Veterans report Wednesday, and the first training camp practice is Thursday. Here are five storylines to watch as the Ravens begin their eighth training camp under John Harbaugh.
1. The new additions
After losing starters Haloti Ngata, Torrey Smith, Pernell McPhee, and Owen Daniels during the offseason, the Ravens are going to need new players to step up. It could be Breshad Perriman as a deep-threat receiver, or Maxx Williams as a pass-catching tight end, or Kyle Arrington as a nickel corner, or Kendrick Lewis as a starting safety, or Za’Darius Smith as a pass rusher. But for the Ravens to be a Super Bowl contender, some new additions will have to compensate for the talent they lost.
2. The offensive coordinator
Marc Trestman has the experience and the weapons to succeed as the Ravens’ fourth offensive coordinator in four years. But Gary Kubiak is a tough act to follow, and the Ravens have a very difficult early schedule. For the Ravens to start the season fast, Trestman will need to figure out what works and what doesn’t during training camp and the preseason.
3. The injuries
Health is a concern for every team starting camp, and something that can’t be controlled. But after losing Dennis Pitta during camp two years ago, and losing Kapron Lewis-Moore and Brent Urban last season, the Ravens hope they can avoid serious injuries at this camp.
4. The heat
The 10-day forecast calls for afternoon temperatures in the 90’s every day. Any player who’s not in shape won’t do well. Staying hydrated will be important, and cramping could be an issue.
5. The secondary
It has to be better than it was in 2014 for the Ravens to reach their ultimate goal. There are positive signs, like the return of cornerback Jimmy Smith from injury, Lardarius Webb starting the season healthy, and improved depth with the addition of Lewis and Arrington. However, can Matt Elam or Will Hill play effectively as the starting strong safety? And if something happens to Smith, will the secondary suddenly become as vulnerable as last season?
The last time the Ravens faced Peyton Manning in 2013, he threw seven touchdown passes against them. They’ll see Manning again in Week 1. We’ll find out quickly if the Ravens’ secondary is ready.