OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens kicked off their annual summer minicamp Tuesday in Owings Mills.
Attendance is a must for players. It's the only mandatory work of the offseason.
The start of minicamp brought out two veterans vital to the defensive success of the team: defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. Both men missed the last three weeks of voluntary organized team activities and are excited to return for the mandatory portion of the offseason.
"We know that we can be very, very good - quite special, really," said Campbell of his team.
"I’m looking forward to, the guys on the [defensive] line, making them as best as possible," said Williams. "So, when we actually get to that first Sunday, everybody is ready."
That is a ways away, just like the COVID-19 battle Campbell went through last year. The 34-year-old, entering his 14th NFL season, has asthma. He said he is over most of the lingering issues from the virus.
"Sometimes I feel like it kind of comes and goes in a sense. So, I guess I really can’t be sure until we get into the thick of things. But, I’ve been really good for the last couple months, haven’t had any real issues. But it definitely lingered for a while."
Campbell said he is vaccinated, part of the majority of Ravens players that got the shot.
"Well above 50 percent, I would say, without giving the exact number," said Head Coach John Harbaugh regarding how many players are vaccinated. "But, that’s really not important in terms of individual guys. I think everybody makes that choice for themselves. That’s what I told the guys last night. It’s your individual decision."
This minicamp was originally supposed to run for three days this week - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. However, Harbaugh shortened it by a day. There will only be meetings on Thursday. No practice.
"I think it’s kind of a reward for everybody going really, really hard," said Campbell. "I think we’re in a good place where [we have] two good days of minicamp and then we get ready for training camp when it gets a lot more serious."
Also making their offseason practice debuts Tuesday were cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Tavon Young. Young was back on the field for the first time since suffering a knee injury last September. Defensive end Derek Wolfe sat out while recovering from pneumonia.