Trevor Pryce said he feels good, and he proved it yesterday at Ravens training camp.
The defensive end looked trim and didn't seem to be carrying extra weight on his 6-foot-5, 286-pound frame. After practicing with mostly rookies in the morning at McDaniel College in Westminster, Pryce ran sprints on an empty football field, finishing the last one by backpedaling the entire way.
"My wind is a lot better," said the four-time Pro Bowler, who trained during the offseason with a 30-pound weight jacket and adopted a basketball-style regimen. "The way [basketball players] train is no rest. Just keep going. And it comes in handy. Today was really easy - maybe because I didn't do anything. But today was real easy."
The Ravens need a healthy Pryce, who sat out 11 games with a fractured left wrist and a torn pectoral muscle last season.
In 2006, Pryce registered a career-high 13 sacks, and the defense ranked second in the NFL with 60 sacks. Last year, a Pryce-absent pass rush generated 32 sacks, which tied for 19th.
Pryce joined linebackers Dan Cody and Prescott Burgess and running back P.J. Daniels as injured veterans to report to camp with the rookies. It's a decision Pryce said he no longer regrets.
"When they first called and told me to come in early, of course, I was like, 'I don't want to,' " he said. "But now that I'm here, I think it's good for me to kind of work the kinks out before everybody gets here."
Cornerback Samari Rolle will miss the first few days of practice to attend his father's funeral, a team spokesman said.
Harry Rolle suffered a heart attack last week.
Rolle is expected to join the team after the funeral service Saturday. Veterans are scheduled to report today, with the first full-team practice 8:45 a.m. Friday.
Proud of patch
Quarterbacks Kyle Boller and Troy Smith, Cody, Daniels, fullback Jake Nordin and offensive tackle Mike Kracalik are sporting what coach John Harbaugh called "arm and hammer" patches on the left shoulders of their jerseys.
The patches signify participation in at least 85 percent of the team's offseason workouts.
"A heck of a number," Harbaugh said of the participation rate. "That's something we want them to be proud of."
Starting left offensive tackle Jared Gaither checked into the team's hotel, the Best Western, on Monday night, but he did not practice yesterday. ... With tight ends Quinn Sypniewski (knee) and Scott Kuhn (knee) on injured reserve, the team signed Aaron Walker, who played three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and most recently the St. Louis Rams. To make room for Walker, the team released rookie quarterback Brad Roach. ... The team also waived cornerback Lenny Walls.
The humid, sticky weather in Westminster reminds rookie running back Allen Patrick of Oklahoma, where he rushed for 1,009 yards and eight touchdowns last year. The heat drove Patrick to the movie theater, where he watched The Dark Knight and proclaimed it the best film of the year.
Q: Who is the better Joker - Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger?
A: "This one [Ledger]. He plays a better role. In The Dark Knight, he played his part well."
Q: If you were stuck on an island, what's one material possession you must have?
A: "A gun. I've got to go out there and hunt for my prey."