michael Campanaro echoed Jernigan’s sentiments.
“It’s been great; it’s been great. It’s been a lot — just getting into the playbook and getting a lot thrown at us right now,” Campanaro explained. “You feel like a freshman in college a little bit, but it’s been good just getting to meet some of the older guys, work out with the guys and getting into the playbook.”
There were no big strides taken today as the rookies eased onto the practice field for the first time. Like most football players Jernigan is glad to be back on the field.
“Definitely. I’ve been waiting so long, the rookie defensive end stated when asked if he was glad to be back doing football things.
“Usually by this time, I’d be at a spring football [game] and back to summer workouts by now. But it was good just to be able to put my hand back in the ground [and] get back to work.”
For many rookies no matter where they were selected, or undrafted, rookie minicamp gives them a feel of life in the NFL and the reality of just how fast the game is. It’s a time to learn from positional coaches and a chance to hone their skills and improving their game.
“Right now, I’m just learning the playbook. We’ve got a Hall of Fame receiver in there in Steve Smith, so it’s good just watching him and learning from a guy like that, and Torrey [Smith] and Jacoby [Jones]“, Campanaro stated.
“So, right now I’m just learning the playbook. I think I could help out the team in any way — special teams and offense. I’m just going to keep working hard and see where I end up.”
New tight end Crockett Gillmore is excited to get started in new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s offense and build on his familiarity with his system.
“I’ve always studied defenses, and he’s an offensive guy [who] caused a lot of problems for those defenses,” Gillmore stated about Kubiak.
“So obviously, I’ve been around his sons; they were at Colorado State when I was, so I’ve been around them, they all have a tie with coach Fairchild when everybody came. Everything works in a system at this level, so I had a general idea. I knew he utilizes tight ends a lot, so I knew a little bit about him. But getting here and being around him, it’s been an awesome experience.”
While the rookies have a long road ahead of them they seem ready for their first test in the NFL.
The new additions will once again take to the field tomorrow ready to build upon their experience from today.
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