Marchibroda impressed with team's first effort 73 players get minicamp started with 'fine tempo'

Ravens notes

April 27, 1996|By Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston | Gary Lambrecht and Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

The players wore no pads, which meant no hitting and little action. But the Baltimore Ravens opened a new era yesterday, when 73 players kicked off the team's first minicamp with a brisk, 90-minute workout at its Owings Mills training complex.

"We set a fine tempo today, faster than normal for a first workout, and there was tremendous enthusiasm out there," coach Ted Marchibroda said. "There was also a minimum of mistakes. In a workout like this, you don't get overly concerned about what they do. Somebody might catch your eye, but without pads, it doesn't mean a whole lot."

Marchibroda, who expected to see some players overweight, added that he was impressed with their conditioning.

The Ravens bolstered the camp's attendance by bringing in 19 free-agent rookies, who will participate in the minicamp through the weekend. For the 12 days after that, it's a veteran camp.

The only no-show was tight end Frank Hartley, a third-year player whom the Ravens have not been able to reach. Marchibroda said he expects Hartley will be fined.

New beginning

As the players prepared for their first practice, veteran defensive end Rob Burnett sounded a familiar tune in the locker room.

"I'm relieved to get started," Burnett said. "It's been six months since the announcement [of the move from Cleveland], and then there was all of the up-in-the-air things about what was going to happen. We're looking forward to some great things in this city. We're in for a new experience here. This is a new beginning."

Big man among giants

Jonathan Ogden, the team's top draft pick, spent his first workout at left guard, a position he has never played. The Ravens intend to start Ogden -- the premier left tackle in college -- there next to nine-year veteran left tackle Tony Jones.

At times, Ogden, 6 feet 8, 318 pounds, looked unsure of himself. He also looked a bit small compared to some teammates, like right tackle Orlando Brown (6-7, 340) and right guard Jeff Blackshear (6-6, 325).

"Eventually, he [Ogden] is going to be great," said Brown, who grew up in Washington and attended Woodson High. Ogden grew up in Washington and went to St. Albans. Brown talked to Ogden for the first time yesterday.

"I wanted to see if he was really 6-8. He's 6-8," Brown said. "Our high school team used to beat the heck out of his."

Fashion-less statement

The Ravens had a plain, no-nonsense look yesterday, namely black and white uniforms, with plain white helmets. The team has yet to acquire official colors.

"We look like the Mean Machine from the movie 'The Longest Yard,' " said equipment manager Ed Carroll.

Said wide receiver Andre Rison: "Our uniforms will not be looking like this, I can guarantee you. I'll get a crayon and do some work on them before I wear this."

Exploring possibilities

Ozzie Newsome, the team's director of operations, said he has been in contact with the agent for New York Jets tight end Johnny Mitchell, who could be visiting the Ravens soon.

Mitchell, an unrestricted free agent, had 45 receptions (497 yards, five touchdowns) last year.

Newsome said he has not had any recent contact with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Kevin Greene and seems to have cooled on the possibility of the All-Pro outside linebacker playing for the Ravens.

Center of attention

As the media began to enter the locker room, most flocked to Jones, who recently said he wanted to be traded after this season because Ogden was drafted.

Yesterday Jones just chuckled at all the media attention.

"I'm just here to work hard," said Jones. "I don't know what the future holds. Sometimes you leave, sometimes you're forced out. This is not the time to be concerned. I'm not here to draw attention or cause a commotion."

Pub Date: 4/27/96

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