Suggs on Flacco: 'He's always going to be Cool Joe'
The first surprise of this year's Ravens training camp was delivered by head coach John Harbaugh.
Wednesday morning, he announced that the day's workout -- which was to be for rookies, quarterbacks and players returning from injury -- was canceled, and the team instead was taking a field trip to the Gettysburg battlefield, roughly an hour away from the team's Owings Mills headquarters.
According to the Ravens Web site, all the rookies, as well as members of the coaching staff and some veterans who had already reported to camp took part.
The group was guided through the battlefield by two Gettysburg historians and six members of the Maryland National Guard. Harbaugh has a strong affinity for the military, and received the 2011 NFL Salute to Service Award for his efforts to support the military community.
"I’ve never really been into history like that,” rookie linebacker Arthur Brown told the Ravens Web site. “But like our leaders were saying out here, it relates to what we do as football players.
“What I got from it is what it takes to win a battle, to overcome adversity and keeping the big picture in mind. Keeping the focus on the common goal and achieving that goal.”
The trip allowed the newest Ravens to do some major bonding off the field, and it allowed Harbaugh to enjoy one of his major off-the-field passions -- history -- before the 2013 grind begins in earnest with the first full-squad workout on Thursday.
The rookies soaked up the information "like wide-eyed students," according to BaltimoreRavens.com's Ryan Mink.
“Leadership out here is like leadership on the football field and in the trenches,” said Gerrard Sheppard, a wide receiver from Towson who is fighting for a roster spot as an undrafted rookie.
“Not looking to your left and your right, and just trusting each other definitely applies to the football field," Sheppard said. "It’s about believing in your next door neighbor, your teammates, to have your back.”